If you are unable to get to any of my classes, and there are no suitable classes in your area, there are loads of fitness resources on YouTube. I’ve picked out some that are suitable for seniors of varying levels of fitness, or for other people that need seated exercises. We’re starting with easier exercises and ending with the more strenuous for the more active of you. Remember to check with your doctor or other health professional before starting an exercise program, and don’t do more than you can do safely. You know your own limits, so listen to your body.
But first something specifically for kids if you are on baby sitting duties over the school holidays…
Kids exercise routines
PE with Joe – Mainly aimed at kids but could be suitable for all ages.
There are loads of other exercises suitable for children on YouTube.
Arthritis NZ joint mobilisation (25 mins) – Official Arthritis NZ exercise video with Kathy Johnson
Seated Exercises for Arthritis with Mary (about 8 mins intro, 20 mins exercise) – first time watch all the way through, after that, start at about 8 mins
Sit and Be Fit with Mary Ann Wilson (26 mins ) – a gentle workout, suitable for seniors or anyone who can’t exercise standing up, not specifically for arthritis
Seated Chair Exercise for Seniors (20 mins) – has standing and seated variations, strength components, not specifically for arthritis
Sit & be Fit (with different instructor) (31 mins) – a bit more vigorous and mostly not aimed at arthritis
Short routines from The Kidney Society NZ, that can be done alone or in sequences:
Anybody who already takes one of my classes knows we always add in a few minutes of standing and balance work. So you might want to finish with one or more of these.
The Wellington Live Stronger for Longer team have put together a series of strength and balance exercises here, along with guidelines for using them safely.
Steady As You Go© Falls Prevention Exercises from Age Concern NZ (38 mins) – a combination of seated and standing exercises
One aspect of balance is the extent of our “ankle sway”. Here’s an exercise by Vida Wellness to improve that.
Fall Prevention Exercises with Physical Therapist Lora Durkin (video is 4 mins, but allow extra time for your own reps) – Lora demonstrates two of our balance exercises.
- The first is the sitting to standing exercise. The demo is good, but remember to make sure your toes point straight ahead, and your knees point over your toes. Use your hands to steady your knees in place if you need to.
- The second is our balance exercise. Lora demonstrates (1) the most basic form (feet shoulder width apart), (2) the next one up (feet together) and (6) the most advanced (one foot, with the other foot lifted up behind). We have 3 other versions in between – (3) feet next to each other but with one foot slightly further forward, with the heel nestled into the instep of the other, (4) one foot in front of the other (see tandem stance in video below) and (5) on one foot, but with the other foot just by the ankle, in case you need to put it down quickly. Remember, too, that we sometimes do a more advanced level than we can actually do with no hands, but do it holding on and for longer. This still gives the muscles a work out.
10 Standing Exercises for Older Adults (16 mins) – this is quite similar to the variety of standing exercises we would do in class, so if you want to choose just one routine, choose this one.:
- (1) sit to stand exercise – remember the precautions already noted above, and maybe watch Lora’s first to make sure you’re using good technique
- (2) legs to the side (hip abduction)
- (3) lifting leg to the back (leg extension)
- (4) raising the toes
- (5) up on toes, raising the heels
- (6) an upper back exercise (if you don’t have a theraband or similar, just focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together)
- (7) standing on one leg – note that this is the most advanced version of this exercise, but she has a chair available on both sides for support if needed
- (8) tandem stance – balance exercise with one foot in front of the other
- (9) calf stretch
- (10) hamstring stretch
Best Balance Exercise for Seniors & Fall Prevention (8 mins) – this is another, more advanced, version of our standing up and sitting down exercise. We usually do it a bit slower, taking a second to get our balance with our weight over our knees before standing all the way up. The exercise stars at 2 mins 40.
Improve your Balance in 5 minutes! (5 mins) – these are more advanced than some of our standing exercises, so you need to decide for yourself if you are at that level.
While we’re sitting down, this lung exercises video demonstrates good exercises for those with lung cancer, COPD and other breathing problems. This could also be helpful for keeping our lungs healthy at any age.
Tai Chi & Qi Gong
Tai Chi for Arthritis with Dr Paul Lam (49 mins)
Lee Holden – morning Qi Gong (10 mins) – he has a variety of other routines that you can check out as well
Qi Gong for recovering from illness – How Qi Gong Teacher Lee Holden Kept His Energy Strong Recovering from COVID-19
Gentle chair yoga routine (25 mins) – with standing variations
If you are able to exercise outdoors, walking is something that has many benefits at all ages, especially if you can bring in some hill work.
Dance based routines
I like my aerobic exercise to be to music. Put your favourite music on and boogie down in your lounge, kitchen or even the back lawn. Maybe the neighbours will be moved to join in… Or if you like something a bit more structured, try these out for size.
Zumba Gold with Marite (23 mins) – gentle and with the original latin flavour
Zumba Senior with Cindy (30 mins) – a more intermediate level
Zumba Gold with Vicky Martyn (34 mins) – still aimed at 60 years or over, but more energetic and advanced
Line dances for Seniors and Beginners (37 mins) – if you always wanted to try line dancing but were too embarrassed…
And these have more recent music:
Misty Trivoli’s Body Groove – a collection of dance videos, each about 4 mins long. Get your funk on.
Dance Tracks with the Fitness Marshall – another collection of dance based exercise routines
Toning & Strengthening
Jane Fonda: Total Body Workout (27 mins) – yep, she can still put most of the rest of us to shame…