As you age, the body naturally declines in its physical capabilities. This is frequently due to wear and tear over time.
However, inactivity can accelerate this whole process, which may leave many seniors lacking independence and watching their quality of life quickly diminish.
Luckily, when you continue to participate in regular physical activity as you age, you can maintain your quality of life, improve your health, and prevent age-related changes, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and more. This means you can live a healthy and happy life well into your later years.
But maybe it’s been a while. You were active in your younger years, yet you haven’t had a regular exercise routine in quite some time.
Or perhaps you recently stopped your workout regime at the gym, and you are now looking for ways to workout at home. We’ve got all the information you need.
In this article, we’ll explore the best exercise equipment for seniors and how you can continue to stay active – even in your golden years.
How a Home Gym Can Help You Stay in Shape
A home gym has many advantages, especially for seniors. It requires no commute, which can be a hassle for those who don’t live near a gym, and in general just getting in and out of a car when you can do it all at home with your own gym equipment.
It gives more flexibility regarding when you want to workout. It can help you keep your costs down in the long-run. It further provides almost zero excuses when it comes to skipping out on your fitness, when you own your own workout equipment.
In fact, a home gym even offers the option to workout in spurts throughout your day as opposed to a condensed session all in one go. This may prevent long periods of sedentary activity throughout your day, which is associated with various chronic diseases.
Overall, the biggest advantage of a home gym is that it sets you up for success when it comes to exercise. The weather won’t be a factor regarding whether you make it to the gym or not – neither will the potential reliance on someone to drive you to the gym stop you from getting your body moving.
Not sure what you should be looking for when it comes to putting together your home gym? This article explores the most appropriate exercise equipment for seniors. We break it down into physical resistance exercise equipment, cardio exercise machines, and recovery and injury prevention tools.
Ideally, you want a combination of equipment from each of these categories. That way, you will reduce your risk of injury and improve your health through exercise in the most optimal way possible (more on this below).
Physical Resistance Exercise Equipment
Muscle strength is important, regardless of your age. It can help manage and maintain a healthy weight, increase bone density, and prevent injuries and chronic pain.
The stronger you are, the more muscle mass you have. Muscle mass is pro-metabolic tissue. This means that you burn more calories at rest with more muscle. This is an extremely important fact to remember. Ideally you kept building muscle throughout your life, and especially through your 40’s and 50’s, a time when most start seeing metabolic decline.
This also means you have the proper strength to support your joints, which can help reduce and prevent pain from happening. Strength training further improves bone density, which may lower your risk of developing osteoporosis or experiencing a bone fracture.
Lastly, good strength contributes to good balance, which can prevent falls or injury, especially amongst women and men over 60 years of age.
So, what equipment should you consider to make strength gains in your home gym? Below, we examine adjustable dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and entire home gym series workout weight machines, as well as individual products of each that we recommend.
Resistance bands are some of the best home exercise equipment, particularly when it comes to the cost and space they take up.
Resistance bands are often long rubber or elastic bands, sometimes with protective fabric over top, that can be used to gain strength.
However, you can also get resistance bands that come in loops, which may offer even more versatility when it comes to the exercises you choose.
Victorem is a brand that provides a large range of resistance band products, and we can’t recommend them enough.
This brand is highly durable, holding up through wear and tear over time. There are loop bands and bungee bands. For those looking to simply gain more strength at home, the loop bands may prove to be the best option.
These loop bands can be used for resistance around the legs, such as for squats and deadlifts, or used for various other exercises such as tricep curls, bicep curls, external rotation exercises for posture, and more.
We recommend you get the “stay active at home bundle”. This includes booty bands and mobility bands set. This bundle is what we have linked to here. Once you purchase, certainly check out the workouts you can do with them here : 10 Resistance band exercises for seniors.
In particular, seniors may benefit from the loop bands to help maintain or improve their posture through rows and other simple shoulder and arm workouts.
A dumbbell is a free weight consisting of a handle with a set weight attached to each end.
An adjustable dumbbell, on the other hand, allows you to use the same handle while adjusting the weights on either side.
This saves space in your home by eliminating the need for an entire dumbbell rack. It also provides an easy way to make strength gains, since all you need to do is add or change the weight on your dumbbell as you get stronger.
While many adjustable dumbbells can come off as flimsy and hard-to-use, the Rogue Loadable Dumbbells have a sleek and easy-to-use design. It’s suitable for beginners and for those experienced with using regular dumbbells.
For those that already have Olympic plates, the Rogue Loadable Dumbbells are perfect since they are compatible with a standard Olympic plate.
This means you likely won’t have to purchase more plates than what you may already have. These dumbbells can also be used like any regular dumbbell. The only hang-up is that you will have to load and unload the plates for different weights, which will likely have to be done for different exercises and as you progress.
The handle on the Rogue Loadable Dumbbells further offer a non-abrasion knurl for comfort and grip, which prevents slippage or accidents.
With these adjustable dumbbells, you can perform all kinds of exercises which are beneficial for the body and optimal function, including squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, lunges, bicep curls, tricep curls, lateral raises, front raises, rows, and more.
If there’s one piece of equipment that has options and versatility, it’s the dumbbell. Many men and women over 60 find this strength training equipment to be a must-have in their home gym.
The kettlebell is a cast steel or iron ball with a single loop handle on the top.
This piece of exercise equipment is used to perform strengthening, cardio, and power training moves.
So, what kettlebell do we recommend for your home gym? The Rogue Kettlebells provide a high quality option.
The weights range from 9 lbs all the way up to 203 lbs. For beginners or those that haven’t exercised in quite some time, it’s likely best to go on the lower end of this range, such as 9 lbs, 13 lbs, 18 lbs, 26 lbs, or 35 lbs.
With the Rogue Kettlebells, you get a well-balanced and comfortably textured kettlebell that can be used for a variety of functional movements. The texture on the kettlebell is particularly important to prevent slippage or dropping of the kettlebell.
As such, these kettlebells are great for goblet squats, kettlebell swings, deadlifts, and more.
For each exercise, especially with weights involved, it is of the utmost importance to ensure your form is on point. Injuries and pain happen easily when your technique is off, which is why we highly recommend starting at a lighter weight, especially with kettlebells.
Home gyms are entire set-ups that provide many options to workout.
Usually featuring a bench and various cables, they offer a space-saving and safe way to workout your entire body.
The Bowflex Home Gym Series makes it possible to complete over 25 exercises using just one machine. It has 200 lbs of resistance, and the bench even converts into a rolling seat for rowing.
It’s basically like having a complete gym in your own home – which makes it easy for those who would rather not commute to the gym or may not have a convenient option to do so.
This particular gym series product is great for seniors since it provides options for shoulders, postural muscles, and other upper body movements.
The only downfall is that it leaves something to be desired in the lower body compartment. However, many seniors may achieve lower body resistance training via bodyweight squats, lunges, and more.
Cardio exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, does exactly as the name says; it works your cardiovascular system.
Not only that, cardio is also beneficial to your respiratory system. In fact, a 2018 study emphasizes the importance of physical activity in one’s later years for maintaining quality of life, overall health, and physical function.
Older adults and seniors should aim for 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise each week.
Consequently, this may reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and more. Below, we explore the top at-home cardio machines for the senior exerciser.
In general, walking is an excellent form of cardio exercise. It’s easy on the joints, which can prevent and alleviate pain or stiffness, and it gets the heart pumping and lungs working.
In particular, walking is best to do on non-pavement or non-concrete surfaces. The treadmill offers an easy way to do this within your own home – and without weather playing a factor.
The NordicTrack T Series is a sturdy and quality treadmill.
It comes with 16000 on-demand treadmill workouts, offering versatility for the exerciser who may get bored with repetition.
The FlexSelect Cushioning along the track of this treadmill is also the perfect feature for individuals looking for an easy-on-the-joints option.
This technology works to soften the impact on your joints, which can prevent osteoarthritis or related symptoms.
It also saves space through the Easy Lift Assist.
Recumbent bikes are another piece of fitness equipment that is ideal for the senior population.
A recumbent bike, unlike a regular stationary bike, has a back rest, which can support the lower and upper back.
In turn, this prevents lower back pain and also takes some stress off of the knee joints.
The Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike has everything you would need in a solid recumbent bike.
It comes with eight resistant levels, a padded seat, an easy-to-read screen, and counterbalanced pedals.
According to various consumers, it’s highly durable and is reliable after repeated use. This bike, particularly for seniors, can help maintain optimal knee and hip range of motion.
It can also contribute to increased lower body strength, which aids in supporting the entire body when walking, sitting, and more.
This bike is also very stable, providing support and balance to those that may need it the most.
A rowing machine is a piece of exercise equipment that stimulates the action of rowing.
When considering a full body low-impact workout, my #1 pick went to the MaxKare Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine.
Because it helps you enjoy a full body low-impact workout particularly targeting your forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, legs, thighs, and many other group muscles while ensure utmost comfort all throughout your workout routine.
It comes geared with a lot of interesting features that help ensure efficiency for your workout. It has its own multifunctional LCD monitor delivering critical data such as number of row counts, time, total number of row counts, and calories burned as you row away to a fitter you.
The base is geared with transportation wheels for portability. It also offers fully foam padded handles, cushioned seat, and textured footplates with straps for stability. On top of that, the rower offers 16 different levels of tension.
An elliptical trainer is a low-impact cardio machine that mimics movements including stair climbing, running, and walking.
It’s an excellent choice for older adults since it reduces stress on the joints and decreases the risk of injuries – all while allowing for a sufficient cardio workout.
With the Bowflex Max Trainer, you can receive all the benefits of an elliptical machine.
It has 20 resistance levels, is simple to use, and provides optimal comfort for your joints. It also comes with a heart rate monitor, which is particularly useful for those aiming to hit a specific heart rate zone or for those that require heart rate monitoring after heart surgery.
For seniors, it may also help maintain independence since it can contribute to easier movement up and down stairs with regular use.
It further takes up minimal space and is easy to tuck away in the corner of your home gym.
Recovery and Injury Prevention
Along with cardio and strength training, recovery is an important piece in any physical activity routine.
With the right recovery tools, you can prevent injury and pain, as well as continue to workout as usual – minus any lengthy injury recovery times.
This becomes especially important with age, since injury might not mean a setback for only a couple weeks. In fact, one injury in later age can quickly lead to the quick decline of a person’s overall health.
In order to maintain your quality of life, recovery tools, like myofascial release tools and others below, are something you likely want to also consider investing in.
A stability ball, sometimes called a yoga ball, is an air-inflated ball ranging from 35 to 65 centimeters in diameter.
How does it help prevent injury exactly? The stability ball can be used for a range of exercise to help improve core strength.
Improving core strength is a key piece in lower back rehabilitation programs. In other words, it can prevent low back pain and help maintain proper posture.
The URBNFit Exercise Ball is your typical stability ball.
The added bonus? It comes with a quick pump, which means you can inflate it with the utmost ease.
This stability ball also isn’t just for core training. It also provides various ways to stretch and perform numerous yoga poses.
As a result, you can use this tool to improve your flexibility and maintain your range of motion.
This stability ball also comes in various sizes so you can find the right size suitable for you and what you wish to use it for.
A foam roller provides an easy way to perform self-myofascial release techniques through the use of a cylinder compressed foam tube.
This tool is a wonderful way to warm up before your workout and cooldown following your workout.
The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller is a durable and reliable foam rolling device. In fact, many physical therapists and massage therapists turn to this brand due to its comfortable design and reliability.
Like many foam rollers, the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller digs into the myofascial tissue. To use it, place the roller perpendicular and underneath the muscle you wish to use it on.
Apply moderate pressure and roll back and forth for 30 seconds to one minute. Similar to trigger point release therapy, this pressure causes the myofascial tissue to release, providing relief for muscular knots and muscle soreness.
This particular foam roller is durable and won’t wear down with repeated use. You can trust this brand to help you squash muscular soreness pre and post workout for many years to come.
Percussion Massager Gun
Percussion massager guns are shaped like a drill. But don’t let the shape intimidate you.
These percussion massagers use vibration therapy through the oscillating head that moves back and forth.
They work similar to tapotement, a massage technique that involves rapid and repeated strikes on the body to release muscular tension, improve range of motion, and increase blood flow.
The Ekrin B37 Percussion Massager is one of the top percussion massager guns on the market.
With an ergonomic design for ease of use and four different attachment heads, you can achieve the benefits of massage therapy right within your own home. In fact, it may even save you on the expenses associated with regular massage therapy sessions.
And it’s super easy to use. All you need to do is apply and glide the gun’s head over top of the muscles that require attention.
It can be used to help warm up your muscles before a workout, as well as used after your workout to cooldown.
In turn, it can speed up muscle recovery, improve blood and lymphatic flow, break up scar tissue, improve lactic acid clearance, decrease muscle fatigue, and more.
Yoga mats are specially designed fabric mats that provide cushion and grip for yoga moves and stretches.
From core exercises to stretching after your workout, a yoga mat is a must for any home gym.
It also can be used on your rest days to improve range of motion and flexibility.
The Extra Thick BalanceFrom Yoga Mat has an optimal cushion, protecting the knees and allowing you to fully relax after your exercise session.
It also comes with an additional knee pad for even more protection. While many seniors struggle with knee issues due to wear and tear on the knees over time, this mat provides the perfect amount of support.
You can stretch out your back, hamstrings, quadriceps, feet, and more all on one mat.
This mat also doesn’t cut corners when it comes to grip. If you want a spot to perform balance yoga poses or exercises, this mat is it.
Begin Building Your Home Gym Today
Find your perfect combination between strength, cardio, and recovery. Above, we featured the best home exercise equipment for seniors – from the best exercise machine for seniors to the top tools or devices.
It’s a good idea to discuss your options with your doctor before purchasing any devices to determine what is suitable for you and your health. We further suggest starting slow with any new exercise routine.
Begin with low weights or low reps, and gradually ease into your program. This can help reduce injuries, pain, and muscle soreness, as well as keep you motivated and ready for your next session.
At any age, getting back in shape is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. It can improve your quality of life and extend your longevity, which means you get to experience the most important events in your life and your loved one’s lives in the best shape possible.