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Indoor Exercises for Seniors
Seniors need to exercise, too! Physical activity can help you live longer; help prevent health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke; maintain mental health and independence; and help you enjoy a good quality of life.
To stay healthy, most seniors need at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week, in blocks of at least 10 minutes. For more benefits, add activities that strengthen muscles and bones at least twice a week. These activities can also help you improve balance and posture and prevent falls. These requirements can change, depending on any medical conditions you may have. Ask your doctor about the amount and type of physical activity that's right for you.
Activities don't have to be done in outdoor playing fields on only sunny, warm days. You can start right in your own home or head to your local community centre! Indoor activities you can do include:
- dance class
- tai chi or pilates class
- playing "exergames" – video games designed to boost your fitness such as the Wii Fit or the PlayStation Move
- going to the gym – get instructions from a personal trainer or fitness instructor before using any of the equipment; examples of equipment include the treadmill, stationary bike, and weights
- swimming in an indoor pool – for something different, try water aerobics
- mall-walking, or walking the halls of your apartment or condominium building
Don't know where to start? Here are some tips on getting started:
- Make sure you get the okay from your doctor before you start any physical activity.
- Choose activities you enjoy so that you're more likely to stick with it.
- Start slowly. Increase the amount of time you spend doing an activity 10 minutes at a time.
- Find an exercise buddy. Get your family or friends to join you in an activity.
It's important to stay safe so that you don't injure yourself while doing any physical activity. Follow these exercise safety tips:
- If you aren't feeling well (e.g., you have a fever, cold, or flu), skip exercising for the day. Start again as soon as you feel better.
- Warm up before you do any exercises. Try walking and lightly pumping your arms first.
- Wear the right shoes for walking or jogging.
- Drink lots of water while doing activities, unless your doctor has recommended you limit your fluid intake.
- If at any point you feel pain, stop. Exercise may cause a bit of discomfort or make you feel a little tired. But it should not be painful.
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