Fun Ways for Older Adults to Stay Physically Active
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There are lots of fun and simple ways to build exercise into your daily routine. Find ideas for activities to do with your family and ways to stay active in all four seasons.
Family activities to help you get exercise
Being physically active with your family is a great way to stay healthy and make exercise fun. Whether you play team sports with the entire family or take brisk walks with your spouse, child, or grandchild, you’ll be rewarded with improved health and time spent together.
Here are a few activity ideas for you to do with your grandchildren:
Infants and toddlers
- Take them for walks in the stroller and rides on your bike. Don’t forget your helmets.
- Play games that get your bodies moving — Wheels on the Bus, Pretend We’re Animals, and Hide-and-Seek.
- Sign up for baby yoga or exercise classes.
- Try baby-friendly swimming classes.
- Walk to the park and push their swing.
- Jump rope together.
- Build a fort — indoors or out.
- Play catch, kickball, basketball, or soccer.
- Go swimming or biking together.
- Play a video fitness game together and see who wins!
Teens and young adults
- Participate in activities that interest them. Try hiking, skating, or tennis.
- Go golfing or swimming. Invite them to join you in physical activities that require two people, such as tennis or ping pong.
- Ask them to help you in the garden or with heavy-duty household chores.
Search for Move Your Way: Tips for Getting Active as a Family on YouTube for more tips on getting active with your family.
Find ways to stay active in all four seasons
Being creative about your physical activity plans and trying new forms of exercise can keep you motivated by preventing boredom. A change in seasons is an excellent time to be creative about your exercise routine and try something new. There are many ways to be active throughout the year.
- When your grandchildren visit, head outside to build a snowman together or go ice skating.
- Cold outdoor temperatures are an excellent reason to join a mall-walking group.
- Start the new year by trying out a fitness center — many offer New Year’s Resolution specials.
- Give your heart a Valentine’s Day gift with dance lessons, such as salsa, tango, or belly dancing.
- As the temperatures start to get warm, get your garden ready for spring and summer. The lifting and bending you do when gardening are great for strength and flexibility.
- A bike ride is a great way to enjoy the warmer temperatures.
- Anything can be fun with upbeat music, including spring cleaning!
- Build your endurance and strength with a bike ride during National Bike Month (May). Remember your helmet.
- Swim laps or take a water aerobics class. These are both refreshing once the weather gets steamy.
- Walking in the mall is a cool way to beat the heat.
- Now that the grandchildren are out of school for the summer, ask them to teach you their favorite sport or physical activity.
- Celebrate National Bowling Week the first week in August. Get friends and family together and challenge each other to a friendly tournament.
- If you’ve heard about the benefits of yoga but haven’t tried it yet, National Yoga Awareness Month in September is a great time to find special events and trial classes for beginners.
- As the weather begins to cool, join an indoor sports league, such as basketball, handball, or bowling.
- Fall provides great opportunities for physical activity. You can take long walks to see the beautiful fall colors. Once the leaves have fallen, raking is good exercise.
- If you have holiday shopping to do, walk the entire mall each time you’re there.
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For more information about exercise and physical activity
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)
National Library of Medicine
American Council on Exercise
This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
April 03, 2020