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Ways to Move: Exercising in Later Life

As we age, staying active becomes more important than ever for maintaining overall health and well-being. Engaging in regular exercise not only helps improve physical strength but also enhances flexibility, balance, and mental sharpness. Joining classes and to try out new skills is an excellent way to meet new people, broaden your social network and enrich your life. For elderly individuals, finding the right exercises that cater to specific needs and capabilities is crucial.

In this blog, we'll explore some of the best exercises for those later in life, to help them stay fit, independent, and enjoy a higher quality of life.


Walking is one of the simplest yet most effective exercises for anybody at any age. It's a low-impact activity that can be easily adapted to individual fitness levels. Not only does getting out walking improve cardiovascular health, strengthen leg muscles and promote joint flexibility, but it’s also proven that getting out and about (especially in nature) for a walk significantly improves mental health too. In an age where everything can be delivered straight to the front door, we encourage all of our elderly clientele to make walking around the block a habit of every day, as much as they can.

Chair Exercises

For those with limited mobility or balance issues, chair exercises provide a safe and effective way to stay active. Seated leg lifts, rotating your ankles and lifting your arms are all simple exercises which help to strength your lower body and arm muscles. These exercises don’t need to be done alone – why not do them as a group activity with friends and family?

The NHS have created a useful list of various sitting exercises here - 

Water Aerobics

Thousands of people across the country take part in water aerobics classes every week. Without the drawbacks of an intense exercise class but nearly all of the benefits – water aerobics is an excellent way to get stronger and improve fitness without putting strain through your joints. This makes it an exercise option that is great for people with mobility issues as the buoyancy of water reduces the impact on the body while still providing resistance for muscle strengthening. It’s worth checking out what your local gym and leisure centre have to offer – some provide assistance for elderly clientele in the changing rooms.

Tai Chi

In 2017, the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that older people who practiced tai chi reduced their likelihood of falls by up to 50%. Research shows that practicing tai chi improves balance, stability, coordination and flexibility in older people, especially those with Parkinson’s disease. When practiced regularly, it can also help reduce pain, especially from knee osteoarthritisback problems, and fibromyalgia, as it promotes mental relaxation and stress reduction.


Yoga cultivates a mind-body connection, combining stretching and strengthening poses with deep breathing and relaxation, which is an all-round excellent way for people to keep active. Many yoga poses can be modified to accommodate different fitness levels and physical abilities. Regular practice of yoga can enhance flexibility, improve posture, and contribute to overall mental well-being. There’s no shortage of guides and classes on YouTube, and one of the most popular channels is ‘Yoga with Adrienne’ - 

Adopting a new exercise or way of moving your body in later life is a joyful accomplishment which can also lead to newfound community and relationships. However you decide to do it (and there’s no right or wrong way!), it’s never too late to start reaping the rewards of an active and healthy lifestyle.

You can also read our Active Life, Less Strife! ( , which gives ideas for different social activities seniors can look out for and enjoy.

Author Bio: Chania Fox is a freelance writer with experience in publishing and copywriting. Chania has previously worked for Linen Press, the UK's leading independent female publishing press, as well as working as a copywriter for a global design consultancy with high-profile international clients. She is also available on Linkedin.


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