Staying physically active is important at every age, especially as you get older and have a higher risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis and high blood pressure. Remember that getting older doesn’t have to mean an end to being active – you can keep your body moving at any age!
Here are 10 age-friendly activities to help you stay healthy:
If you’re new to exercise, then walking is a great place to start. Walking is one of the best ways for seniors to stay fit and healthy. The amount of walking you should do each day will differ from person to person. For the general population, 10,000 steps a day is recommended for a healthy lifestyle, but you may need to set a smaller goal if you have joint pain or other health issues that make walking more difficult.
Walking promotes a healthy lifestyle, boosts energy levels and endurance, improves cardiovascular health, and strengthens your immune system. Walking can also be a great way to socialise and meet like-minded people in your local area.
Water aerobics has become a popular form of exercise among all ages, especially for seniors. Exercising in water is ideal for people who have arthritis and other forms of joint pain, as the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on your joints. Water aerobics will improve your strength and overall fitness while putting minimal stress on your body. Find a water aerobics class with classfinder.
 Mayo Clinic, Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health, 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-2004626, accessed 5/11/2021
Pilates is a great exercise for all ages as it is low-intensity and can be modified to suit all fitness levels and abilities. According to Healthline, Pilates is especially beneficial for the elderly as it can improve balance and giant, increase mobility, reduce stress, and help prevent injuries.
Racket sports like badminton are enjoyed by people of all ages. Badminton can be played on both outdoor and indoor courts making it accessible to seniors year-round. It is a low-impact sport that provides full-body exercise without the need for high-impact movements that could cause injuries. You don’t even need to buy a new racket, so go and dig that old one out from the shed.
Dancing is a fun activity that won’t feel like exercise. There are plenty of dance classes to choose from such as salsa, ballroom, ballet, and jazz. Going to dance classes can also be a great way to socialize and meet new people.
Similar to pilates, yoga is another low-intensity exercise that can increase mobility, improve flexibility, and boost your mood and overall sense of wellbeing. Some seniors may prefer chair yoga as it is a more accessible form of yoga that puts less stress on the joints and muscles.
 Healthline, The Health Benefits of Pilates for Older Adults, 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/pilates-for-seniors#benefits,accessed 5/11/2021
 Senior Lifestyle, Top 10 Chair Yoga Positions for Seniors, 2021, https://www.seniorlifestyle.com/resources/blog/infographic-top-10-chair-yoga-positions-for-seniors/, accessed 5/11/2021
Boules is another fun exercise that many seniors enjoy doing in their spare time. Boules is a low-impact activity that will get your heart pumping and maintain muscle mass all over your body. Joining a local boules team can also be a great way to increase your social interaction and spend time with friends.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that provides a full-body aerobic workout. You can join a local fitness centre with a swimming pool and attend swimming sessions year-round, or you could choose to swim outdoors if you live near the sea or a lake. Swimming is less likely to cause injury when compared to other forms of exercise, as the water provides buoyancy and reduces the amount of stress on your joints.
Gardening will keep you physically active and encourage you to spend more time outdoors in nature. Being outdoors can lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate as well as boost your overall health and wellbeing. Many people get a great sense of pride and enjoyment from maintaining their garden and watching their plants grow and flourish.
Home workout DVDs are a great option if you don’t fancy hitting a gym and would rather exercise at home. There are plenty of senior-friendly exercise videos available online and many are free to stream or download. You can choose what type of workout you want to do on a particular day and exercise at your own pace.
Physical activity can become more difficult as you get older, especially if you develop health conditions that affect your mobility. The good news is, you can keep moving at any age and there are loads of fun exercises you can try. These age-friendly activities will help you stay fit, healthy, and happy as you get older.