The Best Exercises for 55+ (Hint: It’s Not Walking) By Jersey Strong

The Best Exercises for 55+ (Hint: It’s Not Walking) By Jersey Strong

When it comes to the best exercises for those 55 and older, there are so many exercise options available—options that are vital for increasing mobility and flexibility,  maintaining balance, and improving muscle strength and endurance. Wondering which ones are best? A few may surprise you!

Now, don’t get us wrong: walking is still GREAT, but just know that if you’re 55 or older, there are a plethora of other exercises to complement your daily regimen. Below are five exercises to consider. Reminder: when trying any new exercise regimen, consult your doctor first. And be mindful of your own limits.

1. Yoga. Yoga has been around for more than a millenniaand for good reason. In addition to keeping our bodies flexible and limber, yoga is also extremely beneficial for the mind. And who couldn’t use a little less stress? (Psst. Learn more about our yoga classes here.)

As this Huffington Post article notes, “Yoga helps adults maintain a fitter body, calmer mind and feel more relaxed. Recent studies have shown that yoga can normalize your blood pressure and even balance your nervous system all while using breathing techniques to cleanse your air passages; this cleansing also helps mature adults prevent respiratory ailments.”

insta-78.jpg2. Strength training. Picking stuff up, carrying it around, and putting it down—it’s something we’ve been doing since we were old enough to walk, and it’s something we need to keep doing, with slight moderation as we get older. The big thing: lifting super heavy should no longer be your goal. 

Instead, consider this advice from Next Avenue (“where grown-ups keep growing”): “For the greatest strength benefits within a safe range, aim for a weight where you can get 10 reps, where the last couple reps are challenging.”

New to weights? Consider starting with hand weights. WebMD says, “Start with a hand weight that you can comfortably handle for eight repetitions. Gradually add more reps until you can complete 12.”

Other strength training exercises:

• Resistance bands
• Pushups
• Modified squats and lunges

3. Swimming. We loved it when we were kids, so why not embrace your inner child and reconnect with the waves? Swimming is a great, low-impact way to tone muscles while getting an aerobic workout at the same time. Plus, you have even more options than simply doing laps: water aerobics is so much fun that you’ll swear it’s not even exercise.

4. Pilates. A common ailment among people of all ages — back problems. Well, guess what can help? A strong core. And nothing focuses on your core like Pilates.

Pilates is the art of using controlled movements that condition the body by creating long lean muscles without the bulk. Strengthen, lengthen, and tone all core and stabilization areas while increasing flexibility, range of motion, and perfecting posture. Learn more about our group classes, including Pilates, here.

5. Biking. Biking is another great aerobic workout that often doesn’t feel like a workout, depending on where you’re doing it. It seems like more and more states are investing in bike trails as another way to conserve land. So strap on your helmet and get ready to take in some beautiful scenery and fresh air. Check out Trail Link for bike trails in your area

Remember, regular exercise regimens and healthful diets are important no matter how old you are. So get moving! If you’re in New Jersey, definitely check out the exercise programs we offer. We cater to people of all ages and fitness levels.


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About Monmouth Health And Wellness

MHW does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance should consult his or her physician, or locate one in your area through the MHW search program on this website.