Engaging in at least 30 minutes of daily exercise is beneficial for older adults as it reduces the risk of chronic diseases. By utilizing appropriate exercise equipment, you can easily customize a low-impact workout routine that suits your needs. If you’re an older adult seeking exercise equipment that is gentle on the joints, consider exploring ellipticals, stability balls, foam rollers, and free weights. These tools aid in building strength, improving balance, and supporting posture. In this review, we will delve into some of our recommended exercise equipment for seniors, perfect for setting up a home gym.
What to Look for in Exercise Equipment for Seniors
When searching for exercise equipment, consider tools that can assist with balance, minimize the risk of falls, and reduce strain on your body. If you’re aiming to strengthen and build muscles, free weights or a rowing machine could be excellent choices.
Alternatively, elliptical machines serve as a gentle exercise tool as they are easy on the joints and equipped with handlebars for individuals with balance or dexterity concerns. While everyone’s exercise routine may differ, there is no one correct approach. The important thing is to engage in physical activity and make progress using exercise equipment, leading to a healthier lifestyle.
Our Favorite Exercise Equipment for Seniors
An elliptical machine is an excellent option for older adults experiencing joint pain or arthritis, as it provides a low-impact workout without straining or putting pressure on the body. Equipped with handlebars that move back and forth, an elliptical machine allows you to engage in activities like jogging, climbing, walking, all from the comfort of your home. It serves as an alternative to treadmills, helping to enhance stamina, improve balance, and strengthen muscles and core. Additionally, it aids in burning calories and supports weight loss.
Moreover, an elliptical machine effectively targets both the upper and lower body, working out the glutes, stretching the hamstrings, and toning the muscles. It is gentle on the joints, with supportive handlebars connected to foot pedals for better balance and control. By utilizing a smooth gliding motion, it minimizes impact on the knees and joints, unlike traditional exercises that involve hitting the ground. For seniors, an elliptical machine offers a safer option with the ability to hold onto the handlebars and stop as needed.
Our Favorite Elliptical for Seniors
The Sole E25 Elliptical, designed by physical therapists, is an advanced elliptical machine ideal for older adults dealing with arthritis, hip pain, and joint pain. With 20 incline levels and a durable frame backed by a lifetime warranty, this elliptical offers exceptional functionality.
Moreover, it features pulse monitors and a chest strap to track heart rate and overall health metrics. Enjoy seamless music streaming through Bluetooth technology and conveniently charge your smart devices using the USB port. Available at a price of $999.99, the Sole E25 Elliptical also includes a 30-day trial of Studio, providing access to over 3,000 instructor-led fitness on-demand classes.
A treadmill is a type of exercise equipment that allows users to run or jog continuously on a durable deck or belt. It typically features shorter handlebars and a safety key that can be attached to your waist. Treadmills are ideal for aerobic workouts and high-intensity interval training. Many smart treadmills offer pulse and heart rate monitors, LCD screens, and adjustable incline and speed settings.
Treadmills are effective for working out various parts of the body, including glutes, quads, and abs. They are especially beneficial for seniors who want to improve cardiovascular health and burn calories without leaving home or going to the gym.
Our Favorite Treadmill for Seniors
The LifeSpan TR2000e Electric Folding Treadmill is an excellent option for active older adults seeking a compact and portable treadmill. One of its standout features is the user-friendly console, which displays essential information like steps, distance, calories burned, and heart rate on a large LCD screen.
Moreover, this treadmill prioritizes safety for older adults. It automatically pauses the belt within 20 seconds when you step off the deck. For health-conscious seniors, it offers various heart rate programs and preset programs for healthy living, sports training, and weight management, allowing for a personalized workout experience. The price of this treadmill is $1,199, with the option of monthly payments starting at $199.83. You can purchase it directly from LifeSpan or Amazon.
For more information on treadmills, don’t miss our comprehensive guide to the top treadmills for seniors.
Resistance bands, also known as elastic bands, are excellent for both strength training and cardio exercises. They are lightweight and adjustable, making them perfect for creating resistance and building muscle and core strength. In addition to improving balance, resistance bands provide a challenge for your muscles.
You can incorporate resistance bands into your workout routine to target your arms and quads. For example, you can do squats while placing the bands below your shins to intensify your workout. For added safety, there are also anti-slip resistance bands available. These bands are not only beneficial for physical therapy but also help strengthen inactive muscles without putting excessive pressure on your joints.
Our Favorite Resistance Bands for Seniors
Healthy Seniors offers a fantastic selection of resistance bands, specifically designed for seniors who spend long periods seated. For those aiming to avoid a sedentary lifestyle or recover from muscle-related issues, the Healthy Seniors Chair Exercise Program with Two Resistance Bands is the perfect solution. These bands are not only ideal for simple arm and leg stretches from a chair but can also serve as rehab bands for individuals in physical therapy. With durable thick handles and the ability to strengthen arms, legs, and core, these bands are excellent for both on-the-floor yoga exercises and overall strength building.
A stability ball, also referred to as an exercise ball, is an excellent exercise tool that consists of a large ball used to support the body and enhance core strength. It can even serve as a substitute for a chair, encouraging muscles to work harder and improving balance. The versatility, flexibility, and circular shape of a stability ball make it particularly useful for seniors. By simply sitting or rolling on it, seniors can enhance their posture. Additionally, it can be utilized for leg lifts and gentle crunches.
Our Favorite Stability Ball for Seniors
The DYNAPRO Exercise Ball is crafted from eco-friendly PVC and is available in a range of vibrant colors. What sets this stability ball apart from others is its thick construction, providing protection against sharp objects. With its non-slip matte surface, you can confidently engage in various exercises without the risk of falling or slipping.
The pull-down machine is a piece of workout equipment that utilizes a pulley system to target and strengthen the upper body, including the torso, arms, back, shoulders, and triceps. It is an excellent fitness tool for older adults who desire a more intense workout and want to enhance their muscle strength. These machines are particularly advantageous for seniors as they provide support to the back muscles and offer a complete upper-body exercise. Moreover, as these machines are used while seated, they are considered to have a relatively low impact on the body.
Our Favorite Pull-Down Machine for Seniors
The BuyHive LAT Pull Down Machine is a cost-effective home pull-down machine designed for older adults. It has a weight of 220 pounds and is equipped with adjustable foam rollers that can be customized to your height. This specific machine targets the upper body muscles and aids in developing resistance to counteract the force of the pulley station, preventing your body from being lifted.
Using a yoga mat is an excellent method to maintain stability and concentrate on floor workouts without exerting excessive strain on your joints. A slip-free yoga mat enables you to perform a variety of exercises such as crunches, squats, tree poses, backward bends, planks, and other abdominal and lower-body workouts.
Our Favorite Yoga Mat for Seniors
Experience enhanced durability and protection with the Brybelly Crown Sporting Goods 15 mm Extra Thick Yoga Mat during your floor workouts and yoga sessions. This yoga mat is significantly thicker and softer compared to traditional mats, typically measuring around 4 to 6 mm in thickness. Its moisture-resistant surface allows for deep stretches, while the non-slip and thick foam material provide optimal support for your joints.
Wrist weights, weighing less than three pounds, are strapped around your wrists (or ankles). They serve as a convenient alternative to dumbbells, particularly beneficial for seniors with grip challenges. Wrist weights aim to increase resistance and elevate heart rate during basic aerobic exercises.
Our Favorite Wrist Weights for Seniors
Bala Bangles offer an excellent choice for older adults looking to incorporate resistance into their workouts. Weighing just one pound, these versatile wrist weights can be worn on either the wrists or ankles. With a range of colors available, they are easy to keep track of.
Recumbent bikes offer reclining support instead of an upright riding position, making them useful exercise tools. They are particularly beneficial for older adults who enjoy watching TV shows on their tablet while working out. With a recumbent bike, you can engage in other tasks while cycling in one place.
Primarily targeting the lower body, including glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads, recumbent bikes place less strain on the body compared to regular bikes. You have the ability to adjust settings and resistance levels, unlike traditional biking which can be exhausting and strenuous. If you tend to lose motivation during regular bike rides, a recumbent bike can help you build stamina and customize settings according to your preferences.
Our Favorite Recumbent Bike for Seniors
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike is an excellent exercise bike suitable for older adults who prefer the comfort of home workouts. It offers a supportive lumbar backrest and a contoured seat for extended exercise sessions. What sets this bike apart is its dual large LCD screens, providing more information than the standard single screen. With 29 program options, you can personalize your workouts and keep track of your heart rate on the LCD screen. For more information on recumbent bikes, check out our guide to the top choices for seniors.
Rowing machines are an excellent exercise tool to have at home if you want to strengthen your body and increase your energy levels throughout the day. They provide a full-body workout, engaging both the upper and lower body as well as the core muscles. Active seniors can benefit from using a rowing machine as it helps burn calories, elevate heart rate, and build muscle and endurance.
To use a rowing machine effectively, start by sitting on the adjustable seat and placing your feet on the footrests. Once securely strapped in, pull the handlebar towards your chest to feel the resistance. A rowing machine offers a comprehensive workout for your abs, obliques, shoulders, arms, and both upper and lower body. Moreover, you have the flexibility to adjust the resistance for a customized low-impact workout that suits your needs.
Our Favorite Rowing Machines for Seniors
We love the Concept2 RowErg as it caters to different fitness levels and serves as an excellent at-home rowing machine. It effectively enhances heart health and engages multiple muscle groups. Notable features include a device holder, a PM5 monitor for tracking health metrics, and the choice of standard or tall legs with varying seat heights to accommodate different preferences.
A foam roller is a large cylindrical tube made of foam that can be used to improve flexibility and alleviate soreness or tightness in the body. It is a beneficial exercise tool for older adults experiencing back and shoulder issues or muscle discomfort. If you are in the recovery phase or seeking to relieve stiffness in your joints and back, foam rollers can be a valuable aid. They can also serve as a warm-up tool prior to workouts or yoga sessions.
Our Favorite Foam Rollers for Seniors
The Gaiam Deep Tissue Foam Roller offers a soothing and effective way to release tension and target pressure points in the body. Its firm construction and sturdy hollow center make it a great option for older adults experiencing discomfort in their back, shoulders, or neck. Additionally, it includes a useful exercise guide that provides a variety of exercises to perform with the roller.
Free weights are versatile tools for increasing strength, engaging in aerobic exercises, and building muscle mass. They are referred to as “free” because they are not connected to any equipment. You have the freedom to lift them and choose the appropriate weight for your workout routine. Various types of free weights are available, such as dumbbells and kettlebells. With free weights, you can perform bicep curls, resistance exercises, squats, and other arm workouts.
Exercise tools such as yoga mats, wrist weights, recumbent bikes, rowing machines, foam rollers, and free weights offer unique benefits for older adults. They serve as an alternative to traditional workouts and can be easily incorporated into daily routines at home. With the right equipment and guidance, seniors can maintain a healthy lifestyle by engaging in regular physical activity that strengthens their muscles, improves endurance, and enhances overall well-being. So, choose an exercise tool that suits your needs and start reaping the benefits of staying active today! Remember to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Stay healthy and happy!