Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Four Safe, Fun Summer Exercise Ideas for Seniors

Seniors need exercise year round to keep their bones sturdy, their muscles strong, and their joints healthy and flexible. However, seasonal challenges can make it hard to get workouts in, especially in summer when the heat waves begin. Here are four ways you can avoid heat exhaustion and still get the exercise you need.

Find a space with AC for fast-walking

The famous mall-walker trend exists for a reason – malls are a relatively safe environment, with security, temperature control, non-slip, even flooring, and escalator or elevator access to different levels. A group can easily find a way to meet regularly for a fun walk to meet daily exercise goals, or walk alone with some great music. Don’t have a nice mall near you? Even a big grocery store or goods warehouse can give you the freedom to do laps. Alternately, find out if a local gym has an air-conditioned indoor track with a special time reserved for seniors to use it.  

Sign up for water aerobics

Water workouts are incredible for getting your heart rate up just a little, working out your entire body, and relieving pressure on your joints. Just a 20 minute class a few times a week can help you get your exercise in safely and you can also make friends and have a lot of fun in the water. Look for classes that have different levels, so you can move up to higher difficulty and activity as your body gets stronger.

Join a senior yoga or Pilates class

Yoga and Pilates are both low impact workouts that concentrate on flexibility and strengthening your core. They can be done early in the morning in an outdoor location to beat the heat, or indoors in an AC cooled room later in the day. You can combine yoga or Pilates classes with at home exercises done as the instructor directs for a safe workout on days there isn’t a class.  

Spin cycling for seniors

Spin classes for seniors are definitely a thing, so put on your biking pants and hit a class to get your blood pumping and your legs moving. Cycling on a stationary bike can be a good way to work out knee joints that get stiff, without causing heavy impact.

Alternate activities for best results, and to avoid soreness. If you have pain after working out, and it persists or you can’t sleep because of it, schedule a consultation with Dr. Strasburger to look for underlying issues that could benefit from non-surgical treatment.