4 Top Senior Exercises for Improving Health and Living Longer

There are a lot of different senior exercises that you can find in books and all over the web. What’s more interesting to me is the different senior exercise categories. I can always learn what particular exercise is best for me as long as I am including the major categories to insure my senior exercise program is well -rounded. 

I have a real awesome kettlebell training series. My favorite DVD is all about STRETCHING – from my head to my toes. If you want to stay real limber and be active all your life, develop a good daily stretching program. You will see almost immediate results. 

But I can’t forget the other senior exercises either – Strength, Balance and Endurance. The following article is a good synopsis of what I call the 4 main senior exercise categories.  How do you feel about these 4? Please let me know if you have additional information. I am not an expert. But I have a passion for staying fit and helping others do the same. 

Stephen Bolin, Fit in My 50’s

4 Best Exercises for Older Adults – Senior Living – About.com
Exercise improves health and increases longevitiy. To get started, here are the 4 best senior exercises for older adults.

For older adults and seniors who want to stay healthy and independent, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend four types of exercises:

These four categories cover it all. I encourage you to look for different exercises that you like in each of these 4 categories.

    • Strength exercises build older adult muscles and increase your metabolism, which helps to keep your weight and blood sugar in check.
    • Balance exercises build leg muscles, and this helps to prevent falls. According to the NIH, U.S. hospitals have 300,000 admissions for broken hips each year, many of them seniors, and falling is often the cause of those fractures.If you are an older adult, balance exercises will help you avoid problems ar you get older.And if you are a senior, balance exercises can help you stay independent by helping you avoid the disabilities that could result from falling. 
    • Stretching exercises can give you more freedom of movement, which will allow you to be more active during your senior years. Stretching exercises alone will not improve your endurance or strength.
    • Endurance exercises are any activity—walking, jogging, swimming, biking, even raking leaves—that increases your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time. Build up your endurance gradually, starting with as little as 5 minutes of endurance activities at a time.
    • Senior Exercise Overview


      George Burns (who lived to be 100) used to say, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!” It’s true that some individuals are blessed with good genes, and no matter how many unhealthy lifestyle habits they have, they’re going to live into old age. But for the rest of us who might be concerned with quality of life as we age,exercise is one of the keys. Is it ever too late to start? Research proves it’s not. In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits of exercising into old age and then give you some tips on how to get started no matter how old you are.

      The aging population

      According to the American College of Sports Medicine, by the year 2030, the number of individuals in the United States 65 years and over will reach 70 million, and people 85 years and older will be the fastest growing segment of the population. Some of you may already be there, while others may be approaching. But whatever your age, exercise can help. Below is a description of what happens to our bodies as we age and how exercise can make all the difference.

      What happens to muscles as we age?

      Muscle mass decreases as we age. Beginning in the fourth decade of life, adults lose 3%-5% of muscle mass per decade, and the decline increases to 1%-2% per year after age 50. Muscle keeps us strong, it burns calories and helps us maintain our weight, and it contributes to balance and bone strength. Without it, we can lose our independence and our mobility.

      Is it ever too late to build muscle?

      The good news is that muscle mass can increase at any age in response to senior exercise. In an important study of weight lifting and older adults conducted with 100 male and female residents of a nursing home in Boston (age range: 72 to 98 years of age; average age 87), subjects lifted weights with their legs three times a week for 10 weeks. At the end of the study, there was an increase in thigh mass of 2.7%, walking speed increased 12%, and leg strength increased a whopping 113%! In a similar study of adults 65-79 years old, subjects who lifted weights three times a week for three months increased their walking endurance by 38% (from 25 minutes to 34 minutes) without appreciable increases in mass. Ida Weiss, a 91-year-old participant in the Boston study, had the following to say after the study, “It’s very beneficial for me. Things that I couldn’t do when I came here, I can do now. I didn’t think that I was going to live anymore, but I feel different now.”

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