Senior Exercise

Exercise Equipment Every Senior Should Have at Home

Exercising regularly keeps us strong, functional and independent with age which is why it’s important to get into the habit of exercising regularly. The easiest way to do this is by creating a space within your own home where you can workout. We all lead busy lives and can’t always make it to the gym or might not be comfortable at a gym which makes working out at home even more desirable.

Plus, creating an at-home gym doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are many pieces of equipment seniors can purchase that are just as effective as a fancy gym membership. All it takes is a few staple pieces of equipment, a small open space, and you’re all set! To get started, here’s our list of the top 8 pieces of exercise equipment every senior should have at home.

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A Good Pair of Running Shoes

Every person should have a good pair of running shoes, no matter how old they are or what their fitness level is. Even if you’re only using them to go for walks or a slow job, it’s important to have a designated pair of running shoes to use. These shoes should offer comfort and support, particularly for seniors. You’ll also want to make sure they have plenty of tread left on the bottom of the soles to prevent any injury.

To find the proper footwear, head to a local podiatrist, physiotherapy, or running store where they can perform a gait analysis and tell you exactly what type of shoe would work best for you. (Here are some more tips on How to Choose the Right Exercise Footwear for Seniors).

Smart Watch and Wearable Technology

Technology isn’t just for young folks! Investing in a smart watch or any kind of wearable fitness technology is a great idea for seniors that comes with many benefits. As we get older, it’s important to track our heart rate, the number of steps we take in a day, and exercise intensity. Monitoring and tracking these measures will help avoid injury, decrease pain and flare ups, as well as help promote a stronger, more fit body with age.

There’s no better time to invest in wearable technology as it’s becoming more and more affordable. Also, most of theses devices offer emergency functions that can alert help if needed. I recommend any trackers/watches available by Fitbit, Apple or Android to all my senior clients as I feel they are definitely worth the investment and will help you achieve your fitness goals safely.

Yoga Mat

Investing in a good yoga mat is essential for exercising at home. Yoga mats provide a soft cushion for you to workout. Plus, there are endless amounts of exercises for seniors that can be performed on an exercise mat like a yoga mat. No one enjoys having to kneel and lie down on hardwood or tile floors (nor should they as it can be damaging).

You can purchase a yoga mat from any sporting store or home goods store. To use it, lay it out inside or outside and find some great strengthening, stretching or aerobics workout to try.

Resistance Bands

One of the major keys to aging successfully is maintaining muscle strength. The best way to do this is through resistance training or adding resistance while exercising. Adding resistance makes the muscles work harder, and in return, these muscles become stronger which will help prevent injury and improve balance.

The easiest and most affordable way to add resistance to any workout is by using a resistance band. These bands come in a variety of resistance intensities that suit any fitness level. They are also very affordable, easy to use, and travel-friendly.

Foam Roller

You’ve probably noticed you’re not as flexible as you were in your early twenties or even thirties. That my friend is one of the major downfalls of aging! Most seniors report difficulty putting on their socks and trying shoe laces. The simplest activities now require much more effort. The reason for this is because as we age, our body loses flexibility as our muscles, ligaments, and tendons do not stretch as easily.

One of the best ways to remedy this is by using a foam roller. A few minutes of foam rolling each night can help you improve your flexibility and keep your quality of life for many years to come.

Dumbbells

Dumbbells not surprisingly are a major staple for any at-home workout area. Recently, they’ve been hard to find since many people have begun investing in an at-home workout space. However, they are an asset to getting more fit and stronger. You can use dumbbells to participate in classic strengthening programs or exercises, such as an at-home body pump or step class.

You don’t need anything too heavy. I recommend purchasing a pair of 2-pound weights and a pair of 4-pound dumbbells to get started and get the most out of your workout.

Balance Ball

This piece of exercise equipment is great for helping to improve balance and core strength. They are super easy to operate and can add a lot of variety to home exercise sessions. Balance balls also don’t take up much space, they’re easy to move around, and quite affordable.

Cardio Machine (Treadmill, Exercise Bike, Elliptical Trainer)

Now, these aren’t always the most affordable, but they’re also a huge asset to any work from home space. If you’re really interested in getting fit and exercising regularly, and don’t like doing so outside, any type of cardio machine would be a great investment. This would ensure you get exercise no matter what the weather is outside.

Some of the more popular cardio machines are treadmills, exercise bikes and elliptical machines. All three do a fantastic job helping improve your aerobic fitness and will be an investment that pays off many times over. To get the best help, head to a local fitness store and try a few different machines before making any big purchases.

Eric Leckie, PT

Eric Leckie, PT

Eric Leckie is a men's health Physiotherapist specializing in prostate cancer treatment. He completed his studies in Australia earning his Doctor of Physiotherapy from the University of Melbourne. He currently works in a private practice, in addition to owning his own Telehealth Physiotherapy clinic which focuses on treating men with prostate cancer.

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