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The Best Workout Routines for Older Adults

Staying fit as you get older is important for your overall health, and these workout routines are geared towards older adults.

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The Best Workout Routines for Older Adults

Did you know it's recommended that adults get at least 150 - 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week? That's according to the physical activity guidelines set by the Department of Health and Human Services, which also stresses the importance of twice-weekly muscle-strengthening activities.

That's a lot of physical activity! But as we age, regular exercise becomes even more important. The National Institute on Aging outlines four types of exercise and frequency that are vital for older adults:

  • Aerobic - preferably activity spread throughout the week, for example, 50 minutes 3 days per week

  • Strength - 2 or more days per week with rest days in between

  • Balance - such as Tai Chi and standing on one leg

  • Flexibility - stretching as often as you need to maintain your full range of motion

You can do these workouts on your own, but you’ll have more fun meeting fellow exercisers via virtual group sessions, gym classes or through fitness programs at your senior center. 

Check out these suggestions for the best workout routines for older adults.

Endurance and Strength Workouts for Older Adults

Endurance activities are aerobic in nature and help improve your cardiovascular health so you can complete daily tasks with ease. Endurance exercise can also reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention . Some great endurance workouts might include:

  • Brisk walking

  • Dancing

  • Swimming

  • Biking

  • Tennis

  • Yardwork

Balance Workout Routines for Older Adults

Balance exercises are key for preventing falls and fall-related injuries. Lower-body strength exercises can double as balance exercises. Consider a workout routine that involves some of these helpful balance moves:

  • Squats

  • Lunges

  • Calf raises 

  • Heel-to-toe walk 

  • Standing on one foot for 15 seconds

  • Repeatedly transitioning from sitting to standing and back to sitting

Flexibility Workouts Routines for Older Adults

Flexibility is all about stretching . Whether done before another workout or on its own, stretching will help increase your ability to perform basic movements more freely and protect you from injury. Some great stretching workouts, as recommended by the NIA, may include:

Yoga is also one of the best flexibility workouts and helps with balance and strength. Check your local gym or senior center to see if they offer classes in types of yoga that focus on breath and flow of movement.

Start a Workout Routine Today

If you’re new to exercise, start by talking with your healthcare provider. Your doctor can advise you on the best workout routines for your age group while considering your health history and any conditions that might limit your participation in certain programs. 

Remember: It’s never too late to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Senior fitness programs can provide a fun, safe way for you to lose weight and stay energized, improve your physical and mental health, and maintain your independence as you age.

Call Senior Healthcare Direct, at 1-833-463-3262, TTY 711 to shop for Medicare Advantage plans that include fitness programs.

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The above is meant to be strictly educational and not intended to provide medical advice or solicit the sales of an insurance product or service of any kind.