Best Exercises for Older Adults

older adults exercising

Exercising and staying active are essential to your overall health throughout your entire life. As we get older, however, these exercises become even more essential to promote independent living with better balance, more energy, a healthier immune system, muscle strength, and even protecting mental health.

To help you stay healthy as you age, we’re looking at some of the best exercises for older adults. As always, be sure to consult a doctor before beginning any new health routine to ensure it’s safe for you to do so. Once you’ve got the green light, see which of these you’d like to integrate into your daily routine and stay healthy!

Types of Exercises for Older Adults

The best exercises for older adults are the ones that give you results without putting you at risk. Furthermore, the best exercises for people of any age are the ones you enjoy doing! When you enjoy your workout, you’re more likely to stick to it and turn it into a healthy habit. 

Another consideration to keep in mind regarding exercises for older adults are potential physical limitations and boundaries. Physical activity is only healthy so long as you’re not accidentally injuring yourself. Be sure to be realistic and respect any potential limitations you may have in order to get the most from your daily exercise routine.

So then, what are the best exercises for older adults? Some of our favorites include:

  • Resistance band workouts
  • Yoga and tai chi
  • Swimming or water aerobics
  • Going for a walk
  • Body weight workouts
  • Pilates

Resistance Band Workouts

Kicking off our list of the best exercises for older adults comes resistance band workouts. You may have seen resistance bands before, but these elastic strips of rubber add resistance to your workouts without extra stress on the body. Perfect for any age, really, resistance band exercises for older adults make ideal at-home exercises for people of any fitness level.

A few popular resistance band exercises for seniors include:

  • Leg press
  • Triceps press
  • Bicep curl

These not only serve as effective core exercises for older adults but also help increase mobility and flexibility, posture, and balance.

Yoga and Tai Chi

Yoga and tai chi are next on our list of the best exercises for older adults! Popular with people of all ages, yoga and tai chi are low-impact exercises that strengthen the core, improve balance, and build muscle strength. While they are low-impact, making it gentle on your joints, yoga and tai chi still require you to support your body weight with each pose, helping strengthen not just your muscles, but also your bones.

For those looking for modified versions of these exercises for older adults, chair yoga routines are just as effective. Combining chair yoga poses with tools like a zero gravity chair gives older adults (or people of any age) the ability to do their exercises while simultaneously using a chair that potentially helps boost their overall health in a plethora of ways.

Taking the opportunities provided by zero gravity chairs yoga routines a step further, additional functions like heated zero gravity chairs with massage features can double up as the ideal pairing for post workout recovery routines to help your body heal itself more efficiently when you’re done!

Swimming and Water Aerobics

Swimming, as well as activities like water aerobics, make any list of the best exercises for older adults as it helps with muscle strength, improves heart health, and provides natural resistance to your movements. It provides all this while putting minimal stress on your joints and bones, making it an ideal exercise for older adults living with arthritis, joint pain, or other common age-related diseases like osteoporosis.

While swimming of any kind can be a great workout, water aerobics exercises for older adults can help improve strength, flexibility, and balance; a trifecta for independent, healthy living as we continue to age.

Going for a Walk

Choosing exercises for older adults doesn’t have to require fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership. Some of the best exercises for older adults are as simple as taking a walk. Walking promotes a healthier lifestyle that serves to improve muscle health, cardiovascular health, and even boost your immune system.

Experts have agreed that people of all ages should strive for a goal of averaging 10,000 steps per day. To put it into perspective, the average adult in the United States takes only an average of 3,000-4,000 steps per day. While the higher number may not be possible for everyone, the overall goal is to simply lead a more active, less sedentary lifestyle to optimize your health. It’s important to recognize any limits, however, and to not push yourself beyond safe means.

Bodyweight Workouts

Body weight workouts are another of the best core exercises for older adults that can make a huge impact on your overall health. Muscle loss can be devastating to older adults, affecting an average of one in three people. Muscle loss can lead to hormonal imbalances, lowered metabolism, and other health concerns including the increased risk of physical injury.

Combatting muscular atrophy in older adults can be as simple as trying bodyweight workouts. No need for fancy equipment, exercises like step ups, lying hip bridges, and leg lifts can go a long way. Adding another opportunity for seated exercises for older adults using a zero gravity chair to double up the positive health benefits, other bodyweight workouts include exercises like seated twists, chair squats, and sit-to-stands. These options also double as effective core exercises for older adults, making them beneficial all around.


Last, though certainly not least, on our list of the best exercises for older adults comes pilates. Created just over a century ago, pilates are ideal exercises for older adults focusing on breathing, body alignment, concentration and core strength. They can be effective for improving balance, strength, mobility, and flexibility in older adults (as well as people of any age), making them very popular worldwide.

As you’ve learned, there are a wide variety of options when it comes to the best exercises for older adults. The key is choosing exercises that you enjoy and will actively integrate into your daily routine. As always, however, be sure to consult a medical professional before beginning any new health routine for guidance and to ensure it’s safe for you. When you’re ready, try these exercises out and see which you love the most!

Curious about the potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs and which one is best for you? Check out the Svago Newton Zero Gravity Recliner and see how it perfectly compliments any lifestyle with comfort, style, and versatility.