Exercise Equipment for Older People

Moderate Exercise to Keep Fit in Retirement: The Best Fitness Equipment Options

Staying fit not only lengthens life, it makes those years better quality. This page looks at the government guidelines for active old-age – and covers the options for exercise equipment which work best. Here is what you will find:

  • Summary of Government Guidelines: How much activity is recommended, along with the different types.
  • Exercise Equipment Guide: Low impact on joints, with the biggest benefits. This section covers your best options.
  • Outdoor Activities: Mix in a little Nordic Walking, Aqua Aerobics and countryside walks to keep things varied.

How Much Exercise Do Older People Need?

Key to staying fit and healthy is a mix of aerobic and strength exercises. Here is a quick summary of the latest government / NHS guidelines for the over 65’s. You can find more detail on this over on this NHS website.

  • 150 Minutes (2 and a half hours) of moderate aerobic activity per week
  • 2 sessions of strength training covering the main muscle groups
  • You can do fewer minutes of aerobic exercise if these are ‘intensive’

Of course, ‘older’ covers everything from your 60’s to 90’s – and includes people with health conditions and various body types. If you have any known conditions, it is always the right move to discuss exercise options with your GP or a fitness professional. You’ll find plenty of options for fitness equipment to consider below.

I have covered machines which are low-impact. This means that they don’t jolt your joints or require uncomfortable levels of excursion. You will not find complex home gyms below!

Table: Popular Options for Home Exercise Equipment for Older People

Older people love the JLL ecumbent exercise bike

JLL RE100 Recumbent Bike

All the benefits of an exercise bike, with comfy sitting position. The JLL RE100 has a lot of positive feedback from owners, and 8 resistance levels, so you can start easy and build from there.

Product Page Read Review
Ultrasport Mini Bike - JLL S300

UltraSport Mini Bike

Get your 150 minutes of exercise from the comfort of your sofa. This popular mini-bike is portable, saving space as well as getting you fit. With a low price point, this is a great little solution.

Product Page Read Review
ZAAP TX budget treadmill

ZAAP TX Home Treadmill

A budget treadmill ideal for walking or light jogging. Safety key and arms for stability included. This model has a great spec for the price, and will last you for years.

Product PageRead Review

Aerobic Exercise – Popular Options #1 – Home Exercise Bikes

There are some good reasons that exercise bikes are the single most popular option for older users. First, these are low impact. You don’t need to jar any joints and can go as fast or slow as you are comfortable with.

Secondly, an exercise bike will give you a cardio workout – easily covering the guidelines for 15 minutes of activity. At the same time, you are free to do other activities. Not many forms of exercise are flexible enough to let you read, watch TV or chat on the phone!

I do recommend a comfortable gel saddle. Bikes tend to come with harder saddles as standard, and a few extra pounds will get a bigger, cushioned saddle which will make things a lot more comfortable. There are also ‘Recumbent Bikes’ where you sit back in a regular chair to consider.

Exercise bikes start at around £100 for a basic model. If you can afford it, the mid-range (£150+) home exercise bikes are a lot better value. These are sturdy, have better control panels and offer more options as your fitness improves. One extra tip; avoid the latest design ‘spinner bikes’. Unless you feel like sprinting, you’ll be wasting money on design – when functionality where you get the biggest benefits.

65+ Fitness Exercise Bike Top Pick: UltraSport F-Bike

F Bike for older fitnessThe ‘F’ in the name of this model is for ‘Folding’. You don’t need to fold it away, though having the option is certainly a space-saver. This is the best-selling exercise bike at Amazon.co.uk – and for some very good reasons. You’ll find it comfortable (including an optional back-rest), and versatile.

There are 8 resistance levels. This is ideal for those who want to start gently – and then up the effort levels later. You’ll find an LCD display which shows your distance, calories burned and speed too.

Combine this spec with a budget price point (there is a large discount at the time of writing), and solid service and you will see why this one tops the best-seller lists!

Check out my detailed review of the UltraSport F-Bike here.

Even better, you can read the feedback from users and see the full gallery on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.

Recumbent Bike Ideal for Older Users: The JLL RE100

JLL RE100 Recumbent Home Exercise BikeExercise in comfort, with all the benefits of an upright bike – and at a reasonable price. JLL make some of the most popular exercise bikes around. These include flash spinning bikes, upright models and fold-away basic ones.

With a recumbent bike, you are free to pedal while you read, watch TV or complete your favourite sudoku puzzles! This does not compromise the benefits of your workout. With a large-screen console and variable resistance levels, the JLL RE100 will adapt to your fitness level.

You can check out my detailed review of the JLL RE100 here – or jump over to the product page here at amazon.co.uk, where you can see the full gallery and read the feedback left by people who have already bought one.

UltraSport Mini Exercise Bike: Work Out from the Sofa

Mini Bike Exerciser for Older PeopleUltraSport have come up with a smart idea. This mini exercise bike sits on the floor and allows you to pedal from the sofa or a kitchen chair. It is small enough to keep tucked away between uses and gives you the same workout as a regular bike.

What I like best about this machine is that the price point is a lot lower than for a full bike.

One to consider for those just starting their path to fitness.

You can see this machine in use (from a chair) and read the feedback from previous buyers on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.

 

65+ fitness equipment

Aerobic Options – Popular Options #2 – Treadmills

I’m not expecting anyone to be sprinting at 18km / hour up a 15-degree incline here… Luckily, there are plenty of home treadmills which are perfect for a light jog or fast walk. This is perfect for rainy days (or winter nights).

For older fitness fans, two important factors jump out.

You should look form models with cushioned running surfaces (which lower impact on the knees). Models with longer arms for support are also ideal. These will combine with safety key systems, which stop the belt if you should falter.

Treadmills will take up more room than other fitness machines. Unless you are very keen, I would also suggest avoiding larger folding models – which often take a lot of strength to move into place.

You will find some excellent treadmills under £200 – though the real benefits start a little higher. These machines will last for years. If you are new to fitness, you can start off with a walk – then add speed as you improve. Below are the two best-selling models which tick all the right boxes for safe workouts for retired age fitness fans.

Top Treadmill Rec: The Zaap TX Walking Treadmill

ZAAP TX 750W older fitnessWhy pay a premium for a treadmill aimed at sprinters? The Zaap TX budget model is perfect for those looking for a solid machine, which is aimed squarely at walkers / light joggers. The features list ticks all the right boxes, with arm rests, a clear display and a cushioned running service.

When I was reading through the comments from previous buyers on this one, I came across a positive comment left by a 73-year-old!

You can read those comments and see the picture gallery (including close-ups) over on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.

Treadmill Rec #1: Confidence Fitness EPS

Confidence Fitness EPS Heavy Duty Treadmill ReviewYou’ll find a dramatic improvement in the sturdiness and features of treadmills as you move up to the mid-range models. I’m including the EPS from the popular Confidence fitness for those who are looking for a quality model.

This has incline (which will vary the intensity of your workout at the touch of a button), and a frame which provides support.

Another popular item, with good reviews from buyers.

You can check out that spec, the gallery and the feedback quickly and easily over on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.

Strength Training Guidelines: What Exercise Equipment Fits?

I’m very sure that the government guidelines are not trying to turn retirees into Olympic weight-lifters!

That said, strength conditioning is an important factor – and not something to skip over. You can get the benefits using simple equipment such a light dumbbells, elasticated bands or even with your own body-weight. I have covered those body weight exercises that suit older fitness fans below. Here are some suggestions for equipment to buy.

Strength Training for Older Fitness Fans: Dumbbells

Big chunks of brushed steel are popular among body builders. I prefer padded lightweight sets, especially if you can get them delivered right to your door. The Neoprene weights from Gallant are perfect for meeting those government strength training guidelines. The lightest is just 1kg (approx. 2 pounds) with the heaviest 5kgs. You can pick from 5 levels, which come in colour-coded pairs.

You’ll be able to work your arms, shoulders, back and even your chest with some simple exercises. Best of all, they won’t break the bank!

Check out the options (and once again, positive feedback) on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.

Elasticated Resistance Bands: Versatile and Easy to Store

The workout bands from Freetoo come in different levels of resistance. For such a simple piece of kit, you will be able to do a lot of strength training exercises. They work providing different resistance levels the further you stretch them – giving you plenty of versatility. I recommend starting off with the easiest and checking the guide-book for the different routines.

Beginners Guide to Nordic Walking

Outdoor Fitness Activities for Older People

Give Nordic Walking a Try

Nordic Walking has exploded in popularity recently – and not just with older people. If you have seen people in your local park walking around with ski-poles, they have already caught the Nordic walking bug.

The idea is that you exercise your arms and legs at the same time. There are different levels of intensity. Simply dragging the poles will help, with bigger and more vigorous planting of the poles giving you a great workout.

What I like best is that you can start with short walks. When you get used to the action, you’ll find Nordic walking has similar results to a jog – though without the speed.

There are many poles available. I recommend comfortable hand grips, and ones with good ends that will not slip and slide. These poles from AzTreck fit the bill perfectly.

Aqua Aerobics

Rather than equipment, this is an activity you will find at your local pool. There are two big benefits. Firstly, the resistance provided by the water counts as strength training (albeit a light version). Second, the water supports you, giving a more gentle, lower-impact workout than a class in a regular gym. This is a social activity, giving you the best of both worlds.

Body Weight Exercises for Older People

When it comes to strength training, you have the perfect set of weights already on your body. There are literally 100’s of body weight exercises which will get you on the path to fitness.

Here are some to try out:

  • Squats: With a straight back, bend your knees and squat down. You will exercise different muscles when you stand back up.
  • Push-Ups: These can be done resting on your knees until you get used to the action.
  • Planking: This simple exercise has outsized results, it involves holding a single position propped up on your arms. For a strong core, this is idea.

There are many more, and if you feel adventurous, why not give yoga or Pilates a try?

Wrapping Up: Best Fitness Equipment for Older People

When it comes to fitness equipment, my advice is the same for people of all ages.

You can find the optimal equipment, though if you rarely use it, then you have wasted your time.

Key to fitness at any age is to find something you enjoy using – or at least don’t mind. The benefits of longer life and more energy will come from daily exercise. By taking the time to find what works for you, you’ll be more likely to get into those good habits.

Here is the table from the top of the page again. With the explanation of the benefits of each piece of equipment – you should now be able to see why these are such popular items!

Older people love the JLL ecumbent exercise bike

JLL RE100 Recumbent Bike

All the benefits of an exercise bike, with comfy sitting position. The JLL RE100 has a lot of positive feedback from owners, and 8 resistance levels, so you can start easy and build from there.

Product Page Read Review
Ultrasport Mini Bike - JLL S300

UltraSport Mini Bike

Get your 150 minutes of exercise from the comfort of your sofa. This popular mini-bike is portable, saving space as well as getting you fit. With a low price point, this is a great little solution.

Product Page Read Review
ZAAP TX budget treadmill

ZAAP TX Home Treadmill

A budget treadmill ideal for walking or light jogging. Safety key and arms for stability included. This model has a great spec for the price, and will last you for years.

Product PageRead Review

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