Best Online Exercise Programs for Seniors

Advice For Seniors

online exercise programs for seniors

It’s never too late to begin healthy habits, including exercise. In fact, the benefits of exercise for older adults occur even with moderate movement goals. No matter if you are a beginner or if you are looking to supplement your routine while staying socially distant from the gym, online workouts can be the perfect solution. Here’s how to find the best online exercise programs for seniors and how to stay safe while participating.

 

Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program.

 

Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

Exercise is beneficial for older adults for a variety of reasons. Seniors can experience the perks of movement after only a few sessions of regular activity. Benefits of a long-term exercise program, or daily movement as a lifestyle habit, can include:

  • Better sleep habits, including falling asleep easier and staying asleep for a restful night’s sleep
  • Increased flexibility and mobility, which can be especially helpful for reducing falls as well as reducing pain associated with arthritis
  • Decreased risk of heart disease
  • Decreased risk of being overweight or obese
  • Increased strength and endurance, which can lead to decreased risk of falling
  • Better sense of balance
  • Improved mental health outcomes
  • Increased cognitive function
  • More social engagement, even if participation is only online!

The National Council on Aging recommends that seniors participate in both aerobic exercises and muscle-strengthening exercises regularly. While it can be difficult to find safe group exercise classes due to the coronavirus pandemic, online options are an excellent option. You just have to know where to start looking.

 

Finding Online Exercise Programs & Classes for Seniors

When looking for online exercise programs & classes, take into consideration both any costs associated with the group as well as the frequency of new classes. Here are some online programs to get you started:

Yoga with Adriene: Don’t let their name scare you, this popular YouTube yoga instructor has specialized videos for seniors, including chair yoga. A quick search of her YouTube channel for “chair yoga” or “yoga for seniors” will give you options to choose from.

Arthritis Society: These videos provide not only mobility exercises for those living with arthritis, but there is also an educational component so that you can understand how arthritis affects your body.

Arthritis Foundation: The Walk with Ease program might be part of the Arthritis Foundation, but anyone can benefit from an exercise regimen focused on walking. There are in-person meet-ups around the country, but you can also walk on your own once you sign up.

Silver Sneakers: Perhaps the most well-known senior-focused exercise program, Silver Sneakers offers a robust library of online classes. Sign up to take a live class or choose one that is on demand. There is a membership fee, but you certainly get your money’s worth in no time.

National Institute on Aging: Visit their YouTube page to find a variety of playlists dedicated to Go4Life exercise groups. You can find playlists for balance exercises, strength exercises, and more.

Senior Fitness with Meredith: Meredith is dedicated to providing more than just online exercise programs for seniors; she also has resources to keep you eating well and feeling your best. Her exercises are also easily adapted to different fitness levels, which makes them great for beginners.

Eldergym: Visit the Eldergym YouTube channel for a variety of classes designed by a physical therapist. You’ll enjoy the short format and the classes focus on balance and fall prevention, as well as healthy movement.

Your Y: If you have a membership at your local YMCA, you can still access great exercise classes via the Your Y page.

You can also check your local park district or senior center to see if they are offering classes online or via video chat

 

Staying Safe and Healthy While Participating

Participating in online exercise programs for seniors means you won’t have to worry about masking up during the pandemic or even warming up your car during the winter months. However, working out alone at home means you are a bit more vulnerable to accidents or falls during class. Here are a few ways you can stay safe.

  • online exercise programs for seniors

    Stay safe while exercising at home by ensuring you have proper equipment and footwear.

    Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Review your physical health and any concerns, as well as your current medication regimen to ensure you aren’t taking something that could cause dizziness while exercising.

  • Wear the proper footwear; make sure you feel supported and stable. This includes the proper socks that will keep you blister-free.
  • Clear out an area so that you can move freely.
  • If you are using a prop, like a chair, be sure the chair is sturdy and does not slide on the floor or carpet.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your session.
  • Call a family member before you begin your exercise class and after you are done.
  • Don’t skip the stretching part of your workout; this step prevents muscle soreness & strain.
  • Adapt exercises as needed to meet your current fitness level and goals.
  • Skip exercises that require you to be on the floor if you have a history of falling or if you have difficulties getting up from a seated position on the floor.
  • If you feel dizzy at any time during your workout, stop.
  • Set a goal as well as ways to reward yourself for your new positive habit.

Online exercise programs, classes and groups for seniors can give you the tools and motivation you need to stay fit no matter the season or pandemic precautions. We are cheering you on as you meet your fitness goals!