Staying Fit: Wellness and Exercise Advice for Seniors

Staying Fit: Wellness and Exercise Advice for Seniors

As time goes by, our wellness demands change dynamically, and we must take this more seriously. Getting into a sustainable and active program is one significant way to keep our well-being in check. The truth is, this gets harder and harder as time goes by, but it is doable.

However, as a senior, the first thing you need to do is check-up with your doctor before taking up any wellness routine. Specialists who work with assisted living communities in NJ give the following advice to help you enjoy your senior years to the fullest.

1. Stay Physically Active

Seniors have a variety of exercise options that they can engage in. The most important thing is the numerous benefits accrued to exercise. Not only is exercise valuable to your body, but it keeps you socially active as well. Here are workouts you can do to keep your body and health in check:

Balance Workouts

Just as balance is essential for a toddler learning to walk, the same applies to a senior to help them prevent falls and injuries. Luckily, home aids such as electric scooters or rollators help seniors maintain balance and move around safely at home. However, there are simple exercises that seniors can do anytime from anywhere to help them maintain balance. These are:

  • Tip Toeing
  • Standing on one foot
  • Yoga and Tai Chi
  • Lunges and squats

Endurance Workouts

These exercises are probably more intense as they involve aerobics, but if you’re able to do them, they certainly help a great deal to take care of your wellness needs. These exercises require patience, especially if you have been physically inactive and gradual progress. Some of the overall benefits accrued to endurance exercises are:

  • Improved sleep
  • Improved mood
  • Improved balance, flexibility, and mobility
  • Exceptional cardiovascular and mental health
  • Good weight
  • Good bone health

Besides these benefits, seniors who prefer to engage in endurance exercises must hydrate regularly and wear the appropriate shoes for the activity.

Cycling is a great endurance exercise because it engages much of the body but is still low-impact. Many seniors recovering from illness or going through physical therapy enjoy biking as a fun and easy way to build their strength back. Bikes like the eSpin Flow 21 have step-through access making it easier for seniors to mount their bikes and begin riding.

You could also try some of these other endurance workouts:

  • Indoors- treadmill, online aerobics, gym, etc.
  • Outdoors - swimming, running, walking, tennis, gardening, etc.

You are also advised to do these activities at least three times a week to maintain a maximum of 30 minutes and give your body the appropriate rest.

Flexibility Workouts

Once in a while, you find yourself experiencing muscle pulls after doing your usual stretches or doing simple tasks like stretching to put on your blouse. However, it doesn't have to result in this, as there are stretches that you can do to improve your motion and flexibility. They include:

  • Yoga
  • Lunges
  • Backstretch
  • Hamstring stretches
  • Shoulder stretch
  • Side stretches

The best way to do these flexibility exercises is by incorporating them before and after you engage in your daily workout routine. They will leave your muscles relaxed in the long run.

Strength Workouts

Strength workouts are not only meant for bodybuilders who require muscle. These workouts are highly recommended for seniors who experience joint pains from conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis. There are moderate aerobic exercises that can help build up muscle strength in seniors, such as:

  • Chair squats
  • Side planks
  • Wall push-ups
  • Single leg raises
  • Water aerobics

2. Lose That Excess Weight

Being overweight in your senior years can not only be detrimental to your body, but it can be disastrous to your health as well. The journey to maintaining a healthy weight can be pretty challenging, but with the risks at hand, it's crucial to do everything possible to keep it in check.

3. Eat More Nutritious Foods

Most seniors slack when in good nutrition, but it is not their fault. Poor nutrition in the elderly is caused mainly by other underlying factors such as poor metabolism, loss of teeth, or medical conditions that make them poor feeders. Poor feeding will eventually lead to nutritional deficiencies and a low immune system causing even more health-related problems. However, here are some tips to help seniors eat healthily:

  • Plan the meals and eating hours
  • Suggest two meal options to choose from
  • Eat a variety of different foods with high nutritional value
  • Consume more healthy fats
  • Consider taking nutritional supplements
  • Hydrate as per your body weight

Eating the right foods and hydrating as required will keep your body energized enough to do your workout routines effectively.

4. Get Enough Sleep

Many people often underestimate the power of sleep on their general well-being. The truth is, after a good workout, your body will need the rest to recover lost energy and to refresh you for the next day’s activities. It has also been concluded that most seniors have destructive sleeping patterns, which is not healthy. However, if you engage in more physical activity, it will help you sleep faster and recover the sleeping routine that you can work with.

5. Don’t Stress

It is common for every human being to get stressed at a certain point in life. At times, this stress occurs randomly, probably after the death of a spouse, episodes of loneliness, or your bad finances. Some seniors may take up bad habits to deal with the stress, such as indulging in excess alcohol intake or overdosing. However, if these stress periods prolong, incidents of depression may crop in, leading to more chronic conditions. You can reverse this situation if you seek help from a professional counselor, ask for family support, or take up an exercise routine to keep your mental health in check.

It is easy for a senior to slack and think it’s too late to take up a good wellness routine. To make it easier, you can join a wellness group that will keep you motivated and socially active. If you explore your options, you will be surprised at how many senior community programs have come up recently.

About the Author

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

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