Exercise leads to better health. It not only helps you decrease your risk for health conditions such as coronary artery disease and cancer, but it can also help to better manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes and osteoarthritis. Following a routine exercise program can also lead to increased stamina, a stronger immune system and a lower risk of depression. For older adults, there are even greater benefits.

Exercise and Aging

Decreased mobility and lack of flexibility are more common with aging. Regular exercise helps build flexibility and core strength both of which improve balance and coordination. That leads to fewer falls and fall related injuries.

Another benefit of exercise for seniors is that it can promote better sleep. For older adults, getting the right amount of sleep and good quality sleep can be a struggle.

Senior-Friendly Exercise Programs

If you or the Michigan senior you love needs help developing an exercise program that is senior-friendly, these resources should help:

  • Getting Fit for Life: The National Institute on Aging developed a program that includes four types of physical activity: endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. They have helpful videos that show you how to incorporate each form of exercise into your fitness routine.
  • Go 4 Life: This is another comprehensive fitness program from The National Institute on Aging. It covers exercise, safety, motivation and more. They also offer seniors free DVDs and guides.
  • ElderGym: Is a senior focused fitness site that shares resources that range from helpful articles to DVDs and ebooks.
  • Exercise Plan for Seniors: This Health Line site can help older adults develop a workout schedule that incorporates flexibility, strength, stretching and balance.
  • Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults: Developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this guide is free to download. It offers tips for getting started, a quiz to measure your strength, ideas for staying motivated, goal setting and more.

Finally, don’t overlook the exercise programs that take place every day at senior centers across the state of Michigan. To find one near you, visit Michigan Association of Senior Centers.


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