Creating a Safe Exercise Routine for Seniors

Senior couple exercising with hand weights

Getting more exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. If you don’t exercise safely, however, you can get sidetracked by an injury before you really get started. Creating a safe exercise routine for seniors isn’t tricky, but it does require some planning and consideration.

Creating a Safe Exercise Routine for Seniors

Did you know seniors should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week? If you haven’t been getting regular exercise before now, it’s time to slow down and plan before heading to the gym. What goes into creating a safe exercise routine for seniors?

Talk to Your Doctor

Before starting any new exercise program, you should talk to your doctor and get their advice. Your doctor knows your health best, and they’ll be able to recommend exercises that might be a good fit for your current ability levels and practices to avoid. Suppose you have a specific health condition, such as arthritis, that can make movement difficult. In that case, a doctor can help you plan to get the necessary exercise without causing unnecessary pain or injury. Share your fitness goals with a medical professional, and ensure their feedback is a part of whatever you do.

Set Some Goals

Getting more exercise can be an excellent overall goal, but creating specific goals will help you evaluate if you’re successful in your fitness journey. Your goals should be clear about what you want to achieve, measurable, and attainable given your current fitness level. If you aren’t sure how to create fitness goals relevant to your current fitness level and ability, ask your doctor for help. You can also use tools to guide your progress, such as this goal-setting worksheet.

Start Where You’re At

Once you’ve set your fitness goals, it’s time to start working towards them. As incredible as it would be to jump off the couch and run a marathon, you won’t get far on your fitness journey if you push yourself beyond what you’re capable of. The secret of safely maintaining a fitness habit is starting where you’re at, making it doable for your current ability level, and working slowly towards improvement:

  • Make your workout as comfortable for you as it can be. Wear loose-fitting and breathable clothing, plan on drinking plenty of water before and after, and take breaks when you feel you need to.
  • If sustained workouts aren’t accessible or comfortable for you, break them up into doable chunks. For example, you may not be up to working out for an hour at a time, but four fifteen-minute walks spread out over two days can be much more manageable. As long as you work out consistently, you will improve your stamina over time, so don’t force yourself to do it all at once.
  • To get the maximum benefit possible from your workouts, it’s essential to maintain the other aspects of your physical health. Be sure you’re prioritizing getting the sleep you need, eating healthy and balanced meals, and working with your doctor to maintain any chronic conditions you might be managing. The more you work on your health in other areas, the better shape you’ll be in to exercise.


Creating a safe exercise routine for seniors is one of the best ways to look after your health in your golden years. Talk to your doctor about an exercise routine at your next appointment.

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Files under: Health & Wellness