Seniors Keep Moving to Keep Moving?

Senior exercise
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Consistent exercise can help seniors stay fit.

You have probably heard the phrase “use it or lose it.”

It tends to be used to describe learned skills or knowledge.

The axiom also applies to physical fitness.

According to a recent Senior Living article titled “Seventy (70) Is The New Forty (40) – Exercising Your Total Body Is Good News For Baby Boomers,” maintaining physical mobility and strength is easier than starting from scratch.

Seniors need resistance exercises to maintain muscle mass.
Seniors find dumbells and stretch bands convenient for resistance exercises.

Studies recently conducted at the Center for Exercise Medicine at the University of Alabama found seniors are able to achieve muscle growth and strength.

The commonality shared by those who achieved these results?

Consistency in exercising three times a week for at least 30 minutes.

Seniors who are starting or jump-starting their fitness journey should begin with a slow to moderate pace of strength and resistance training.

What might a basic strength training program for seniors include?

Warm Up.

A warm-up helps reduce the risk of injury.

A short 10-minute walk will encourage blood flow and loosening of muscles, joints, and tendons.

Push Ups.

This exercise is nice because it requires no equipment.

You can start by doing five to 10 push-ups and increase the number and reps as your strength increases.

If you are unable to perform a regular push-up, you can stand up and push away from the wall.

Even these modified push-ups will strengthen your triceps and chest muscles.

Stretch Bands. 

Having stretchy resistance bands can help seniors make their training a little more challenging.

A good exercise involves beginning with your elbows at your side and your feet shoulder-width apart.

With the bands in your hands, you will pull your hands apart in a smooth, steady motion across your chest.

A good starting number is eight repetitions.

Because these fitness bands have various resistance strengths, you should pick the band with the least amount of resistance.

To progress to greater resistance levels, you can increase your reps to 12 on the lower band first, move to the next band, and begin again with eight reps.

Repeat these steps.

Shoulder Exercise using Dumbbells.

Dumbbells come in different weights and sizes.

Typically, they are available as light as 2.5 pounds.

Seniors can begin with weights of either 2.5 or five pounds.

For this exercise, feet should be shoulder-width apart.

Hold the weights on top of your shoulders, push them up over your head, and then the weights to the top of your shoulders.

Like the resistance bands, begin with eight reps and increase the weight after doing 12 reps.

Bicep Curls using Dumb Bells.

Seniors can typically tolerate heavier weights because of the muscles used in bicep curls.

While standing straight with your feet at shoulder width apart, start by holding 10-pound dumbbells in your hand with your palms forward and your arms at your side.

Curl the weights to the top of your shoulders and then lower them to your sides with your palms continuing to face forward and your upper arms steady at your side.

Again, begin with eight reps and build to 12 reps.

Tricep Extensions.

Seniors should begin with dumbbells at 2.5 or five pounds for this exercise.

Bend forward slightly at your waist.

Your left leg should be slightly bent and also slightly in front of your bent body.

While your left forearm rests on the upper thigh or knee of your left leg, hold your dumbbell in your right hand.

Pull the dumbbell along your right side until it reaches the height of your waist, extend the right arm straight backward, and then return it to the side of your waist.

Switch your dumbbell and positioning to the other side and repeat the strength exercise for your left tricep.


Seniors or beginners can start with only their body weight.

To do the exercise, stand erect with your feet at shoulder width.

Push your buttock out and bend slightly forward at the waist as you squat down.

Do not go lower than a half-squat position.

Begin with eight reps and increase to 12 reps.


Begin with only your body weight.

Stand upright and extend your left foot forward while bending both knees simultaneously.

Go down as far as possible without overextending.

Keep your balance and return to the starting position.

Do eight to 10 reps on each leg.

After you can complete 25 reps for each leg, you can add weights to the lunges.

Although exercise is helpful, seniors should talk with their doctors prior to beginning any fitness regimen.

Also, do not believe the old “no pain, no gain” exercise philosophy.

Ascribing to it will only lead to injuries that interrupt your goal of consistent exercise.

Reference: Senior Living (March 30, 2021) “Seventy (70) Is The New Forty (40) – Exercising Your Total Body Is Good News For Baby Boomers”

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