May 26, 2023

The 10 best exercises for seniors

Manny Cominsky

Regular exercise plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle at any age, but it becomes even more important as we grow older. For seniors, engaging in physical activity can help enhance strength, flexibility, balance, and overall well-being. With the right exercises, seniors can lead active lives, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and enjoy a better quality of life. Check out our guide below to the 10 best exercises for seniors.

Water Aerobics

Water offers a multitude of advantages for seniors’ physical well-being. Exercising in water provides a supportive and low-impact environment, reducing stress on joints and minimizing the risk of injury. Water resistance acts as a natural form of resistance training, helping to build muscle strength and endurance without straining the body. Water aerobics enhances cardiovascular fitness, improves flexibility, and increases range of motion. The buoyancy of water also alleviates pressure on the spine and joints, making it an ideal exercise for individuals with arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions. Moreover, water aerobics offers a refreshing and enjoyable experience, promoting a positive mindset and reducing stress. With classes designed for different fitness levels and the ability to tailor intensity, water aerobics is a fantastic exercise choice that allows seniors to stay active, maintain mobility, and improve overall fitness in a safe and enjoyable manner.

Water aerobics are a great low-impact exercise that help seniors stay fit and social.


Walking is a low-impact activity that can be easily incorporated into daily routines, making it suitable for individuals of all fitness levels. Walking promotes cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate, improving blood circulation, and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Moreover, it helps maintain a healthy body weight, as it burns calories and boosts metabolism. For seniors, walking enhances muscle strength, particularly in the lower body, improving mobility and reducing the risk of falls. It also supports joint health and bone density, reducing the likelihood of osteoporosis and arthritis. Additionally, walking offers mental and emotional benefits by reducing stress, enhancing mood, and promoting overall well-being. With its simplicity and versatility, walking is an excellent exercise choice for seniors to stay active, independent, and enjoy the outdoors.


Cycling is a low-impact activity that puts minimal stress on the joints, making it suitable for seniors with joint issues or limited mobility. Cycling helps improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthening the heart and improving overall endurance. It also enhances leg strength, promoting better balance and stability. Cycling is a weight-bearing exercise that can contribute to improved bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Furthermore, cycling provides an opportunity for seniors to enjoy the outdoors, engage in social interactions, and boost their mood. With adjustable resistance levels and the option of stationary or outdoor cycling, seniors can customize their workouts to meet their individual needs and preferences, making it an excellent exercise choice for promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.


Swimming is a superb exercise for seniors due to its numerous advantages, particularly for those with joint issues or limited mobility. The buoyancy of water reduces the impact on the joints, making it a low-impact activity that is gentle on the body. This makes swimming an ideal option for seniors with conditions such as arthritis or joint pain. It provides a full-body workout, engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which helps to improve strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Swimming is also an excellent exercise for improving posture and balance. Additionally, it enhances lung capacity and respiratory function, benefiting overall cardiovascular fitness. As a non-weight-bearing exercise, swimming poses a minimal risk of injury, making it suitable for seniors of varying fitness levels. Furthermore, the calming and meditative nature of being in water can have a positive impact on mental well-being, reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Swimming offers seniors a refreshing and enjoyable way to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an amazing option for seniors due to its gentle and flowing movements that promote balance, flexibility, and overall well-being. It is a low-impact exercise that puts minimal stress on joints, making it suitable for individuals with limited mobility or chronic conditions such as arthritis. Tai Chi focuses on controlled, slow movements combined with deep breathing and meditation, which helps seniors improve their balance and reduce the risk of falls. The deliberate weight shifting and coordination required in Tai Chi improve stability and enhance proprioception, leading to better overall body control and reduced risk of injury. Additionally, Tai Chi encourages deep breathing and relaxation, promoting stress reduction and mental clarity. Regular practice of Tai Chi has been shown to improve flexibility, muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness. Seniors can benefit from the social aspect of Tai Chi classes, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie. Overall, Tai Chi offers seniors a gentle and holistic exercise approach that promotes physical and mental well-being, making it an excellent choice for maintaining health and vitality.

Strength Training

Strength training holds tremendous health benefits for seniors, making it a vital component of any senior’s fitness regimen. As we age, muscle mass naturally decreases, leading to a decline in strength and functional abilities. However, engaging in regular strength training exercises can help counteract these effects and improve overall health and well-being. Strength training for seniors not only increases muscle strength but also enhances bone density, joint stability, and overall balance. This reduces the risk of falls and related injuries, which can have severe consequences for older individuals. Moreover, strength training improves metabolism, aiding in weight management and reducing the risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. By maintaining and building muscle mass, seniors can also experience improved mobility, independence, and a higher quality of life. Additionally, strength training has been shown to enhance cognitive function and improve mental health, combating age-related cognitive decline and promoting overall mental well-being. With proper guidance and a gradual progression of exercises, seniors can reap the tremendous benefits of strength training and enjoy a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Strength training is great for seniors as it helps improve muscle strength, bone density, mobility, and overall functional fitness.


Yoga offers a myriad of benefits for seniors’ physical and mental well-being. With its gentle and controlled movements, yoga helps improve flexibility, balance, and strength, enhancing overall mobility and reducing the risk of falls. The practice also promotes relaxation, stress reduction, and mental clarity, which are particularly beneficial for seniors dealing with age-related stressors. Yoga's focus on controlled breathing and mindfulness can contribute to improved respiratory function and emotional resilience. Additionally, yoga can alleviate joint pain, enhance posture, and improve circulation. It is a versatile exercise that can be modified to accommodate individual needs and abilities, making it accessible to seniors of varying fitness levels. Embracing yoga empowers seniors to nurture their mind-body connection, fostering a sense of peace, vitality, and overall well-being.

Chair Exercises

Chair exercises are amazing for seniors who struggle with limited mobility or difficulty standing for extended periods. These exercises can be performed while sitting on a chair and provide a convenient and accessible way to engage in physical activity. Chair exercises help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in a safe and controlled manner. They target major muscle groups, including the arms, legs, core, and back, promoting muscle tone and overall functional fitness. Chair exercises also enhance circulation, reduce the risk of blood clots, and improve cardiovascular health. They can aid in maintaining joint mobility and reducing stiffness. Additionally, chair exercises contribute to better posture, balance, and stability, reducing the risk of falls and related injuries. By incorporating chair exercises into their daily routine, seniors can stay active, maintain strength, and enjoy the many benefits of regular physical activity.

Chair exercises are great for seniors as they provide a safe and accessible way to improve strength, flexibility, and overall fitness while seated, accommodating varying levels of mobility.

Balance Exercises

Balance exercises are incredibly beneficial for seniors as they play a crucial role in maintaining stability, preventing falls, and improving overall mobility. As we age, our balance naturally deteriorates, making it essential to engage in specific exercises that target balance and coordination. Balance exercises strengthen the muscles in the lower body and core, which are vital for stability and proper alignment. By improving balance, seniors can confidently perform daily activities, navigate uneven surfaces, and reduce the risk of injuries. Balance exercises can be as simple as standing on one leg, practicing heel-to-toe walking, or using a balance board. These exercises help seniors develop proprioception, which is the body's ability to sense its position and movement in space. Regular practice of balance exercises enhances confidence, independence, and overall quality of life for seniors.


Stretching is a wonderful practice for seniors that offers numerous health benefits. As we age, our muscles naturally become tighter and less flexible, leading to decreased range of motion and increased risk of injury. Regular stretching exercises can counteract these effects by improving flexibility, enhancing joint mobility, and maintaining muscle elasticity. Stretching helps seniors maintain proper posture, reduce muscle tension and discomfort, and improve overall body alignment. It promotes better circulation, which aids in delivering essential nutrients to muscles and tissues. Additionally, stretching can alleviate muscle soreness, enhance relaxation, and reduce stress levels. Incorporating stretching into a daily routine helps seniors maintain an active and independent lifestyle, enabling them to move with ease, engage in physical activities, and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Engaging in regular physical activity is essential for senior citizens to maintain good health, mobility, and overall well-being. To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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