How To Stay Active As We Get Older

older people being active

Are you looking to stay active as you approach your golden years?

It’s never too late to start moving, exercise is good for people of all ages. 

As you get older staying active can be hugely beneficial to both your physical and mental health. 

Regular exercise can reduce pain, relieve stress, improve sleep, lower risk of diseases and many other benefits. 

We all get older, have more aches and pains, unfortunately it’s just the way of life.

You have to be mindful of what your body is now capable of as unfortunately you may not be able to do some of the things you used to be able to do. 

Find an activity that is right for you.

Even if you’re going for short 10 minute walks every day, it’s better than nothing. 

Being active with your family is a great way to stay healthy without even realizing it. 

Taking grandchildren out for walks or just playing with them in the house can be very physically enduring. 

You’re almost getting a two for one as you’re spending quality time with your family and getting the exercise you need. 

We recommend that you try to stay moderately active for at least 150 minutes per week.

That’s just a little over 20 minutes a day, that’s not to say you can’t do more if your body allows it. 

There’s no reason why getting older can’t be a journey full of new adventures as you look into how you can stay active. 

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How To Start

starting exercise of couple

If you’ve done regular exercise for a while, starting again can be a little daunting. 

There’s so many different options and it can be challenging trying to figure out what is right for you. 

The first thing that you need to know is what you are still capable of doing. 

There’s no point in setting lofty goals as if you’re unable to achieve them it’s going to have a negative effect on your mental health and may stop you from trying more activities. 

The best thing you can do is to start small and gradually build up the difficulty if you can manage it. 

Try walking round the block every day and increase the distance if you are comfortable. 

Speak to your friends or look out for classes in your area, a lot of gyms offer classes that are designed for older people. 

Doing activities as part of a group can also be great for your mental health. 

The most important thing is to pick something you enjoy and make sure it is something that you look forward to doing. 

Don’t pressure yourself, take your time to find what works for you. 

Staying Active At Home

exercise at home

You don’t need to leave your house to do your daily exercises.

In fact most household chores can get your body moving just as good as some exercises. 

For instance hoovering and tidying up around the house can be a workout in their own form. 

The main thing whilst you’re at home is trying not to be too sedentary. 

Sitting or lying down for long periods of time will cause your muscles to stiffen up, generally making it harder to move around. 

Even if you get up every hour and have a little walk around the house you’re at least moving your body a bit. 

If you are unable to stand for long periods of time or are in a wheelchair you can try chair based exercises at home. 

These can involve exercise or dance routines specifically designed for sitting down, these are often readily available online. 

Having A Balanced Exercise Plan

balanced diet and lifestyle in heart shape

If you’re still relatively fit and healthy you should be looking to have a balanced exercise plan that targets different areas of the body. 

You don’t need to exercise for long periods of time, like we mentioned before. Around 30 minutes a day can benefit you immensely. 

If you can you should aim to do activities that look to improve your strength, balance and flexibility. 

Unfortunately these are the three areas that deteriorate as we get older. 

Flexibility And Balance 

You may not think it but your balance and flexibility are very important in day to day life. 

Like most things it’s only when they get weaker that we notice their importance. 

Simple chores like picking things up off the floor, reaching up to shelves and tying your shoes can prove to be a real struggle. 

Your flexibility increases your range of motion, a series of simple stretches in the morning at home can be great to maintain your flexibility. 

Whereas balancing exercises help you maintain your stability on your feet. 

This is very important again as it reduces your risk of falls, falling is of course more dangerous as we age due to our bodies being more susceptible to breaks. 

Why not try practicing standing on one foot, walking backwards or sideways. All these are simple ways that can improve your balance.  


strength training

We’re not asking you to start lifting heavy weights and turn into a bodybuilder but if you’re able to, strength training is important to keep your muscle mass. 

As we get older we lose our muscle mass and become weaker over time.  

If you have any at home or have a gym membership try lifting light weights and gradually build the weight up if you can manage it. 

You can also use books in the house or if you’re carrying bags of shopping that can be as good as any weight. 

What Activities Should I Do?

You can really give anything a go that you think you can do safely and are comfortable with. 

Seeing what is out there for you can be fun and exciting, try to challenge yourself and try new things. 


Walking can improve your health and can help you live independently for longer. 

Walking is a great example as to why exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous, you can just walk at your own pace and decide how far you want to go. 

Start small, just go round the block once a day. 

Ask a friend if they want to join you, walk to a coffee shop with them. Have a break then walk back home. 

Walking with a friend gives you that extra motivation to keep going as it’s harder to cancel and you’re less likely to give up. 

If you’re still fit and active and you enjoy walking in the country why not plan hiking routes with friends or family. 

This is a great way to explore new areas and be active for long periods of time. 

It’s advisable if you do decide to start walking for longer distances, particularly hiking that you get suitable shoes that are comfortable. 


yoga and pilates

It may not be the first thing on your mind but both yoga and pilates can be hugely beneficial to you. 

Firstly they can be a great social activity and something for you to look forward to once a week or more. 

The key thing for you is that they both improve your strength, balance and flexibility. 

They’re also great for mental health and preventing cognitive decline as they often teach mindfulness techniques. 

Yoga is also known to manage your stress and help you sleep better at night, improving your overall quality of life. 

If you can find yoga or Pilates classes in your area we’d definitely recommend you signing up. 

Senior Sports

Keep a lookout in your area for senior sport classes or meet ups. 

Exercising with others is great for keeping you motivated but also providing you with a place to meet new people. 

There’s a whole host of sports that are good for seniors such as tennis, golf, pickleball, bowls, walking soccer and dancing to name a few. 

As long as you’re able to do it and enjoy it we say give it a go. 

Staying active is all about having fun in the process. 

Water Sports


Swimming gives the body a complete workout, both muscular and cardiovascular. 

Swimming is an ideal activity particularly for those who suffer from arthritis as the water takes most of your body weight meaning there is less strain on your joints. 

Going for a swim can be great for your social life as you’ll start to see the same faces and get talking to people who enjoy swimming like you do. 

There’s also great things like water aerobics classes which can be very fun and social. 

Water aerobics is one of the best low impact exercises for seniors to stay active and healthy. 

During your classes overtime you will increase your flexibility whilst at the same time increasing your strength, all of which are important things to do as we get older. 

Andrew Vertson