10 Benefits of Exercise for Seniors and Aging Adults

As humans, it is necessary to hit the road for a walk sometimes to exercise so as to be physically fit. Not only does exercising put one in great shape, but it also makes one mentally fit as well. 

Exercising has no age limit as even older adults are at great advantage when they choose to improve their abilities. 

Aging adults tend to get physically weak as they age, which is why engaging in exercise will be of great benefit to them. 

Let’s check out the ten benefits of exercise for seniors and older adults.  

Benefits of Exercise for Seniors and Aging Adults

Exercising has many benefits to humans in general and also seniors and aging adults. Here are some of them. 

1. Disease Prevention

Physical exercise helps prevent diseases like arthritis, diabetes, etc.  Aging adults are at risk of these diseases because of their weak immune systems, allowing diseases to hit them quicker, which might eventually cause them to succumb to them. This is why exercise is always recommended for elders.

These exercises do not have to be very difficult. Easier ones like walking, jogging on a spot, and indoor workouts using a treadmill or a rowing machine can help them build stronger muscles and healthier immune systems.

However, when using a machine, you need to know exactly how to use it. It can help to have an instructor around, who can teach you the use.

2. Mental Health Improvement 

Due to the loneliness that comes with aging, most aging adults tend to experience low mental health. This happens as they often have no one to talk with, get stressed easily, and do not get to socialize frequently. 

Exercise improves an aging adult's mental health because endorphins are released, making a person feel happy and stress-free. 

Exercise also helps other aspects that affect a person, like insomnia. Studies show that 5% of aging adults experience sleeplessness. Exercise is then recommended to put their minds in a good state so they can sleep well. 

3. Prevents Risk of Falls

Aging adults are at a high risk of falling over, due to lack of strength. Falls are even riskier for aging adults as their feeble bones are more prone to breaking.

Most of these falls result in weakening them, and they might end up undergoing surgery or needing the assistance of a wheelchair or walking stick. 

Exercise reduces the risk of falling because they will be strong. This strength gives them more balance, helping them walk without support from anyone which prevents the risk of falling. 

Seniors tend to take time to recover from these falls, which is why exercise is highly recommended for them to engage in to prevent this. 

4. Engage in Social Activities

Who said exercise has to be boring? How about joining an exercise group e.g. a yoga class, a hiking group, a dance troupe, etc, just to make it fun, while mingling with other people? 

The loneliness that comes with old age can be very intense, so being around people who also share similar exercise goals will help them maintain social ties and build connections. They can share conversations, encourage one another, and act as support systems for themselves while exercising. 

Also, when exercising outside, they can hold social events that will help them share their different cultures, like food, drinks, and so on. Social activities like this make older adults feel like their younger selves again. 

5. Allows Flexibility

Old age comes with stiffness because aging adults sit in one position most of the time and tend not to move, resulting in back pain, joint pain, etc. 

Exercising makes an aging adult feel less of this joint discomfort, enabling them to move freely without pain. However, exercising does not permanently erase the pain that comes with old age, only reduces it. 

Exercises like walking a long distance every day will make joint changes start to reflect. For instance, walking for 30 minutes every 5 days of the week is recommended. These walk exercises do not have to be strenuous; they could be like walking from your area to a nearby neighborhood. 

6. Reduces Depression and Anxiety

Many aging adults experience depression due to social withdrawal, illness, etc, resulting in a lot of mental health issues

When seniors engage in physical exercises, apart from socializing that eases their depression, they are also put in a healthy mental state, and this reduces their anxiety. 

Exercising comes with cognitive benefits that will balance their hormones, encouraging the release of happy hormones so that they are distracted from their problems. 

Also, if you have an aging adult around you, try as much as possible to not leave them alone for a long time Create time for them, and communicate with them often. Aside from exercising, this is another good way of helping them not be depressed and anxious all the time.

7. Reduction of Weight

Due to sitting at home for a long time, aging adults tend to gain weight, and some even become obese, which often results in medical issues. Physical exercise assists in reducing weight and staying fit. 

Also, this exercise works effectively when they eat the right type of foods and do not consume them excessively. There should be a restriction on diets as this will help them have a balanced eating habit. 

Aging adults should stay away from sugary foods and snacks as this increases their chances of diabetes. Also, studies show that exercising reduces diabetes by 40%. 

8. Gives Energy

Studies show that people aged 65 and above who engage in exercise tend to live well in their older age. 

We've seen that exercise reduces depression, improves mood, and makes an older person feel energized, they can also take part in different social activities, which puts them in a good state. 

This energy comes with happiness and reduces their stress both physically and mentally. Generally, exercise is for us to feel good in our body and relaxed while also putting us in a good state of well-being. 

9. Increase Life Span 

Studies show that exercise adds to the lifespan of a person. Aging adults are also not left out in this because they can live longer when they exercise regularly. 

Remember that exercise reduces illness and diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, etc, and even symptoms of depression. This reduction then leads to living healthily, which prompts a longer life span. 

Also, keep in mind that these exercises that expand life span do not have to be hectic and strenuous, they can be brisk walking, which does not come with any complications and is pretty easy to do.

Keep in mind that an aging adult does not have the strength to engage in strenuous exercises, which is why medical consultation is sometimes necessary to know what activity is best for the old adult. 

10. It is Fun

Yes, exercises are also fun activities that can be adapted into likable hobbies. When an aging adult starts to see progress as they keep exercising, they will want to keep doing it every day and see it as a type of entertainment.

However, if they stop exercising for a long time, it may be hard to go back, and this may reduce their interest in it. This is the reason why aging adults are urged to exercise 150 minutes per week, to keep the streak going. 

Even if they are to take breaks, these breaks should not be for a long time because apart from the fun aspect, the main benefit of regular exercising should not be lost, which is to keep them physically and mentally healthy. 

What Type of Exercise is Good for Seniors and Aging Adults? 

Seniors and Aging Adults from the age of 55 and above tend to grow weaker as they age, which is why they should not engage in strenuous exercise. Studies show that aging adults who exercise regularly live healthier lives than others. 

Here are the types of exercises that are good for seniors and aging adults: 

  • Walking (1000 steps per day)
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Band Workouts
  • Dumbbell strength training

However, here are some exercises senior citizens should avoid because they might be too strenuous for them and weaken them more, especially for aging adults with health issues: 

  • Deadlift
  • Squats
  • Rock climbing
  • Long distance running
  • Sprinting
  • Standing toe touches
  • Stairs climb

Keep in mind that every exercise should be done after a doctor’s consultation. 


Even though we get older, staying active is important! Exercise benefits seniors and aging adults in many ways, which have been listed above.

After reading this article, aging adults should be urged to exercise from time to time. However, consult a doctor before making them engage in any type of exercise to know which is suitable for their health to avoid any complications.

Exercise is fun and makes one feel great. Remember, even small amounts of activity each day can make a big difference!