As we age, the glaring truth is that movement is the key to healthy living. The benefits of staying active after 50 years old and beyond are huge. But for many of us in our senior years, going to a gym isn’t of interest. We know we need to exercise but feel more comfortable in our own homes. The good news is, in today’s world, you don’t need a lot of space and you can easily find exercise equipment for seniors with a little research. You just need a few key pieces of equipment to allow you to move your body. That’s why we want to share with you the best home gym equipment for seniors and where to buy it.
Importance of Exercise For Seniors
Before we get into the best exercise equipment for over 60, let’s first talk about why you should move more. You are never too late or too old to exercise. In order to stay mobile into our later years, movement is the key to balance, strength, and heart health.
There are so many things you can do right in your own home without stressing out about going to the gym. “Motion is lotion” is a phrase that most aging people need to remember. If you are stiff and sore when you wake up or after sitting for periods of time, movement (aka exercise) may be just the thing you need to lubricate your joints and move your muscles.
Research has shown that by adding just 10 minutes of exercise a day, you can prolong your life. In fact, 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day would save 110,000 deaths per year; 20 minutes per day would prevent 209,459 deaths; and 30 minutes a day would prevent 272,297 deaths per year.
It doesn’t have to be any big complicated workout. Just by getting your heart pumping and flexing some muscle, you can reap some major benefits. A regular exercise routine can:
- Prevent sarcopenia: loss of muscle which affects overall health
- Prevent osteoporosis: loss of bone mass which leads to fractures
- Improve cognitive function including memory and brain function
- Reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Reduce risk of falling and improve balance
- Improve range of motion and mobility
Best Exercise Equipment For Seniors FAQ
Neither is really considered better, they are both good choices. An elliptical is a great choice as it is considered to be the lowest impact on your lower body joints since your feet don’t move off the foot pedals. No heel-toe striking. Biking fits in that category also and many seniors enjoy a recumbent bike because it allows your feet to be out in front of you putting even less body weight pressure on the lower body joints. A treadmill is great for walking which is also considered low impact.
Adults aged 65 and older need: At least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity.. That could be 30 minutes five days a week or divide it up however you’d like. And at least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen and use all muscle groups.
Any activity that gets the heart rate up and starts you breathing through your mouth instead of your nose. It should feel like a brisk walk.
Any movement that requires you to use your muscles. Squats, lunges, seated leg lifts are all good lower body exercises. Bicep curls with dumbbells or pushups into the wall are great upper body exercises.
Best Home Gym Equipment For Seniors
Let’s talk about how to set up your simple at-home workout space. The truth is, when you’re looking for exercise equipment for seniors, you don’t need big trendy equipment. We recommend starting with a small, easy-to-use home gym. A streamlined, simple gym is a space-saver and affordable.
In order to have a simple home gym, all you need are a few things – a mat for stretching and floor exercises, an open space with enough room for your workout routine, and some of the best exercise equipment for seniors (below) to target your major muscle groups.
Just sitting and pedaling a portable elliptical device is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn calories. Or do some easy stretching or yoga right on the floor or in a chair. If you are looking for the magic to graceful aging, exercise is the answer.
Below is our list of the best home gym equipment for seniors, including those with mobility issues. Note: you likely will not need everything on this list, so pick and choose according to suit your needs, interests and space.
Dumbbells are critical to any strength training at-home workout. While bodyweight moves are also worthwhile, dumbbells are at the top of this list of best exercise equipment for over 60 for their versatility and effectiveness.
2. Workout Mat
A workout mat provides an additional layer of cushion for your back, knees and wrists and keeps your floors clean when things get sweaty. Here are two options: one larger if you have a dedicated exercise space and one smaller you can roll up.
3. Cubii JR
A Cubii JR is a little, but mighty piece of cardio equipment. It turns sitting on your couch or chair into an elliptical machine. This means you can easily sit and pedal, increase tension and increase your heart rate. Plus, it’s very low impact and portable.
4. Recumbent Bike
A recumbent bike is one of the best home gym equipment for seniors we can recommend. By allowing you to sit back in the chair, you support your back muscles and it’s more comfortable. With your feet out in front of you, it makes it easier for blood flow and it’s less impact on the knees and ankles.
5. Step Platform
A step platform can add an incline to make things like pushups and planks a little less stressful on the shoulders. It can also be used to elevate your body off the ground when doing core work. A step can to be used to simulate climbing the stairs for a great cardio exercise as well as improvingbalance and leg strength.
6. Resistance bands
Resistance bands maintain constant tension on the muscles throughout the entire movement and are a great tool for strength training. They are a safe and low-impact piece of exercise equipment for over 60, and are often used for rehabilitation. Since they are small, they are great for traveling too. There are many types of bands:
7. Foam Roller
Foam rolling is synonymous with self-massage. It can help relieve muscle tightness and soreness, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and increase your joint range of motion making it the perfect piece of exercise equipment for seniors. By applying pressure to your muscles, tendons and ligaments, foam rolling can be an effective tool to add to your warm-up or cooldown, before and after exercise.
If you are looking for something to really target your low back or specific tight spots, check out this Trigger Point Massage Ball.
8. Stability Ball
A stability ball can be used to improve balance; even just sitting on it can be challenging for the core. You can perform crunches on it or it can double as a workout bench. It can also be used for pushups and planks. The size should be determined by height.
9. Yoga Block
Yoga blocks are some of the best exercise equipment for over 60. They are an easy way to make stretches and yoga poses more attainable. They can also help you with balance. Yoga blocks are a great tool if you are planning to focus on your flexibility.
10. Manual Treadmill
A list of the best exercise equipment for seniors wouldn’t be complete without a manual treadmill. It makes for another great cardio option. It’s like a conveyor belt; it doesn’t have a motor or cord, you just move your feet and the belt will move. A manual treadmill makes walking at home easy.
11. Apple Watch
Between the fall detection feature and heart rhythm monitors, the Apple Watch is becoming a very useful device to help seniors with more than their step totals and the weather. It can also hold medical information as well as call for SOS in case of a fall. The apple watch measures blood oxygen levels and even takes an ECG anytime. Plus, it can track critical data for you and your doctor.
12. Nuun Tablets
While these are not really a piece of home gym equipment for seniors, they are incredibly helpful for a better workout. Just one NUUN tablet in your water will provide the electrolytes you need to better fuel your workout and give you energy. Unlike all the colored sugary drinks on the market, this tablet has 1 g of sugar, 15 calories and helps with hydration and cramp prevention. Drink before during or after your workout.
And finally, a final recommendation for the best exercise equipment for over 60, which you probably already have several in your home: a chair! No specific chair is needed, but these can be great for stability.
This exercise equipment for seniors will be sure to help facilitate your movement for years to come!