Top 5 Tips for Home Exercise for Seniors

Published on 11 Jan 2022

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Exercise your way to good health from the comfort of home!

With many of us cutting back on our outdoor activities as we adjust to the new normal, it can be tricky to stay active. The Health Promotion Board recommends getting 150 minutes of physical activity a week to reap substantial health benefits,1 but how does one achieve this while spending more time indoors?

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to step up your physical activity without leaving home. We’ve put together a guide featuring a variety of indoor exercises suitable for seniors, along with some handy tips on how to exercise safely and stay motivated.

There’s no reason to let the pandemic prevent you from having an active lifestyle, so put on your activewear and get moving!

Exercise Your Way to a Better Quality of Life

From reducing your risk of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and heart disease, to supporting better brain health, bone mass and a strong immune system, there’s no denying the health benefits of exercise.

But did you know that physical activity can also boost your sleep quality, mental health and functional fitness? Beat the blues by working up a sweat (anywhere, even at home!) to feel more energetic and improve your balance, range of motion, mobility, and strength for a happier, healthier you.

Top 5 ways to kickstart your exercise routine

The key to staying healthy while exercising is taking the proper precautions. Here’s how you can keep yourself safe while pursuing your fitness goals:

  1. Get a health screening before starting any new exercise routine. Exercise is good and safe for most older adults, but if you have an old injury, joint pain or underlying health conditions, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor before proceeding.

  2. Include a warm-up and cool-down session for all your fitness routines. Warm-up exercises like brisk walking and gentle arm swings help to gradually prepare your body for more intense activity, minimizing the stress on your heart and post-exercise muscle soreness.

    Avoid ending an exercise session abruptly, as it can cause your blood pressure and heart rate to drop rapidly. Instead, cool down with some walking or stretching to avoid a dizzy spell and prevent falls.

  3. Use suitable activewear and exercise equipment while exercising at home for enhanced performance and safety. Choose comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely, and put on a pair of sport shoes during high intensity exercises to protect your joints from the impact.

    If you’re on the hunt for affordable and easy-to-use home exercise equipment, an anti-slip yoga mat is your go-to item. It’s perfect for exercises that require you to sit, kneel or lie down comfortably. A resistance band is another great option that takes up minimal space; use it anywhere to engage in a range of strength, flexibility and cardio exercises.

  4. Listen to your body and stop any exercise if you experience pain. Start slow and don’t chiong (rush) if you’re new to exercise. Begin with 10 min intervals, and slowly increase the intervals and intensity as you get stronger over time. You should be able to talk but not sing without being out of breath during a moderate intensity workout.

  5. Staying hydrated throughout your workout is important especially in Singapore’s humid weather. Your body needs enough fluids to lubricate its joints and keep you at peak performance, so drink up! Opt for water over beverages like coffee and alcohol that can have a dehydrating effect.
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There are plenty of smartphone apps online that you can refer to for quick and easy workouts at home

Tips to Stay Motivated

Need some help sticking to a fitness routine? Fret not, we’ve got some great tips to make it easier to stay on track!

Set goals and track your progress

Whether it’s weight loss, improved flexibility, or better stamina, setting multiple small goals can fire up your competitive streak to keep you going. Keep a fitness journal, or use a smartphone app like Fitocracy to track, share and celebrate your physical activity milestones with your friends online. You can even engage others in some friendly in-app competition to earn bragging rights!

Reward yourself

Building some perks into your fitness routine can make regular exercise more gratifying. Allow yourself to watch your favorite drama show while working out, or enjoy a post-exercise karaoke session and meal. While you’re at it, why not up the feel-good factor and celebrate bigger achievements by getting the foot massager you’ve been eyeing, or a new fitness tracker to monitor your heart rate and daily movement.

Find enjoyable ways to fit exercise into your day

Do you love dancing? Boogie your way to fitness with a free session of LIVE zoom Zumba at ActiveSG. If you would rather play video games than exercise, do both with Nintendo Wii’s fitness games! Get in that family time and challenge the grandkids to a calorie-burning game of virtual volleyball, boxing and even tennis. If you love a clean house, make your chores count by sneaking in more movement while vacuuming, sweeping and scrubbing floors. The possibilities are endless, so get creative!

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All you need are a few items for a complete home workout: resistance bands, water bottle, yoga mat and a plan!

Simple Exercises Seniors Can Do at Home

Alternating aerobic (cardio), strength, flexibility and balance workouts not only spices up your exercise regimen, but it also helps you to get a better workout. Have a go at some easy-to-follow workout video recommendations from our physiotherapists and trainers below!

Chair exercises

These are great for beginners and seniors who have limited mobility and want to avoid the risk of falls. Take care to use a sturdy chair that is preferably weighted with a backrest to ensure your safety.

Melt away that tension in a calming session of Chair Tai chi, or break out a sweat to Chair Zumba if you feel like some heart-pumping cardio.

Seniors tend to lose muscle mass as they age; using light weights in strength training can slow the loss and even reverse it. No dumbbells? Try this seated water bottle exercise instead, or check out how you can build your muscle groups by simply using your own body weight.

Check out the whole range of senior-friendly exercise videos led by professional NTUC Health Rehabilitation and Wellness instructors to enjoy a safe and effective workout.

YouTube exercise video guides

With so many options for workouts available on YouTube, you’ll be spoilt for choice. We picked a few of our favorites to share with you.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

Remember that a little effort goes a long way, so start today and don’t be discouraged by occasional breaks in your fitness routine. Keep having fun and you’ll be on your way to being fit and fabulous!

Need some extra motivation from our expert trainers?

Sign up for our Active Ageing Fitness Classes and Elderly Gyms to try our senior-friendly fitness programs like Functional Strength Training and get a head start on your fitness journey today.

Contact us

Hotline: 6214 3023

WhatsApp: 9028 2440

fitness@ntuchealth.sg

1 Health Promotion Board launches national physical activity guidelines (Source)

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