10 essential home exercise products for seniors
Getting a good workout is an ageless hobby.
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Surveys and studies have shown that approximately 67% of seniors were sedentary for more than 8.5 hours out of their day. And while the golden years are certainly prime time for catching up on reading lists and slowing down the pace for many, research has made it abundantly clear that a sedentary lifestyle is ill-advised and anything but healthy.
While physical activity is important at any age, it’s crucial for healthy aging. Study after study has shown that physical activity can prevent chronic health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. But the health benefits of regular exercise don’t stop there. Beyond keeping chronic illness at bay, regular physical activity can do much to improve balance and stability, ultimately ensuring independence for seniors, not to mention a better quality of life overall.
While seniors may have more time to invest in their health, accessibility and limitations on mobility are often a determining factor in how much physical activity a person can do. For seniors who have trouble meeting their daily activity requirements, a home gym can be an excellent investment. The right home exercise equipment for seniors can keep them be active and healthy on their schedule, in the comfort of their own home, and perhaps most importantly, on their terms.
Based on positive consumer reviews and a few personally tested items, here’s a recap of some of the best exercise equipment for seniors at home.
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1. Vaunn Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser
Under desk bikes are a great way for seniors to get their daily dose of exercise while sitting comfortably on a couch or chair. Not only are these machines a low-impact way to improve leg strength, but they’re also an excellent method to increase range of motion at the hips. Moreover, cycling may also improve your heart health, and, because the peddling is done in a seated position, there is very little risk of injury.
This bike pedal exerciser by Vaunn fits comfortably under desks and tables, so it’s a good pick for those with limited space. Seniors can easily pedal their way to better health while watching a movie, talking on the phone, or even reading a book. This pedal exerciser is equipped with an adjustable tension knob so users can control the level of resistance and their workout intensity. There’s also a large LCD screen that displays workout stats like cycle count, time, and calories burned.
2. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
As far as low-impact, high-reward exercises go, rowing is a top-tier piece of exercise equipment. Rowing is a resistance-based exercise, so it’s great for building stamina and building bone mineral density—something every senior should be concerned about. And while it’s tempting to think rowing is only for the young, it’s not. As with many other types of exercise equipment, seniors can easily change the resistance level on a rower to suit their fitness level, or they can row slower to control the resistance.
For seniors interested in rowing to get their daily dose of exercise, the Concept2 Model D rowing machine would be an excellent addition to their home gym. This rower uses an air flywheel to create resistance, so the rower completely controls the intensity. Rowing slowly yields little resistance, and when you’re ready to give the resistance a little bump, just row faster.
3. Healthy Seniors Chair Exercise Program
Developed by a physical therapist specifically for the needs of the elderly, this exercise program comes with everything seniors need to stay fit and active. The Healthy Seniors Chair Exercise program includes a printed, 18-page exercise guide, complete with detailed instructions and low and medium resistance bands to accommodate users at varying fitness levels. Within its pages, users will find targeted exercises that can improve flexibility, stability, and strength for every major muscle group.
4. Sunny Health & Fitness Walking Treadmill
Walking outdoors is an excellent low-impact exercise, but for seniors who find it difficult to navigate sidewalks and streets, a treadmill might be the next best thing. This treadmill by Sunny Health & Fitness features multi-grip rails for those with limited mobility or poor balance.
It’s also equipped with shock absorption technology in the running deck that reduces the impact on your joints when walking. Plus, the speed on this treadmill maxes out at 5 mph, so there’s relatively little risk of injury. If you’re in need of a senior-friendly cardio workout, this treadmill offers a safe way to do it that still gets your heart rate pumping.
5. LuxFit Foam Roller
Exercise equipment is not limited to machinery; it’s all the things that help improve your flexibility and range of motion. To that end, a foam roller can be infinitely helpful for relieving tight muscles, soreness, and inflammation. This lightweight, high-density foam roller from LuxFit is made using customized polypropylene to maintain firmness, and it’s available in three different sizes. It’s also our favorite foam roller of 2022.
6. Sunny Health & Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike
Recumbent exercise bikes allow seniors to sit while cycling in a reclined position. Beyond the benefit of a comfortable seat, these bikes also sit closer to the ground, so users feel less strain while exercising, not to mention that the low profile makes it easier to get on and off the bike.
Just like under-desk pedal exercisers or walking, recumbent bikes offer low-impact cardio exercise with minimal risk of injury. But make no mistake, they can still do their part to potentially improve your heart health and leg strength.
This recumbent bike by Sunny Health & Fitness features eight levels of adjustable magnetic tension, a digital monitor that tracks your time, speed, and distance, and a large seat and back cushion that make for a comfortable workout.
7. Portzon Dumbbells
While it’s tempting to think strength training may be off limits to seniors, research shows that such exercise can go a long way towards building muscle strength, preserving bone density, and improving balance and stability. Of course, we’re not talking about bench pressing hundreds of pounds, but small dumbbells ranging from 5-10 lbs. will easily allow most seniors to do an upper-body or strength-training workout from the comfort of their home.
This highly rated set of dumbbells by Portzon features a non-slip neoprene coating, an anti-roll hex shape, and they’re available in a range of weights.
8. BalanceFrom Exercise Ball
While they’re typically lightweight, stability balls can provide a strength-training workout that emphasizes balance. Plus, they’re a great way to strengthen your core—the muscles you use to perform everyday activities.
This stability ball by BalanceFrom is made with thick and durable materials, plus it’s anti-slip and comes with a free foot pump.
9. Topesct Adjustable Wrist Weights
If strength and resistance training are on your to-do list, but dumbbells are not an option due to a weaker handgrip or decreased hand function, wrist weights are an excellent alternative for building light muscle mass. With an elastic band and ultra-strong Velcro, this set of wearable wrist weights by Topesct features one- and two-pound weights, plus they’re fully adjustable and can also be worn on your ankles.
10. Gaiam Essentials Premium Yoga Mat
For seniors looking to lean into their downward dog, yoga mats are a must-have piece of gym equipment. Also known as sticky mats, this yoga essential provides traction and cushioning so you can safely and comfortably complete your regular routine.
This yoga mat by Gaiam is durable yet lightweight, and it’s extra thick (1/4-inch), so it offers exceptional cushioning for your joints. It comes with its own carrier sling, and it’s available in a variety of colors.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.