Many seniors are used to maintaining a healthy workout routine and wish to carry this on as they age. Choosing exercise equipment that's efficient, enjoyable, and safe for seniors can be a tough task. Fortunately, there are some great options for senior-friendly exercise machines to burn calories, get the heart pumping, increase flexibility, and overall improve physical endurance! Here are a few great types of exercise equipment for seniors:
The elliptical allows seniors who are able to stand for long periods of time a chance to torch some calories, improve balance, and endurance. The elliptical is a hybrid between cross-country skiing and walking but without the additional impact. The included arm levers give seniors a security feature to hold on to while also adding an extra muscle burn. Adjustable resistance can increase heart rate and also build more muscle. It's truly a great all-around senior-friendly machine!
Core strength is crucial for standing, balancing, and posture. Simply sitting on a stability ball is a terrific activity to strengthen senior's core muscles! Several other exercises can be done safely with the ball, including stretches to improve flexibility. The stability ball can help increase senior's overall physical fitness in many ways.
Lat Pull Down Machine
As seniors age, one of the most common complaints is regarding backaches, rounded postures, or unaligned backs. This is due to decreased back strength and weakened muscles. It's very important to pay attention to these muscles before it becomes a problem.
One great piece of equipment used for upper back strength is the lat pull down machine. In a seated position, you simply pull down a bar in front or behind your body. Weights can be adjusted based on fitness strength. It's a terrific machine that can help seniors' backs stay strong and pain-free!
A yoga mat is a wonderful piece of exercise equipment for seniors to have on hand because it allows them to perform a series of low-impact exercises either on their feet, knees, or lying on the ground. Yoga mats are often used for stretching exercises, such as pilates and yoga. These are great exercise options for seniors because they help to strengthen their core and improve their balance, thus helping them remain safer not only when they are exercising, but also when they are doing everyday activities.
If a senior would like to add a bit more weight to challenge themselves while they are walking, jogging, on the elliptical machine, etc., they can do so by using wrist weights. These weights can either be attached to their wrists or held in their hands, if this is preferred. These weights are very light, such as 1-3 pounds, so they add enough weight to make things more challenging, but not too much so that it becomes stressful on their wrists.
Recumbent Exercise Bike
Cycling has been a source of healthy cardio workouts for people for centuries, and recumbent bikes are an ideal way to cycle in comfort. These types of exercise bikes are characterized by a chair-design that makes them comfortable and non-strenuous on the body. Seniors can easily get on and off of exercise bikes, as well as customize speed. As a low-impact activity, the risk of injury is slim and it's great for seniors who suffer from a variety of joint or bone issues.
When the body rows, it creates resistance by pulling away from the body while also strengthening the core. The great thing about rowing machines is that they are completely customizable to each person and put minimal strain on key joints. Seniors can safely stretch, work muscles, increase endurance, and get a great cardio workout by choosing the proper pressure, set-amount, and repetition for personal capability.
For more exercise ideas, check out our guide to balance exercises for seniors!