senior dancing by herself with headphones

Easy Cardio Exercises Seniors Can Do at Home

There’s no question exercise plays a significant role in healthy aging. The question many of us do have is how to fit in the CDC-recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week. This list of simple cardio exercises for seniors can help. Whether you do them back-to-back to create a workout routine, or just do your favorite exercise while you wait for the tea kettle to boil, you’ll be moving more and sitting less, which is an important part of senior wellness.

The Benefits of a Cardio Workout

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing, offering numerous benefits, including:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Regulation of blood sugar levels
  • Weight management
  • Increased stamina and strength
  • Improved mood
  • Healthier cholesterol levels
  • Stronger immune system
  • Better brain health
  • Reduced risk of disease
  • Stronger bones
  • Lowered risk of falls
  • Independence as you age

Try These Cardio Exercises for Seniors

As you do these exercises, try to maintain a moderate-intensity pace, which will increase your heart rate and make you breathe harder, but it won’t make you feel like you’re working as hard as possible. You’ll still be able to talk, but you won’t be able to sing. As your stamina increases, you can modify the exercises to make them more challenging. Do each exercise for 30 seconds to 2 minutes each — or longer if you’re up for it.

Exercise #1: March in Place

Simple but effective, marching in place builds your core strength and boosts your balance and coordination. It will also get your blood pumping. To do this exercise:

  • March in place, bringing your knees up to hip height, if possible.
  • Try adding an extra challenge by punching as you march: Make a fist and punch with your right arm as you lift your left leg, then punch with your left arm as you lift your right leg.

Exercise #2: Side Step with Toe Tap

This technique will strengthen your hips and improve stamina.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly and, hinging at the hips, take a step to the right, bring your feet together and tap your left toe, then step to the left, and tap your right toe.
  • Repeat, stepping side to side.
  • Make the move more challenging by bending your knees and squatting lower as you side step.

Exercise #3: Step Back Jack

To perform this low-impact cardio exercise:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, step back with one foot while you raise your arms to chest level.
  • Return to starting position and repeat with the other foot and arm.
  • Increase the challenge by quickening your pace or raising your arms above your head.

Exercise #4: Modified Jumping Jack

Get your heart rate up without stress to your joints with this low-impact version of the traditional jumping jack:

  • Stand with your feet together and step your right foot to the side and your right arm overhead as high as you can reach.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg and left arm.
  • Make this exercise harder by increasing your speed and lunging more deeply.

Exercise #5: Dance

This one’s easy and fun. Put on a song that gets your toes tapping and start dancing. You’ll elevate your heart rate — and maybe even break a sweat — for at least 3 minutes while the song plays. Repeat as often as you like.

The Active Life at Sagewood

There’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy an active lifestyle at Sagewood. Swimming, dance instruction, and Aquacise are just a few of the opportunities you’ll find to engage in cardio exercises for seniors. You can also take classes to improve strength, balance and posture. In addition to senior fitness programs, on-campus lifelong learning opportunities, arts and crafts activities, and musical and cultural events promote intellectual, emotional, and social wellness. Contact us to learn more about the vibrant, active lifestyle at our independent living community, or to schedule a visit.