Fitness for older adults

Fitness for older adults (65 years and over)

  • Be active around the house – cooking, housework and walking while you're on the phone can help keep you mobile, although these activities won't count towards your weekly activity target.
  • Get into shape with Strength and Flex, a 5-week exercise plan to increase strength and flexibility for beginners.
  • Conservation groups are a way to get involved in improving your local environment and being active at the same time. Find out more about Green Gyms.
  • Try something new. If you're not sure what activities you'd like, find out which sport or activity you're best suited to using the BBC's 'Which sport are you made for?' tool.
  • Walking is the easiest way to increase your activity levels. Find a friend to walk with, or join a walking group for some extra motivation. Read about walking for health.
  • Senior sports or fitness classes keep you motivated and can be fun, relieve stress and help you meet friends.
  • Heavy gardening – including pushing, bending, squatting, carrying, digging and shovelling – can provide a good workout.
  • Swimming, aqua aerobics and working out in water are ideal for older adults, because water reduces stress and strain on the body's joints. Find out more in swimming for fitness.
  • Yoga is suitable for all ability levels. It combines a series of poses with breathing, and is good for building strength, flexibility and balance.
  • Tai chi is an ancient Chinese art that builds strength, flexibility and balance through slow and controlled movements.
  • Pilates focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle strength, flexibility and posture.
  • Take up running – if you're just starting out, try our popular Couch to 5K running plan.