Clover Health member Charylee exercising in a swimming pool

The Best Exercise Ideas For Seniors

If you’re motivated to exercise and move your body, that’s half the battle.

Throughout our lives, fitness can sometimes take a backseat to our overall health, but staying active is so important for maintaining a healthy quality of life and independence.

The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise per week for adults. That means about 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, 5 days a week. (If you’re unable to do 150 minutes of exercise a week, the CDC recommends being as physically active as your abilities and chronic conditions allow.) Start with 10 or 15 minutes of exercise two or three times a day to build up to the full 30 minutes. And don’t forget to always talk with your doctor before starting any new fitness routine.

Check out these exercise ideas to help you get started. Remember, the best exercise for you is the one that you stick with and enjoy doing.

Exercises for Seniors

Are you ready to get moving? Here are some exercises you can do at home or socially distanced with a friend. If you’re working out at home, remember to make sure your space is clear from any cords, pillows or blankets, or other tripping hazards, and wear sneakers that provide you with good stability.

  • Go for a 15-minute walk.
  • Swim for 30 minutes.
  • Go for a 30-minute bike ride, or cycle on a stationary bike.
  • Do 15 minutes of chair exercises, incorporating assisted squats, toe taps, heel raises, or knee lifts.
  • Turn on some music and dance for 30 minutes.
  • Do light resistance band workouts.
  • Incorporate light dumbbell workouts.

These exercises will help you build strength and improve balance and flexibility. When you prioritize fitness, you’ll enjoy all the great benefits of exercise for seniors.

Exercise Classes for Seniors

One great way to stay motivated to exercise is to find a workout buddy. They’ll help hold you accountable, celebrate your milestones, and can help in the event of an accident or injury.

When it’s safe to gather in groups again, fitness classes are great for staying active and spending time with friends—and even making a few new friends! The key is to try out different classes to see which ones you enjoy the most. You’re more likely to go to a fitness class week after week if you have fun.

Here are some fitness class ideas that may work for you.

  • Water aerobics
  • Cycling class (or group bike rides)
  • Yoga for older adults
  • Dance
  • Pilates
  • Strength training for older adults
  • Tai chi

Classes like these can help you maintain a healthy body weight and improve balance, mood, brain health, and more. Check your local senior center or rec center to find out what classes are available near you.

Exercises Older Adults Should Avoid

If you experience joint pain, problems with posture, or balance issues, there are a few workouts you should avoid to prevent unnecessary strain or injury.

Here are some common exercises to avoid unless you’ve gotten the OK from your doctor.

  • Lifting heavy weights
  • Squats with heavier weights
  • Bench press
  • Leg press
  • Long-distance running
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Rock climbing
  • Deadlifts
  • Abdominal crunches

The best exercises for older adults tend to be low-impact routines. Talk with your doctor about exercise to come up with a fitness plan that works best for you and your body.

SilverSneakers® Makes Exercise Easy

To help you stay active, Clover Health plans include a SilverSneakers membership, which gives you access to a large network of gyms as well as live and on-demand video classes free of cost. The SilverSneakers program is designed for senior health and fitness, and they’ll help you build strength and flexibility while also giving you access to great exercise options and classes that match your fitness level. Some SilverSneakers programs even meet outside so you can exercise in the fresh air and socially distance.

Clover Health members can access their SilverSneakers supplemental benefit at no cost to join activities like aerobics, yoga, swimming, nutrition counseling, and senior fitness programs.

The Benefits of Exercising with SilverSneakers

It’s never too late to start a new exercise program. With SilverSneakers you can join senior health and fitness classes that match your needs. Whether you want to exercise indoors or outdoors, you’ll find classes led by great instructors.

SilverSneakers also offers great online classes so you can get fit from the comfort of your own home. If you'd rather exercise without taking a class, SilverSneakers will give you free access to participating local gyms. You can easily find activities to stay active, get motivated, meet new friends, and learn more about your health.

Have More Questions About Fitness or SilverSneakers?

If you have any other questions about our fitness benefits that are available to you, contact us at Clover Health to learn more. We’re available from 8am to 8pm local time, 7 days a week,* at 1-800-836-6890.

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