Fitness and fun for seniors: a guide to exercise for the elderly

Fitness and fun for seniors: a guide to exercise for the elderly

An active lifestyle is crucial for seniors to maintain their health and well-being. Gentle exercise has numerous benefits as a person gets older, but it’s also important to tailor the activity and intensity to the individual, so you can stay safe and have fun too.

The benefits of exercises for older people

Enhanced strength

Physical activity helps to prevent loss of muscle mass as well as promoting strength, which will help to keep you independent and able to carry out day-to-day activities for longer.

Better balance

Movement and exercise can help you become more flexible and maintain your mobility, helping make daily life easier and also helping improve your balance and guard against falls.

Improved heart health

Exercise that raises your heart rate and gets you a little out of breath, such as walking or dancing, can enhance your cardiovascular health, keeping your heart stronger for longer.

Boosted mood

Exercise releases hormones called endorphins, which help you to feel happier and more positive as well as combating stress, anxiety and depression.

The best gentle exercises for older people


Give yourself a dose of fresh air as well as raising your heart rate and getting out and about by adding more walking into your routine. It’s a simple but effective way of exercising and can be easily adapted to your fitness level.


A low-impact exercise that uses every part of the body, swimming is an excellent aerobic activity for seniors. It puts minimal stress on the joints while having a great effect on cardiovascular health.


The ultimate mood booster, dancing can take the form of a class suitable for older adults, or simply moving to your favourite music while at home. Just be sure to tailor it to your fitness and flexibility levels.


Yoga develops flexibility, mobility and balance. It can also be effective at relieving stress and anxiety, as well as promoting relaxation and mindfulness. There are various modified poses that can account for a variety of fitness levels.

Seated exercises

If you’re less mobile, you can still introduce more activity into your routine. Exercises done while seated in a chair, such as leg lifts and arm circles, can be done easily at home and help to improve strength and mobility.

How to stay safe while exercising

It’s important that you consult their doctor or other healthcare professional before starting a new exercise regime, to make sure it is suitable for you and any health conditions you might live with.

Make sure you stay hydrated before, during and after exercise and be sure to build up the intensity and duration slowly.

Wear appropriate clothing and comfortable, supportive shoes while exercising, and don’t forget to use any extra aids you may need to improve stability.

To discuss care needs for you or a loved one, contact Wessex Care today.

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