Here’s What You Need to Know About Exercise Equipment for Seniors

Everyone knows how important it is for senior citizens to stay in shape and get plenty of exercise. But how do you choose the best exercise equipment for seniors with the wide selection of fitness gadgets and gear available today?

Local department stores, sporting goods stores, and specialty fitness stores are all great places to find exercise equipment for seniors. Think about what type of exercise or fitness program you will most often be participating in to help decide which fitness equipment is best for you. The same equipment used for similar activities by other ages will most likely be suitable for seniors as well.

The most used piece of exercise equipment for seniors is a pair of quality walking shoes that fit comfortably. You need a shoe that properly supports your feet and also provides support for your back. Proper support reduces the risk of soreness and injury during workouts. If you plan to participate in aerobics or a walking program, you may need a set of light hand or wrist weights. Some hand weights weigh a pound or less. Very light hand or wrist weights can increase the benefits of most any exercise program.

Exercise equipment for seniors who are strength training can vary greatly. Traditional equipment with weights is often too strenuous for a senior’s joints and can sometimes result in muscle inflammation or other injuries. Look for an exercise machine that uses air or a hydraulic system to move the weights because these are easier on the joints. Hydraulic weight machines and air exercise equipment is becoming more common in gyms and fitness centers, so you may consider a membership to one of these facilities rather than purchasing your own machine for home. Seniors who suffer from joint conditions, like arthritis, can use

these types of machines and enjoy the great benefits of strength training.

There are a number of other types of exercise equipment for seniors. Those who participate in yoga or other programs that involve stretching and floor exercises will need a floor mat. If you have back trouble or problems sitting or lying on hard surfaces, you should look for a thicker floor mat that will minimize discomfort. Balance balls are another inexpensive piece of exercise equipment for seniors. Balance balls are available in many sizes and styles, and are designed to be used by a person of a certain height.

If you plan to take part in a more specialized type of fitness program, you may need more specific gear and equipment. For example, water aerobics participants can use swimming noodles or foam weights to increase muscle strength. Those who join an aerobics program may need an aerobic step. A step that is relatively low to the ground typically provides the

most benefit to senior workouts. Machines like elliptical trainers, treadmills, and step machines can also provide a number of benefits to seniors. Look for machines that offer low speed settings and gentle movement to protect joints.

Before deciding to buy any piece of exercise equipment, it is best to test out the product in the store using a demonstration model. If that is not possible, research a few similar products and read reviews on each one to see what others think of the machine. Take care to examine any new exercise equipment closely to be sure it will meet your needs and not

pose any sort of danger. Ask a sales clerk in a sporting goods store for suggestions and discuss the equipment with your doctor as well.