Exercise for Older People

Exercises for older people


Muscles respond well to exercise and having stronger muscles and joints makes for a better quality of life, which makes sitting, standing and moving around, a much easier thing to do.  Exercise is also good for the brain.

This is a simple 20 minute non-aerobic exercise routine to be done 3 times a week to strengthen and tone your muscles. The idea here is to get started and to set a target for yourself for improvement week by week, by raising repetitions to a level of discomfort, and doing so again when that level becomes comfortable.

If you are starting from scratch, your muscles will ache a little the following day – but the good thing is, the next time you exercise, your muscles will ache less and in a few weeks should not ache at all, as you reach your threshold. Intersperse this routine by doing a joint stretching and flexibility routine the next day.

Also, why not try a silica food supplement, which is great for the muscles, joints and bones.  Highly recommended.


NB These exercises are designed for the general maintenance of the muscular physiology. If you are under the supervision of your doctor or health care adviser, you may wish to consult with them, prior to undertaking this routine.



Sitting Exercises

Relaxation exercise with conscious breathing

Sit down in an upright posture and relax with deep lower abdominal breathing, tuck the chin in and straighten the spine as much as possible - just close your eyes and deeply relax, maintaining the deep breathing rhythm. A good guide would be to inhale for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds - that's 3 breaths a minute.   It is during the controlled exhalation that you achieve deep relaxation.

5 min



Straighten leg - point toes out and hold - pull toes back and hold

20 each leg

Straighten leg - rotate ankles from right to left and left to right

20 each leg



Raise right leg - tense the muscles of the thigh and knee and hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the left leg

20 each leg



Whilst sitting – using a soft foam ball exercise the hands by squeezing the ball hard - holding for 5 seconds and releasing.

30 each hand


Hands and Forearms

Hold arms straight out in front and flick the fingers hard and quickly

30 times.



Raise both arms above the head, whilst breathing in - hold the breath for 5 seconds - clench boost fists for 5 seconds and release by lowering arms




Coordination exercises

Grip the soft foam ball in left hand and raise right leg and hold for 5 seconds - change and repeat for the right hand - increase speed and repetitions at will.


Touch left cheek with right hand and raise right leg and follow by touching right cheek with left hand and raise the left leg - increase speed and repetitions at will.



Standing Exercises


Place both hands on a windowsill - with thumbs below - and place left leg as far back as possible and stretch the Achilles tendon by placing heel on the floor and slowly bending the knee - hold for 5 seconds - repeat for the right leg.



Arms raising and breathing

Standing with legs slightly apart - slowly raise arms above to shoulder level - whilst breathing in for 5-10 seconds - hold both arms at this level and hold the breath for 5 seconds - slowly lower the arms whilst very slowly breathing out for 10 seconds  - repeat



Shoulder girdle rotation

Standing with legs slightly apart - raise arms until they are level with the shoulder - rotate the arms by rolling forward and backward - palms up and palms down



Raise the arms above the head and in a wide circular movement whilst breathing in for 5 seconds and bring them to rest behind by placing the backs of the hands as high up the back as possible - whilst breathing out for 10 seconds.



Place the hands on the top of the head and rotate the shoulder girdle in increasingly greater circles behind and to the front so that the elbows touch in front of your eyes.



Knee Bending

Standing up, place feet a foot apart and holding on to a windowsill or the back of a sofa for balance in order to get going, bend your knees slowly to 45º and then a little further as you progress, until your thighs are parallel with the floor - do not go right down to your ankles. Try 10-20 at first and each day increase the repetition by 5. Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up. Try not to use your arms for this exercise if you can help it.


Hip Flexor rotation

Standing in an upright position with one hand on a ledge or windowsill. Raise the outside leg until the thigh is horizontal to the ground, point the knee outwards and away from the body and rotate the hip flexor forwards and backwards in small circles and then progress to larger circles when you can.

20 reps on each leg.



Body Maintenance

100 cool Facts about the Body

Back Care

Shiatsu – self massage

Simple exercises in the home

Exercises for Muscles

Stretching for joint flexibility