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10 Bone and Muscle-Strengthening Exercises for Older Adults

    10 Bone and Muscle-Strengthening Exercises for Older Adults

    Why is it important for older adults to exercise? As we grow older, our bodies tend to wear out. It is just a normal part of aging, and it will happen to everyone eventually.

    However, this does not mean that we can just neglect our bodies since it is going to get weaker anyway. Itis still important to take steps in maintaining our strength and good health for as long as we are able to enjoy a long and healthy life.

    Why is it Important for Older Adults to Exercise?

    The benefits of exercise for the body are numerous. And this is especially true for older adults, since exercise can help manage some of the effects that aging can have on their body. In particular, exercise can help strengthen muscles and bones and can help reduce the risk of falls for the elderly. It can also help mitigate the effects of hypertension, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular problems.

    However, there are some risks of exercise for older adults that need to be considered, such as the following:

    • Certain high-impact exercises may cause injury or harm
    • Some exercises can put an older person at risk of a fall
    • For those with heart conditions, strenuous exercise can put unnecessary strain on the heart. You may need to ask for clearance from your cardiologist/ doctor if it’s ok to do a specific exercise.
    • Older adults with mobility problems may find certain exercises very painful to do
    • Their muscles may not be as developed as before and can find it hard to lift heavy weights
    • Those with a high risk of fractures need to be more mindful about their exercises

    These are just some of the risks of exercise for older adults. This is why it is important to know what types of exercise are safe and effective when it comes to building strength.

    You may ask your doctor regarding the specific exercises you are allowed to do, especially if you have certain heart conditions or other illnesses.

    7 Exercises for a Stronger Core

    10 Bone and Muscle-Strengthening Exercises for Older Adults


    There are many risks of exercise for older adults, especially if you do not know what you are doing. Which is why walking is a great form of exercise for older folk.

    Walking is a great way to bring your heart rate up. It is low-impact, but it also helps keep your muscles and your bones strong and healthy.

    You can also integrate walking into your daily routine. Instead of taking your car when you go to a nearby store, you can try walking instead. You can also walk in the morning to get yourself ready for the day.

    Another great thing about walking is that you can add it as a part of your exercise routine, and it is a good warm-up for some more intense exercises.

    Climbing Stairs

    Another good exercise for older people would be to climb stairs. This form of exercise is more intense compared to walking, but it works really well when it comes to strengthening your bones.

    When doing this exercise, it is important to not focus on speed, but on the duration and quality of exercise. Rushing to go up and down the stairs can put you at risk of an injury, or even a fall. Be sure to hold on to the railing, and focus on each step as you climb up and down.

    This also gets your blood pumping and your lungs working extra hard, which helps strengthen them over time.


    Another great exercise for older people is to engage in gardening. Gardening may sound like simple work, but digging up plants, pulling up weeds and roots, and lifting a watering can can be one heck of a workout!

    Gardening is also great for your lungs, since you are out breathing fresh air instead of being inside. Being surrounded by greenery is also good for your mental health, and can even motivate you to do more gardening and exercise even more.


    When the question of “Why is it important for older adults to exercise?” comes up, an important thought to remember is that older people are more prone to falls and injury. Cross-training aims to improve your agility, balance, and strength. These things can greatly help reduce your risk of falls and other types of injury.

    When it comes to cross-training, be sure to not overdo it. The goal here is to steadily strengthen your body, not force your body to do things that it can not. Start slow, and gradually integrate more exercises into your routine.

    why is it important for older adults to exercise

    Using resistance bands

    Resistance bands are great for building muscle and strength. Exercises that use resistance bands can help you target specific muscle groups that need to be strengthened, such as in your arms and your legs.

    Plus, the great thing about resistance bands is that you can adjust it depending on your ability. Use less resistance if you are just starting out, and slowly build up to more resistance when your muscles have developed.

    Tai Chi

    Tai Chi helps improve your breathing as well as your balance, posture, and mobility. Tai Chi is also great since risks of exercise for older adults are significantly less when you are doing Tai Chi.

    The focus of Tai Chi is on deep breathing, as well as flowing movements, so you do not need to be strong or fast or particularly in good shape to get started with Tai Chi.

    Tai Chi can also help lower your stress levels and can be a way to both relax and stay fit.

    Low-impact aerobics

    Low-impact aerobics is a great form of exercise, particularly for older adults with osteoporosis or muscle problems. As the name implies, low-impact aerobics do not put a lot of strain on your bones and muscles, so you can be sure that your risk of injury is extremely low with this form of exercise.

    Aerobics also helps keep your heart rate up and can help keep your bones and muscles strong.


    Yoga helps build strength, flexibility, and also helps teach you mindfulness and focus. Yoga is a great form of exercise since both your mind and body are engaged, and it is also a great way to relieve stress.


    Dancing is another great form of exercise for older adults. Dancing helps keep you agile and is an enjoyable way to do exercise. Be sure to do only the low-impact types of dance, since some other types of dances are more intense, and require some degree of physical fitness.

    But as you get stronger and more comfortable, you should be able to do some of the more complex and physically demanding steps.

    Bodyweight exercises

    Bodyweight exercises are great since you do not need any equipment, and because you are just using your body’s weight, you are not putting unnecessary strain on your body.

    Bodyweight exercises are great for building muscle and strengthening your bones. You can also do it anywhere in your house, and it can easily be integrated into any workout routine you might have.


    Another fun activity/ exercise is swimming, which helps to work out the entire body. It’s great for those with certain limitations as it is high resistance yet requires less stress on the joints.

    What You Should Know about Low Impact Exercises

    Key Takeaways

    Why is it important for older adults to exercise? As we grow older, the more necessary it is for us to stay healthy and fit. But remember to listen to your body, and if you feel any pain or feel that exercising might cause you harm or injury, feel free to stop it and try something else.

    Learn more about Healthy Aging here.


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    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


    Exercises for strong bones – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercises-for-strong-bones/, Accessed July 6 2020

    Exercise and Bone Health – OrthoInfo – AAOS, https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/exercise-and-bone-health/, Accessed July 6 2020

    Exercising with osteoporosis: Stay active the safe way – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/in-depth/osteoporosis/art-20044989, Accessed July 6 2020

    Osteoporosis Exercise for Strong Bones – National Osteoporosis Foundation, https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/exercisesafe-movement/osteoporosis-exercise-for-strong-bones/, Accessed July 6 2020

    Royal Osteoporosis Society | Exercise for bones, https://theros.org.uk/information-and-support/looking-after-your-bones/exercise-for-bones/, Accessed July 6 2020

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    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 16, 2021
    Medically reviewed by Mia Dacumos, MD