Physical Fitness For
Senior Citizens

Physical fitness for senior citizens is so very important.

Not only does regular exercise significantly decrease your chances of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis, it is an excellent way to banish the “blues”. When you exercise your body releases endorphins which help to alleviate anxiety and sadness.

By exercising regularly you will keep your weight down which means less stress on your knees, hips, and lower back.

Research has also shown that exercise helps to lessen dementia and to improve the memory.

Exercise For Senior Citizens

However, because of physical capabilities and chronic disease, physical fitness for senior citizens is different than that for a younger person.

Picture of older man playing softball.

Exercise recommendations for senior citizens

It is recommended that senior citizens should be active for at least one hour per day - five times a week.

Plus, you should have an exercise program that will use all the muscles in your body.

As you probably know, there are five components to every workout program – a warm-up, flexibility training, cardio, resistance, and a cool-down.

If you are wondering what a good workout schedule could include, try a routine similar to this:

  • Stretching and yoga – A minimum of 10 minutes twice a week.
  • Aerobic exercise (which can include swimming, dancing, walking, exercise bike, and aqua aerobics) – A minimum of five times a week for 30 minutes at moderate intensity.
  • Resistance training (which could include light weights, stretch bands, and aqua aerobics) - Should be done at least twice a week with at least one rest day in between the workout days.

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It is very easy to become sedentary after we quit working.

But remaining active after retirement will be one of the most important steps you can take to help maintain your health and independence.

Golf is an appealing activity for both retired men and women. This is an activity that they can enjoy with family and friends in an environment that is both relaxing and stimulating.

Get more ideas on staying mentally and physically fit.

Picture of senior riding bicycle.

Physical Fitness For Senior Citizens And Safety Measures

Before starting any physical fitness program, have a checkup with your family doctor. Check to see if you will need any special modifications before starting your exercise program.

Other Ideas To Help With Your Exercise Progress

Only by exercising regularly will you improve health. So, pick an exercise program you will enjoy.

For instance, some people enjoy a structured workout - others enjoy a more relaxed exercise program. Some people enjoy their workouts indoor - others enjoy being outdoors. Some people want to exercise first thing in the morning - others want to work out in the evening.

Decide who you are and which method works best for you. This way you will be more likely to stick with your exercise program over a long period of time.

  • Start slow. If it hurts, don't do it. But do set long and short-term goals for yourself.
  • Wear a step counter throughout the day. Strive to do 8,000 to 10,000 steps in a day.
  • Keep a journal of your daily activities. See when you might fit some exercise into your day. For instance, when you are watching tv or talking on the phone, stretch, walk around the room, or march in time.
  • Do your own house and yard work.
  • Do balance exercises as well as strength exercises.
  • Check with your local YMCA and city recreation programs to find an exercise class that is appropriate for your health and ability.
  • Walk, run, or bike to help raise money for a special cause, once you are physically fit.

By staying physically and mentally active, senior citizens can enjoy a long and happy retirement.



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