Most of the time when we get excited to do something, we want to do it right. When it comes to creating a gym space at home so we can make all our fitness dreams come true… we often go a little overboard thinking we need all sorts of gym equipment to get there. Here’s the equipment you actually need for an inexpensive & practical home gym for seniors.
Why You’ll Love Having A Home Gym As A Senior
- Convenience: You can exercise whenever you want, without having to leave your home or navigate gym hours or class schedules.
- Comfort: You can exercise in a comfortable environment without worrying about germs, other people or sharing equipment.
- Cost-Effective: You don’t have to pay monthly gym fees or cover transportation costs. And what you’re about to learn is that you don’t have to buy expensive equipment either!
- Privacy: Some people feel a little self-conscious at the gym. When you exercise from home there’s no chance anyone else is watching what you’re doing.
- Better Health: When you have a dedicated space at home, it’s a lot easier to stick with an exercise routine—leading to an increase in your strength, balance & mobility.
The Most Common Mistake Made When Building A Home Gym
You don’t need as much equipment as you think you do. How you exercise as you age is entirely different than when you were in your 20s. You don’t need big, fancy or complicated machines because you are not doing big, fancy or complicated workouts.
Here’s why you should avoid large exercise equipment:
- They can be intimidating & difficult to use, especially for beginners
- They take up a lot of space
- They’re often expensive
- They’re not necessary for achieving your fitness goals
- They often end up collecting dust or sitting in storage
But I can’t do cardio at home without a treadmill or bike or elliptical!
This is a very common misconception. You absolutely can do cardio at home without buying big, expensive equipment. Cardio is anything that gets your heart rate up. Here are some easy & inexpensive ways to do cardio at home:
- Dance classes for older adults (Try now here)
- Cardio drumming (Try now here)
- Gentle chair cardio exercise programs (Try now here)
- Indoor walking programs (Try now here)
- Low intensity exercises for heart health (Try now here)
You don’t need ANY fancy equipment to do these types of cardio—just a few basic items. And the best part is they’re all lower impact than using a treadmill.
However, if you already have large pieces of equipment, don’t get rid of them! Just be sure to actually put them to use.
Building A Home Gym For Seniors—The Only Equipment You ACTUALLY Need
There’s a lot of information out there saying you need under-the-desk pedals, rowing machines, wrist weights, etc, etc, etc… but that’s way too much stuff & you won’t end up using most of it. Keep it simple.
All you need are these 7 essential pieces of equipment:
1. A Sturdy Chair
Make sure it doesn’t have wheels or armrests. This common household item is one of the most important pieces of equipment for seniors to have in their home gym. There are thousands of exercises and fitness programs all designed to be done either sitting in the chair or using it for support–perfect for meeting your aging body where it’s at. Check out the popular class “10 Day Gentle Chair Pilates” and give it a try! (Click Or Tap Here)
You’ll want a few sets of varying weights. But remember—you’re not building a beach bod so just get a few pairs of lighter weights. Often, you can even just use a couple of soup cans instead of dumbbells. You’ll start with lighter weights and gradually work your way up as you get stronger.
3. Resistance Bands
You’ll use resistance bands to build up strength and flexibility. They can also be used to help make certain exercises easier to do. These are fantastic for giving you the ability to control exactly how intense you want your workout to be & are a helpful aid, making certain stretches possible that would otherwise be out of your range of motion. You’ll want to have both flat & loop resistance bands.
4. Stability Ball
Stability balls are great for core training, balance training, and stretching. They’re also excellent for improving posture and reducing back pain. Look for a ball that’s the right size for your height (you should be able to sit on the ball with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle).
5. Foam Roller & Massage Ball
A big part of exercising as you age is releasing tightness from your muscles so that they can function properly. A foam roller is the most common tool for doing this. You’ll also use a massage ball (a lacrosse ball or tennis ball make great substitutes) to pinpoint more specific areas.
6. Yoga Mat
You’ll use this for more than just yoga. It provides a cushioned surface for floor exercises & helps prevent falls and slips.
7. Yoga Blocks
As we age, we don’t have the same range of motion or flexibility as we used to. Yoga blocks help provide support that allows us to modify stretches or exercises that would otherwise be too difficult.
That’s it! See? You don’t need a ton of equipment, fancy gadgets or big machines to stay fit & healthy as you age. Just include these 7 items when building your home gym for seniors!
If you have these 7 pieces of equipment in your home gym, you can take absolutely any of Better5’s 100+ health & fitness classes for seniors to get a full workout. Most classes only require 1 or 2 pieces of equipment, no matter what your goals are. Whether it’s strength-building, yoga, pilates, tai chi, cardio or pain-relief… you can reach any goal from home with minimal equipment.
Yes, I want to check out Better5’s classes for older adults (Click Or Tap Here)
What is your suggestion for strengthening & improving balance for walking? I’m 76 with scoliosis mainly affecting lumbar region.
Hi Donna! We offer quite a few strengthening classes that build balance. Here are a few to look into:
You can view all of our classes here: https://www.shop.better5.com/
I just found this site through Instagram. I love it! An answer to prayers. Thank you!
This is not an online course, is it.. I can never download those?? Can I get a DVD???
Hi Nancy! We have both digital classes, as well as DVDs! You can shop our DVDs here: https://www.shop.better5.com/collections/dvd-classses/DVD.