For A Great Senior Workout: Include Exercises for Seniors with Strength Training

A Senior Workout should start slowly with exercises that match your aging parents recent activity levels. Those moderately active can begin with relatively moderate-intensity aerobic activity. They should avoid vigorous intensity activities, such as shoveling snow or running. Senior adults with a low level of fitness can begin with light senior exercises.

The Center for Disease Control recommendations for a senior exercise program says that

"older adults need at least -- walking 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and

weight training: muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms)".

Try Bicep Curls as part of an Upper Body Workout.


Getting off to a Good Start

First, think about duration, intensity and frequency.

Start slowly. If your mother needs to start with 5 minutes of exercise -- so be it. Increase the minutes (duration) by one minute per week.

The intensity of the exercise (how hard she is working) should be determined by listening to her AND her doctor.

Frequency is the key to developing senior fitness. The goal is not to work to complete exhaustion once a month. But developing a routine that can be sustained several times a week.

Scientific research has shown that increasing low intensity exercise produces a very low risk of injury to the heart of muscle skeletal system. A light- to moderate–intensity activity, such as 5 to 15 minutes of walking per session, 2 to 3 times a week.

Consider Your Parent's Age

The amount of time required to adapt to a new level of activity probably depends on age. Older adults require more time to adapt to a new level of activity, in the range of 2 to 4 weeks.

Gage their Level of Fitness

Less fit adults are at higher risk of injury when doing a given amount of activity, compared to fitter adults. Slower rates of increase over time may reduce injury risk.

Pay special attention if your parents are overweight. There is already more strain on the heart so that they would need to progress at a much slower rate.

Consider their Prior Experience

Review these conditions with your aging parents before they begin their senior workout program.

They need to remember how their bodies have adjusted to exercise before. Start a new exercise program at a slower rate if you've had any challenges before.

Before starting a new exercise program, you must make sure your aging parents will be safe. Follow these safety rules for exercising from the National Institutes of Health.

Important Safety Tips for a Senior Workout

  • Wait at least 2 hours after you eat to start your exercise routine.
  • Don't exercise if you have a fever. Exercise increases your core body temperature - adding that rise to a pre-existing fever could prove dangerous.
  • Do not exercise if you have high blood pressure and have not consulted your doctor to suggest your limits.
  • If your knee or elbow or ankle is swollen, painful and warm to the touch DON'T exercise, see a doctor. forget the "no pain no gain" slogan. Your father does not want to do permanent damage at this stage.
  • If you have osteoporosis, talk to your doctor about any exercises that would be safe. Exercise that involves stretching or flexing the spine should be approved directly by your doctor.
  • Do not exercise if you develop a new pain or symptom. Swelling, shortness of breath, extreme tiredness and you should get your parents to the doctor.


Bicep Curls

Tricep Extensions

Seated Chest Press

Shoulder Joint Flexibility

Lateral Shoulder Strengthening

Senior Exercise Routines: Warm-up, Balance, Upper and Lower

From Senior Workout to Talk Early Talk Often With Aging Parents Home Page

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.