Exercise for People Over 60: Start Here

Portrait of fitness woman in doing yoga. Female trainer with student practicing Vrikshasana. Tree Pose with hands in Namaste gesture at gym.

If you are over the age of 60 and want to get started with an exercise program, you have come to the right place. As a personal trainer who has helped many people over the age of 60 throughout the Pacific Northwest, I know that it’s never too late to get started with an exercise program. Plus, it will help you feel better, look better and keep you moving and enjoying your senior years.

There are a lot of good reasons for you to get started with an exercise program over the age of 60. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as an older adult, getting regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Being physically active will help reduce your risks of getting diseases, help slow the aging process, and keep you more independent as you continue to age.

If you are ready to get started with an exercise program and you are over the age of 60, here are some tips to keep in mind:

First, it is important that you check with your doctor if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle. Chances are you will get the thumbs up and your doctor will be thrilled that you will be getting active, but it’s always a safe route to take to start by getting their approval first.

Give some thought as to which kind of exercise you’d like to do. It’s important to have a well-rounded program, where you will include cardio, two days of strength training, and also fit in some low impact stress-reducing type of activity (such as tai chi) each week. Find activities that you enjoy, so you will look forward to it and want to stick with the program.

If you have arthritis or joint pain and find many types of exercise painful, consider swimming or doing water aerobics. It’s a low impact option that will still get you moving, but is easier on the joints.

According to the CDC, you should aim for at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate intensity activity (such as brisk walking), or 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity activity (such as running). This is in addition to having two days of strength training per week. Ideally, you should alternate the days, so you will do one day cardio, followed by the next day being your strength training day.

Monitor your progress. This will help keep you motivated and let you see how far you have come. You can do this as elaborately as using an app on your phone, or as simply as keeping a handwritten fitness journal.

Don’t hesitate to get the help of a personal trainer. I’ve helped countless people over the age of 60 with their exercise routine, and I can help you, too. By having an exercise program, you will help to improve bone strength, independence, and you will feel better mentally, too. There’s no better time to get started than the present!