Have you taken exercise for granted and have been inactive for too long? What are your fitness goals? Where would you like to be health-wise in 6 months or 1 year from now? Beginning an exercise plan for seniors may be one of the wisest things you can do for your health. It will help you reduce your risk of chronic disease and improve your over-all health. You may lose weight, increase your energy levels, get better balance, and increase your self-esteem, and it all starts with beginning an exercise plan for seniors.
What do you like to do or dislike doing? To find an exercise routine that you will stick with it must be one that you enjoy. Let’s be honest, unless it is something that you enjoy doing, you will not keep doing it for long.
An exercise plan does not have to be overwhelming. Start small. Make one change that you can see your self doing again and again, day after day. If you have a dog, that is one place to begin. Take your dog for a walk!
Did you get a new activity tracker? Are you ready to put in 10,000 steps a day? It is a good idea to check with your doctor or healthcare provider to see if ten thousand steps are right for you. If you have been sedentary, perhaps 7,000 steps would be a better target for you.
The average North American puts in 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day. Monitor your daily steps on your activity tracker. See how many steps you walk in one day and gradually increase that amount.
Regular aerobic exercise can help you live a longer and healthier life.
A brisk walk is a great way to get aerobic exercise, but there are other popular choices of aerobic exercise that are available as well. Swimming, bicycling, and jumping rope are all great. Jogging is also great for those whose knees and feet are strong.
Strength and Resistance Training
The American Heart Association recommends strength training at least twice per week. Stronger muscles lead to a boost in your metabolic rate as well. This leads to more calories burned even when your body is at rest.
Stronger muscles help you do your normal daily activities in a much more efficient way. Such as carrying in the groceries, getting out of a chair or climbing the stairs.
You don’t need to be a professional body builder. You can start with water bottles or soup cans as weights, or even your own body’s weight.
Consistency is the Key
A little goes a long way. One half hour each day of aerobic exercise is recommended. For strength training, every other day, or twice a week on non-consecutive days, is recommended.
So, walk the dog for 15 minutes morning and evening, and a DVD or other strength training program for a half hour twice a week would be great.
I like Miranda Esmond White’s DVDs. Her stretching exercises use your own body weight for a half hour of training. Leslie Sansone’s DVDs give 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.
“Move More, Sit Less”
“Move more, sit less” is the motto of the American Heart Association. They recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise throughout each week. Aim to reduce your time spent sitting. Increased exercise is closely connected with increased sleep, memory, balance and cognitive ability.
Even If You’re Stuck in Traffic
There are some exercises you can do even if you are sitting still. If you are stuck in traffic or sitting behind your desk, you can pull in your belly button and squeeze your gluts, hold, relax and repeat. This simple exercise will help you improve your posture. You can remain in one position while during this exercise and don’t need to get down on the floor!
Do as Many as You Can
Do as many repetitions as you can while keeping “in good form”. If you are unable to keep “in good form”, take a break for a minute before beginning again.
Tai chi is a gentle form of physical activity and stretches. It is performed in flowing movements to enhance serenity. It promotes connection of the mind and body. This ancient art of Chinese self-defense is now used for gentle exercise and stress reduction.
Plan for a Fun, Active Holiday
Lying on a beach is not the only way to have a holiday. You can choose a vacation destination where there is hiking or sidewalks and mass transit to walk your way around on your vacation. It will save money, as well if you walk instead of paying for parking or taxi fares as you explore major cities or quaint villages or towns.
Wear comfortable shoes. Rolling luggage and supportive footwear can allow you to roam at the airport if you have long layovers or delays.
Don’t forget your resistance bands. They are easy to pack and will give you the opportunity to do strength training even if you can’t find a gym.
What’s the Average?
On average, more than half new exercisers quit their exercise plan and go back to their sofas within 6 weeks! That is why I said at the beginning. It is necessary to do some type of exercise that you enjoy doing.
If you have a workout buddy, it will help as well. If you know someone is standing at your door to go for your morning walk, it will be an additional incentive for you to roll out of bed in the morning and be ready to go!
Just Look at Today
If you set too high an expectation for yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure. A good workout on one day, will not create a transformed body. It takes daily and weekly and monthly and yearly consistency.
Rather than looking at the large picture, in fitness, I like to look just at today.
Today, I want to put in “x” amount of time on my exercise bike, or today, I will take this route on my daily walk. Perhaps I want to increase the amount of weight I lift. (In a carefully measured way.)
Am I able to exercise today? Surely, I can find time somewhere in a busy schedule for exercise. Usually the best place to put in that workout is first thing in the morning.
An Exercise Plan for Seniors
Eat well and stay active. Anti-aging is not a quick fix that you can buy in a bottle or you can find by applying a cream. Eating a variety of nutritious foods, practicing portion control and staying active every day, will go a long way in staying healthy.
Today is a Good Time to Begin
It is never too early to start, and it is never to late! Take advantage of your golden opportunities to add some exercise to your daily life. Some like to join a gym or an exercise group. I got some exercise equipment and put in my home. Beginning an exercise plan for seniors is a great way to go!
Please Leave a Comment
I would love to hear from you. What kind of exercise do you like to do? How do you keep going if you get bored or tired of your routine?
12 thoughts on “An Exercise Plan for Seniors to Keep Moving”
First I want to say that you have a very clean and appealing website. The topic is great, easy to read, and not guilt building. Being a senior that is overweight and working on exercising more it was a good motivator. I wish I had more time to read some of the other articles.
I cut my walking from 5 miles to 2 miles a day about six months ago and I can really tell that it is hurting me. My wife just passed away Monday and I am trying to get going again. I am starting by adding one-mile walking and 5 miles on my bike.
Your topic is needed now more than ever. So many people are staying home and not even getting the exercise of walking around the store.
Hi Bruce, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a spouse at any time can be difficult, and during these trying times, it does not get easier, I am sure.
I was inspired to start this website as an overweight senior with mobility issues. I live in a climate where it is difficult for me to go outside in the winter. During last summer I lost a considerable amount of weight. Not so much during the winter and now I am working on weight loss again this summer. I try to get in 6,000 steps a day and am careful what I eat.
There is no point to pass out guilt or blame, we are all trying to do the best that we know. A lot of times, we just don’t know what works best for us. We are each different, but most of us know that moving more and eating in a healthy way is usually the best way to go.
All the best to you in the days ahead.
Currently I walk about 6,000 steps a day but the current pandemic is making more difficult since I only leave my house for necessities and work. I am an essential worker.
I’ve been looking for a workout routine I can stick to but I get bored easily.
I like the sit down tuck, I will try that. I used to do tai chi as well, I might just take that up again.
Thanks for all the great tips. Great post!
Hi Margarette and thanks for stopping by with a comment! If you are an essential worker you probably get plenty of steps in while you are on the job. Thank you for your service!
Exercise is a stress reliever, and we can use stress relief in these times!
I would like to try tai chi for myself. I have heard so much good about it. I have a friend who is over 70 and she has done tai chi on a regular basis. She concentrates on keeping up a very healthy lifestyle and seems quite young for her age.
She has been one of the great examples in my life, even after a heart attack, she put in daily effort and is now able, to live a healthy life that some younger than her would envy.
Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your article as it contains useful information’s one can hold on to. I find this really fascinating and i will be shring this with some persons who will find it very helpful to them. Thanks for sharing
Hi Philebur, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Keep moving and exercise those joints and muscles! As they say, if you don’t use it, you lose it! There are so many ways to keep busy and active even if you go on a holiday. And it sounds like travel will be opening up once again. So if you are packing a suitcase, make room for those resistance bands!
All the best
Hello there, thanks for this very inspiring post, this post is really timely for me, because for a long time I have been very lazy to do anything exercise, maybe because my exercise plans are too elaborate and I just get overwhelmed by the thought. But now I have learned to start small, one step at a time, and it feels so good to know I can exercise from any posture even sitting down. I think I’ll start from there lol. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Jomata, and thanks for stopping by with a comment! Yes there are better things to be than a couch potato! A friend of mind is in her 80’s. Her health is not what it used to be, but she says it is important for her to just get up and wash the dishes because she knows that she needs the exercise.
So yes, start small, and make it something you would like to get done every day. I find it works best for me to schedule a time during the day. This is my time to take a walk, or do my exercise DVD, or use the treadmill. I know a number of people who get up a bit earlier each morning to get in their much needed exercise.
If you check on YouTube, you will find a number of chair exercises or chair Pilates or chair yoga.
Hello dear, trust me, I have really always wanted to keep in shape, but most of the time picking up exercise plans can be difficult. Either you have other things scheduled or you might be too tired to carry out exercise plan… Exercising is very necessary for the body in so many ways. It’s necessary to try as much as we can to take off and make an exercise plan.
Thanks for sharing
Hi Evans, Statistics show that those who eat healthy and are active often live longer more fulfilling lives. It depends on our priorities as to what we get done. Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. You don’t have to make a big exercise plan, just stay active and enjoy life.
I know that finding a good article does not come by so easily so i must commend your effort in creating such a beautiful website and writing an article to help others with useful information like this.
As one tends to grow old the bones tends to get weaker hence the need for exercise. Exercise helps in the following: Help you control your weight,Reduce your risk of heart diseases,Help your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels,Help you quit smoking,Improve your mental health and mood,Help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age.
Hi and thanks for stopping by with a comment! WOW, you hit the nail right on the head! You made a good list of all the good things that exercise does for us. In this day and age when we are cooped up inside, it is good to be able to get some exercise which produces those feel good endorphins to improve our mood. Yes exercise is a good all around way to help us feel healthy.