Aging doesn’t necessarily mean a decline into frailty. If we maintain a healthy lifestyle and get enough exercise, we can stay fit and active until well into our senior years. The good news is that it’s never too late to start. Need a little help? Our top picks for the best exercise equipment for seniors will give you a head start.
We’ve stuck to low-impact options that are easy for beginners and intermediate exercisers to use. Our options include equipment that will continue to be useful as your fitness levels advance.
If you don't want to wait for your equipment to arrive before getting started, that's no problem. We’ve added a section at the end on how to improve your fitness by walking. Still not satisfied? We’ve also added a rundown of the best exercises for strength training, balance, and cardiovascular health.
- What Exercise Equipment Do You Need To Stay Fit?
- 1. Walking Shoes (For Men)
- 2. Walking Shoes For Women
- 3. Dumbbells
- 4. Kettlebell
- 5. Under-Desk Elliptical
- 6. Folding Exercise Bike
- 7. Low-Impact Treadmill
- 8. Rowing Machine
- 9. Exercise Ball
- 10. Foam Roller
- 11. Resistance Bands
- How Often Should Seniors Workout? And Why Do Seniors Need Exercise?
- What Are the Best Strength Training Exercises for Seniors?
- What Are the Best Balance Exercises for Seniors?
- Are Exercises Safe for Those with Arthritis?
- What Are Other Good Aerobic Exercises for Seniors?
- Summing Up
What Exercise Equipment Do You Need To Stay Fit?
|Walking Shoes (For Men)
|Walking Shoes For Women
|Folding Exercise Bike
Why Are These Good For Men?
A pleasant walk after a meal settles your stomach and easily allows you to knock out your daily exercise. Comfortable shoes are an essential part of the process. Add in memory foam insoles, and you're onto a winner. Finally, round things off with a rubber sole for excellent traction on slippery services.
As you age you find that some of the activities you used to enjoy are no longer possible. Even running becomes more likely to cause an injury than to promote fitness!
Walking regularly for at least 3o minutes every day is arguably the best exercise you can get! And it doesn't need to be a chore. With a comfortable pair of low impact walking shoes you'll feel fitter, sleep better, have better cardiovasuclar health and could keep the weight down as well.
Skechers Men's Afterburn Sneakers
- Durable and breathable
- Thick rubber sole
- Excellent traction
- Padded collar to support the ankle
- Memory foam insole
- Memory foam insole only covers part of the sole
- Not ideal for longer hikes
Comfortable and stylish, Sketchers are comfortable low impact walking shoes that will make walking enjoyable again!
Why Are These Good For Women?
Senior ladies looking for an athletic shoe often battle to find the right balance between comfort and style.
A good pair of walking shoes will have you wanting to get out of the house and burn some calories while enjoying a nice walk with your partner.
As seniors we are not looking to run marathons. We need stylish comfortable walking shoes for the treadmill or the streets and parks in our neighborhood.
We took the Adidas Cloadfoam Walking Shoes for a “road” test and found they lived up to the great reviews they have been receiving from hundreds of happy customers. They not only look stylish, they are lightweight and will have you thinking you're walking on air.
Pro Tip: We recommend you order a 1/2 size smaller than you normally wear due to the shoes not having a tongue
Adidas Cloadfoam Walking Shoes
- A great, streamlined look
- Excellent traction
- Narrower fit for women
- Not ideal for all-terrain use
Overall, the Adidas Cloudfoam shoes are sporty and keep your feet feeling cool. They’re so comfortable; you'll feel as though you're walking on clouds. Another bonus is that the fit specifically tailors to fit a woman's smaller foot.
Why Are Dumbbells Good For Seniors?
Weight training is great for people of all ages. However, as you age, the type of weights you use need to change. Forget about bench pressing your own body weight. As a senior one of the best things you can do is pick up a pair of lightweight dumbbells.
By purchasing a set of hand held dumbbells you can start low and change up if, and when you want. Dumbbells are a great chouce if your fingers are stiff because there are no nuts and bolts to adjust and the neoprene covering allows you to maintain a firm grip on the weights while working out.
AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights
- Convenient weight range
- Comes with weight stand
- Neoprene coating for easy gripping
- Big grip won’t work for small hands
Overall, this set gives you three sets of weights. These weights work well for resistance training and are ideal if you’re building muscle strength and tone.
Why Kettlebells Are Great Exercise for Seniors?
The Kettlebell is considered by many as an all-in-one or “total body conditioning” piece of equipment. There are entire groups of people who exclusively use these weights to tone, strengthen, and increase fitness levels.
Exercises with the use of kettlebells offer several significant benefits that not many other options can rival. It enhances agility, strength, balance, and endurance. It also challenges the circulatory and muscular systems through comprehensive, intentional body movements.
Bones weaken, and muscles tend to decrease in size due to old age. A kettlebell can help you develop bone mineral density and muscle mass simultaneously. As seniors, you may even avoid falls or fractures if you are diligent about appropriate kettlebell exercises because your bones and muscles continually develop as you hone your abilities.
Aside from the strengthening aspects, kettlebells also do wonders to improve overall posture. Poor posture is prevalent among the elderly as spines curve naturally, but this limits strength, impairs balance, and may even hinder breathing as it puts a strain on the lungs. Putting some weight in your hand through the use of kettle bells slowly corrects your posture and allows you to stand taller as your body corrects itself.
If you have heart or respiratory health issues, you may also want to incorporate kettlebell exercise into your regular exercise routine. The movement is proven to improve heart and respiratory functions, among other benefits. It can also raise the blood oxygen and heart rate to a level that will naturally ignite other healing processes in the body.
Bionic Body Soft Kettlebell with Handle (Editors Choice)
- 10 lbs. to 40 lbs.
- Sturdy but soft for safety
- Easy to see the weight measurements
- Durable 2 year warranty
- Flat, solid base
This kettle bell is made from soft materials as opposed to a lot of other kettle bells that are made from iron making it a lot safer to use. I has a range of weights for various work out including cross-training. It has a 2 year warranty and is great if you have limited room in your home.
Why An Under-Desk Elliptical Is Good Exercise for A Senior
An under-desk elliptical is a tool that provides many benefits without tiring you out too much. The device increases your activity level exponentially and reduces the risks associated with unhealthy, sedentary life. It is modest and hassle-free but extremely effective.
Unlike other exercise equipment, like treadmills and bikes, under-desk ellipticals don't place undue pressure on the joints. The pedal motion of an elliptical trainer is smooth, which makes this type of exercise low impact and easy to pick up anytime.
Most under-desk ellipticals have multiple levels of resistance available, which means that you can adjust the intensity of your exercise based on your assessment, goal, or feeling on the day. If you think you have the strength to intensify your workouts, all you need to do is adjust the resistance levels.
The elliptical motion will help you burn more calories and even tone your legs if you are diligent about your sessions. You may want to decrease the resistance levels if you go through a patch of illness or find yourself taking strain. Once you’re safe and confident about avoiding possible injuries, you can gradually increase the intensity of your under-desk elliptical workout again.
One final benefit of these under-desk ellipticals for seniors is that you can use some models while you're in a seating or standing position. It only applies to specific equipment brands that feature smart designs with modifiable angle pedals.
The equipment is generally quite versatile, and you can enjoy other activities or even work while keeping yourself fit and healthy.
Cubii Jr. – Seated Under-Desk Elliptical
- Ergonomic design
- Low impact
- Eight different settings to work through
- Easy to use and assemble
- Check your statistics via the Bluetooth app
- Slides on the floor if there’s no rug
- It’s easy to overdo the exercise the first few times
If you have mobility issues or are stuck behind a desk all day, this trainer helps you get a quick and easy workout. It’s not a full-body workout, so you should consider doing a few standing pushups or resistance band exercises too.
Why A Folding Exercise Bike Is A Good Piece Of Equipment for Seniors
If you are a senior who has just returned to a regular exercise routine, a folding exercise bike is ideal for keeping you motivated. These folding bikes are an excellent workout machine for the elderly because it promotes low-impact activities.
It is perfect to use if you are looking for easy cardio burns. By lowering the bike's setting, you can still boost your pulse rate to a safe level. It will help you burn calories and give both your heart and lungs an amazing workout without placing strain on the rest of your body.
The device also minimizes the overall stress on your joints.
Since the bike is collapsible, you won't need to worry about the equipment taking up too much space in your home or office. Aside from a small footprint, most folding exercise bikes are also quite lightweight and easily shifted.
It is great for seniors as you can use the machine anywhere on your property and quickly change locations when the mood strikes. Whether you want to bathe in the sun while exercising or transport it outside the city, you won't have a problem with its portable design.
Most folding exercise bikes are also cheaper than traditional heavyweight biking machines. Collapsible exercise bikes use less metal and other heavy materials. If you are looking for a budget option, this exercising equipment is certainly great value for the results you are sure to achieve.
Exerpeutic Smart Foldable Bike
- Wheels to make it easy to move
- Large LCD display and font
- Syncs with a free fitness app
- Eight settings
- Resistance bands to work out your arms
- No space to hold a book or tablet while riding
- Requires assembly
This foldable bike is easy to move after your workout because of the wheels. The seat is comfortable, and the display is easy to read. If you want a low-impact, easy way to zone out, this is a great place to start.
Why A Low Impact Treadmill Is A Great Exercise for Seniors
Low-impact treadmills are designed with the safety of seniors in mind. For example, you can find low-impact treadmills that have long handles for extra support. You can also find some units with padded decks for some easy sessions of low-impact running.
Treadmill exercises have plenty of benefits for the elderly, but the most important aspect is that it encourages walking safely and in all kinds of weather. Walking on a treadmill can improve many areas of a senior's health, including blood circulation, metabolism, cardiovascular functions, and even mental acuity.
Treadmill walks also reduce the tension in the muscles, which then relaxes the mind and the body. All these physical and mental health benefits mean that treadmill walking promotes anti-aging among all treadmill users, regardless of age.
Many reports also claim that treadmill use improves the sleeping habits of older adults. If you are in your senior years, a treadmill is an excellent tool for strengthening your body and staying youthful.
A low-impact treadmill is also a fantastic choice for seniors who are trying to recover from grave health conditions or accidents that have disabled them in some way. With proper and consistent support, a treadmill can help an individual re-learn and improve their ability to walk.
The machine also strengthens the entire body because of the combination of physical and mental health benefits.
ANCHEER Folding Treadmill
- Low impact thanks to the in-built shock absorption system
- Low maintenance
- Wheeled design for easy storage
- 12 programs and manual mode
- Sells out fast
Overall, this reliable treadmill allows you to improve your fitness at your own pace. Will you use all 12 programs? Maybe not, but it’s fun to try.
Why A Rowing Machine Is Good for Seniors
Many people may think that indoor rowing is only suitable for young men and women, but this kind of motion provides low-impact workouts that are ideal for an aging body, too. Indoor rowing is an excellent activity for people in their late 40s, 50s, 60s, and even older.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that seniors who use rowing machines effectively build physical stamina, inspire bone growth, and boost bone mineral density. It is primarily because the exercise reaches nearly all the body's muscle groups at once. Thanks to the rhythm of the strokes achieved from using a rowing machine, this workout engages the arms, shoulders, legs, back, chest, and even abdominal muscles in one fluid motion after the other.
Like the low-impact treadmill and folding exercise bike, you can also adjust the rowing machine's settings based on your ability or mood. If you are a beginner who is still getting used to the flow of the indoor rowing machine, it may help be wiser to build your workout plan in stages. Don't push yourself too hard in the beginning as excessive use of force may easily cause back pains and other joint problems.
Before starting your rowing workout, make sure that you consult a qualified medical professional to assess your physical capacity and advise you of movements to avoid.
Pooboo Magnetic/ Water Rowing Machine
- Feels like you’re rowing a boat, with water sloshing sounds too
- Full-body cardio workout
- Low impact
- Adjust the resistance level by adding water to the tank
- The water tank makes it bulky
- Display features are limited
This rowing machine is versatile and provides you with many resistance levels. It’s ideal for building up your cardiovascular fitness. You should look for something else if you have problems with your hips, however.
Why Is An Exercise Ball Good for Seniors?
Also known as Swiss balls, physio balls, fit balls, or stability balls, these huge vinyl balls are popular with all age groups, but especially with seniors. You may use these large orbs to stretch out your body, strengthen your bones, tone muscle, and enhance your balance.
It is specifically suitable for seniors because it enables slow and steady movement that helps to improve posture and quickly alleviates body pain. These fun exercise balls also keep your joints functioning optimally as it lowers the impact of the strengthening activities.
Exercise balls may easily improve back and spine health because the ball can support your lower back whenever you exercise. Many chiropractors and physical therapists recommend using these exercise balls in conjunction with other types of workouts because of this support function.
Improved flexibility reduces your risks of injury and gives your vitality a boost. If you use the ball daily to stretch and warm up your muscles, the ball will undoubtedly improve your strength and flexibility.
Exercise balls can also strengthen your core as you can carry out rows, bicep curls, dumbbell presses, and a myriad of other valuable exercises while using a stability device.
Like other exercise equipment for seniors, we suggest planning workouts in stages to avoid excessive strain on the muscles or bones.
Urbnfit Exercise Ball
- Comes with a pump for easy inflation
- Easy to store
- Has a set of exercises that you can perform
- Be careful while you’re learning to use it
This exercise ball provides a reliable option for improving your core strength. It won't help you lose weight, but it will improve your posture. Improved posture is helpful in pain management.
Why A Foam Roller is Good for Seniors
A foam roller, also known as a foam ball, is a handy piece of self-massaging equipment. When using a foam roller, your body weight rolls onto different points, which press into the muscles using your mass.
Foam rollers are an excellent alternative to a massage, loosening muscle fibers through slow, steady movements. A foam roller also relieves the pressure on your joints near the massaged tendons.
The equipment is ideal for a senior’s posture, allowing you to stretch your shoulders and chest. You can correct your posture by putting the roller behind your lower back and arching your back over it, with your hands supporting your head, for about a minute.
This exercise equipment also caters to quicker muscle recovery, helping return tired and stretched muscles to normal. If you’re a senior who is looking to improve the elasticity and strength of your muscles, a foam roller is an exceptionally useful device with low impact.
It enables normal day-to-day function in the whole body since it relieves contractions and reduces pain.
Day 1 Fitness High-Density Muscle Foam Rollers
- Extremely effective
- Useful for dispersing lactic acid after a workout
- Eases tight muscles
- Can be used on the bed or the floor
- This model is quite firm
You should experience some discomfort when first using the roller, as you would with a massage. Persevere, if possible, because it is highly effective. It’s best to use it on the floor. If you can’t get down onto the floor, you can use it on your bed instead.
Why Are Resistance Bands Good for Seniors?
A resistance band is a piece of latex that strengthens muscles, bones, and joints. Regardless of your fitness level and age, you can benefit from using resistance bands to enhance the results of your exercise regime. It’s an excellent choice for seniors because there are plenty of exercises that you can do with the resistance band while seated.
Most seniors deal with back and neck pain daily, but this device can alleviate your discomfort after a stretching routine. The exercising tool provides a lot of upper body relief, but it also gently elongates your limbs and loosens muscle tension.
The resistance band also protects your bones as stretching can support your bone density by building more cells. Denser bones prevent osteoporosis, which is common in our later years.
The device is also great for muscle-related injuries. Unlike weights, resistance bands don’t apply pressure to your joints while you stretch.
Another benefit of a resistance band for seniors is its portability. It is extremely lightweight and takes up little space. It is also easy to store, and you can put it in your hand luggage when traveling or take it for a stretch after your Tai Chi lesson in the park.
Whatafit Resistance Bands Set
- Gentle toning
- Work your way from 10 lbs. to 50 lbs. of resistance
- Comes with strong carabiners, handles, and door anchor
- Lifetime guarantee
- A gym in a bag
- Limited range of action
Resistance bands offer a convenient way to tone muscles. They’ll help you build strength, but don’t measure up to weights in that department. More advanced exercisers might want more of a challenge.
How Often Should Seniors Workout? And Why Do Seniors Need Exercise?
No matter your age, exercise is vital. Thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise five to seven times a week will keep anyone in reasonable shape. As we age, it becomes even more important to remain active as our bodies lose muscle mass naturally.
Our bodies are made to move. Sitting watching TV or reading all day is a fun way to pass the time however sitting is the new smoking! It's a comfortable activity, especially when you've got those nagging aches and pains that come with age and sometimes, you might not even have the energy to get up and exercise.
Counterintuitively, exercising can help to boost energy levels, ease those little aches and help to build immunity to infections and disease. Exercise increases circulation, loosens tight muscles and alleviates stress. Here's the kicker – you don't have to run an ultramarathon or spend hours in the gym.
The most important thing that you can do for your health today is to start walking. Download the Pedometer app to help you count your steps and set targets for yourself.
Start slowly. You’re highly motivated right now, and that's great. If you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle, maintaining that motivation can be tough. You’re bound to want to exercise more in the early stages. That’s a mistake, because your body’s not used to it.
You’ll get tired. Stiffness will set in the next day, and you realize that it’s not as easy as you believed. You’ll be discouraged and tempted to give up.
Short-circuit this cycle by starting with smaller goals. Walk for five minutes at a brisk pace. Start increasing the time by small increments every week until you work up to a thirty-minute walk every day.
By making it easy to start, you increase the chances of the exercise becoming a habit. It'll become something that you look forward to rather than a chore.
What Are the Best Strength Training Exercises for Seniors?
You should do one or two strength-training sessions a week. The golden rule of building muscle strength is to allow the muscles time to repair themselves in between workouts. Try to schedule your workouts on alternate days. If that's not possible, never work the same two major muscle groups on consecutive days.
Strength training will help you maintain muscle mass and prevent you from getting flabby. Muscle tissue burns more energy at rest than fat does. Therefore, you could lose weight too.
To tone and build strength in the muscles, you’ll need to provide resistance for them. Dumbbells, resistance bands, and kettlebells are amongst the best equipment to use.
Make sure that you try some wall push-ups, squats, calf raises, hip bridges, and dead bugs. You can start all of these exercises off slowly and build up the number of sets as you go along. Aim to do eight repetitions of each, if you can manage it, to start.
Give yourself a break of sixty seconds between each set of exercises. When that becomes easy, add a second set of eight repetitions. As you become fitter, consider jogging on the spot, or hopping on the exercise bike for those sixty seconds.
This burst of cardio in between the strength training allows you to build your fitness faster. Just don’t overdo things. Start with one or two cardio blasts and work your way up from there.
What Are the Best Balance Exercises for Seniors?
An unpleasant side effect of aging is that it affects our balance. Falls become more common because of this. Simple balance exercises will improve your sense of balance and ward off this side effect of getting older.
Using an exercise ball, taking a yoga class, or even standing on one leg and balancing from time to time will help. Squats and calf raises are good options. Any exercises that help you to strengthen your core muscles should also be useful.
Are Exercises Safe for Those with Arthritis?
When your joints ache, you might not feel like heading for the treadmill. A low-impact exercise that gets the blood pumping might be one of the best pain management tools you have. Improving your circulation ensures that all the tissues in the body receive enough oxygen and have the nutrients that they need.
Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system and improves the body’s ability to detoxify itself. By improving lymphatic drainage and circulation, you make it easier for the body to get rid of inflammatory compounds. These compounds are primarily responsible for the pain that you feel.
As with any other exercise program, it’s wise to talk to your doctor before starting. They’ll highlight any precautions that you should take.
What Are Other Good Aerobic Exercises for Seniors?
Aerobic exercises don’t have to have a fast pace. Tai chi is a good alternative if you’re just starting. Zumba and dance classes are much fun and allow you to progress at your own pace. If you want a low-impact class, water aerobics is a great option.
Even having a good belly laugh gives you something of a cardio workout. It’s not the same as doing 100 laps of the pool, naturally, but it’s a lot more fun. On that note, find an exercise routine that you enjoy. The more you enjoy your exercise program, the longer you’re likely to stick with it.
Now that you understand more about exercise and exercise equipment for seniors, it’s time to take those first steps. Even if all you do is to walk to your mailbox twice today, it’s a good start. Build on that start, and you’ll begin to enjoy the benefits of being active.