We all have New Year’s Resolutions and if one of yours is to incorporate more exercise into your routine, these workouts for seniors can help! There’s no reason to make excuses in 2019 because in as little as 15 minutes, you can get moving and enjoy the many benefits of exercise.
Let’s look at some safe, effective 15-minute workouts for seniors!
A Walk Outside (or on the Treadmill)
The easiest (and most affordable) way to get moving is just to take a walk outside. Or, if the weather doesn’t permit this winter, take a walk on the treadmill. This exercise should be no more than 60-75% of your maximum heart rate (which is 220 minus your age). Aim for this fat burning zone to both burn calories and increase your cardiovascular strength. For example, if your target heart rate is 165 bpm, a brisk walk should do the trick. If you’re inside, try turning up the incline to imitate walking up hill. This will help raise your heart rate and stimulate more muscles in the legs and glutes.
Wall Push Ups
Regular push ups might be hard for some people, but wall push ups are the perfect upper body workout for seniors because they are low impact for sensitive joints, safe, and effective. Simply stand in front of a sturdy wall about two feet away. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Keep your body straight and bend your elbows so your body leans in toward the wall. Stop with your face as close to the wall as you can get, then push yourself back up. Watch a video demonstration of wall push ups here.
For your full 15-minute workout, try doing 50 seconds of the exercise with 10 seconds rest. You can combine wall push ups with other upper body work, like bicep curls with household items.
Squats are a great way to work the hamstrings and glutes, but bending down to the ground to do a full squat might be out of the question. But, that doesn’t mean you have to give up this beneficial exercise. In fact, squats are one of the best workouts for seniors because they help improve functional movement that you use every day.
For chair squats, simply set up a sturdy chair and stand about a foot in front of it. Keeping your back straight and your chest upright, sit back into the chair. Instead of putting all your weight down, try to just touch the chair with your glutes and then stand back up. This continuous tension will help your muscles grow! If you want to step it up a notch, try adding some dumbbells for extra weight. Just make sure to stretch it out before and after your workout to avoid injury.
There are countless dance classes at the gym, but you can have a dance party right in your own living room and get a great workout! If you’re serious about getting your dance on, there are plenty of online resources to learn how to dance. Or, simply put on your favorite playlist and get moving! Don’t worry about looking a little silly, we all need a laugh or two here and there.
Back Leg Raises
While you have your chair out from your chair squats, let’s add another lower body workout for seniors. Back leg raises are a great move to work the hamstrings and glutes and a similar movement is used in a lot of barre, yoga, and ballet classes.
Stand behind a chair and slowly lift one leg straight back without bending your knees or pointing your toes. Instead, flex your foot downward. Hold that pose for one to five seconds, depending on your strength level. Repeat this ten to fifteen times per leg. If you want to try mixing it up, pulse five times while your leg is at its highest point to maintain tension in the muscle. More variations can be found in this barre-inspired video. You’ll have a better shaped behind in no time!
Age is just a number when it comes to moving your body. This New Year, ditch the excuses and try these workouts for seniors right in your own home. Build a complete workout routine to start 2019 off right.
*Health experts suggest that you talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program.