What Exercises Are Best for Senior’s Optimal Health and Longevity?

It is crucial to participate in sports and exercises to achieve fitness at any age, but it is urgent for seniors. The importance of exercise increases during old age due to the lack of physical activities in daily life. An NHS published report has shown that people over the age of 65 spend at least 10 hours of their days sitting or lying on their beds. That can cause various problems. Lack of mobility causes them pain even in simple daily routines like going to the shop.

Researchers and scientists have conducted various experiments to conclude that the elderly doing regular exercises have a longer lifespan than some older people. They believe that sports activities are the ultimate medicine they need.

As you know, old age is one of the most sensitive periods in a person’s life, and most seniors get depressed at this age, and their behaviours with those around them change. Exercise prevents premature aging in people, and if you start exercising at a younger age, you will have a more comfortable aging period. Less active people are more likely to get sick, and as you know, moving is challenging and sometimes exhausting in old age.

Expert’s Suggestions

The NHS advises seniors to exercise every day. The best exercise for the elderly in old and middle age is aerobics, including all the body’s appropriate stretching movements. This exercise is useful for seniors’ cardiovascular system, nervous, and mental states. Anaerobic exercise can strengthen specific muscle groups and joints, but the most commonly recommended training for the elderly is aerobic exercise.

Seniors exercising yoga in a group. An old lady is smiling

The minimum duration of doing exercises during a week has to be two days a week, focusing on improving balance, strength, and flexibility. The beginning sessions of your exercise program should start with light activities. These activities do not increase heart rate, but they are suitable to break the habit of sitting down with no physical activity. These activities include walking around the home, dusting the house, gardening in the yard, etc. let’s note that any physical activity is better than not doing any physical activity.

Moderate Exercises

There are also moderate exercises that seniors can benefit from. Moderate activities refer to the person’s activities while keeping a conversation. These exercises can increase your heartbeat and breathing rate. Some of these exercises are suitable for the elderly, which are as follows:

  • Cycling
  • Volleyball
  • Walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Tennis

Vigorous Exercises

There are some vigorous exercises that are suitable for the elderly who are relatively active. Seniors can do 75 minutes of these exercises instead of 150 minutes of moderate exercises each week. Yet some of the moderate activities can be done as vigorous exercises. For instance, fast cycling or cycling on a hill is an active exercise. Some of the vigorous exercises are as follows:

  • Tennis
  • Aerobics
  • Running/Jogging
  • Fast swimming
  • Hiking
  • Dancing

The elderly can choose the type of exercise they wish according to their physical tolerance. Some of the activities which are suitable for the elderly are as follows:


A group of old women are in the pool exercising,

Swimming is one of the exercises that challenge all parts of the body. Most people over the age of 65 develop osteoporosis. Therefore, any wrong move may cause a broken bone in the elderly. According to the explanations given, swimming is one of the most suitable exercises for the elderly because it strengthens muscles and bones, improves the circulatory system and the respiratory system’s function. Another benefit of swimming for the elderly is the increased balance in them. There is no risk of falling in this sport, and water is refreshing and improves the quality of life of the elderly.

Swimming burns a lot of calories and increases muscle mass. It is also suitable for the heart and lungs since it makes them pump more oxygen. The elderly who are suffering from cardiovascular issues can benefit from swimming.

Water Sports

In addition to swimming, many exercises can be practiced in the pool. Water exercise benefits several diseases such as osteoarthritis, asthma, and other respiratory disorders. It is the best exercise option for the elderly because water increases muscle resistance. 

If you are interested in water sports, be sure to visit the pools and ask about coaches, classes, and team sports available to you. And if you do not have a swimming experience, do not despair! The most practical and accessible exercise for the elderly in the water is walking in the shallow part of the pool, which has numerous benefits for the elderly.


A happy senior couple holding their bicycle in a park.

Cycling is like running in terms of physical activity! With the difference that it is better for the joints! And as usual, you should consult your nurse to get started. Suppose you have interests and skills in this sport. Be sure to include it in your work plan or that of your loved ones! Make sure you have the right equipment to prevent injury.

Cycling is another sport that challenges all parts of the body. This sport reduces the risk of chronic diseases and is the best way to move around the house or go shopping. The elderly can enjoy this activity, but consider using special bikes designed for the elderly. Some seniors cannot leave the house due to some conditions and can benefit from this activity using a stationary bike. 


Most elderly have played football in their younger years but haven’t played for several years now. Walking football is one of the best exercises for seniors and the essential feature of it is that there is no need for running. Walking football has been recognized as a sport since 2011, and it is considered an excellent cardiovascular workout since it doesn’t have any risks for the heart.

More Resources: What Are the Best Exercise Equipment for Seniors


Squash is a racket sport played as a single (2 players) and doubles (4 players) on a field surrounded by glass walls. The fact that the walls are glass makes it possible for spectators to watch the game. This sport allows older adults to burn 500 calories an hour and reduce type 2 diabetes risk. that makes it one of the best exercises for seniors.


An old man is playing golf.

This game is highly engaging; it offers the most negligible impact and physical training and an excellent exercise for the mind, harmonizing the body and maintaining accuracy and balance. It calms the mind and hearts of the elderly and makes them walk from one place to another to compete individually or with friends and family. 

If you do not have a problem with golf’s financial and time-consuming nature, give it a try.

Shooting and Archery

It sounds a bit unusual, but shooting is a fabulous sport and exercise for the seniors! And it can show the latent abilities of the elderly, including strength, accuracy, and flexibility! In most cases, shooting happens in good weather and refreshing environments, such as forests and mountains. Finding the right equipment, space, and coach is important because one wrong move can cause irreparable danger! The elderly can enjoy this exciting challenge and record lasting moments by observing the safety tips and gaining the necessary skills!


An old athlete man is running up on a hill.

Sometimes it is just possible to run with your doctor’s green light since this is not suitable for some older people due to its pressure on their heart and joints! But if you are an energetic person, do not miss the benefits of running, including strengthening the body’s muscles, being in nature, and socializing with other people! Also, use appropriate sneakers and avoid running at very high or low temperatures! Walking in the pool is the easiest thing to do here; even if you cannot run, you can walk and do light stretching exercises!

Final Words

Regular exercise can provide numerous benefits for seniors, such as improving cardiovascular health, increasing muscle strength and flexibility, reducing the risk of falls, and enhancing cognitive function. Exercise can also help manage chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure and improve overall mood and well-being.


More Resources:

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2 years ago

Exercise is an important part of life, as it improves both physical and mental health. But when you stop working out for an extended period, everything gets messed up. The past two years had been awful, especially for my mom. She has diabetes and high blood pressure; before the pandemic, she used to go to the swimming pool three times a week. But since 2020, she hasn’t been active at all. We got a stationary bike, but it gave her knee pain. With the help of her physiotherapist, everything got better, although she has lost all hope at this point. 

2 years ago

I’ve been doing water aerobics for about two years now. I don’t know if I can even name all of its positive effects on my lifestyle. It keeps me healthy, keeps me in shape, and is a great energy source for me. I always feel refreshed after exercising. And I think we don’t really think about water aerobics as a separate form of exercise. But the truth is, once you get in the water and do the exercises, you feel so good you never want to come out and do the exercises anywhere on the land.

Reply to  Pamela
2 years ago

Water aerobics does magic for seniors for sure. I know my aunt enjoys her occasional water aerobics sessions. It helps build up her self-esteem too.

2 years ago

I like walking! No matter it is summer or winter, I go walking each day for at least 2 hours. It is my way to keep myself fresh all day long.

2 years ago

When I was younger, I loved tennis. But due to tensions in my wrists, I couldn’t play tennis anymore. These days I changed my routine exercise and go to the swimming pool. I think if you want to find a fun and helpful sport, you can try swimming. In this way, you can refresh your moods and also boost your muscles. 

2 years ago

As a senior, swimming is an ideal workout because it doesn’t have any impacts and injuries. After all, the water will bear much of our weight and reduce the strain on our joints. Although getting into a pool could be frightening for those with mobility problems, it’s incredibly beneficial for heart and mental health and improves muscles.

2 years ago

Dancing is what makes me alive! It cheers me up and circulates blood in my body. No matter if I am sad or depressed, dancing does magic. As soon as I hear the song and move my body, I become the happiest person in the entire world.

Reply to  Felix
2 years ago

Some exercises like dancing and swimming seem to take you to another world, detaching you from all the hustles and bustles of daily life and its problems. They’re immensely refreshing and mood-boosting, so lucky you!

2 years ago

Well, I think the best exercises are those that will get you out of your comfort zone.
So think about any weaknesses and try to work to improve those.
If possible, do some yoga or Pilates. People get great results from this.
A cardio option is power walking. When your feet make contact with the ground, the impact sends vibrations through your skeletal system. This stimulates your body to deposit minerals in your bones, keeping them strong.
Using an elliptical or bike in a gym will not generate this impact. There is fresh air and sunshine outside too!