Looking to start exercising but don’t have money to spend on a gym membership or expensive exercise equipment. I’ve got good news for you! Check out these free exercise equipment for seniors.
Improving your fitness through exercise is incredibly important as you age. You might have gotten away with avoiding exercise in your younger years but the sad reality is that age takes its toll on your health and functionality very quickly.
The good news is that exercise can reduce and in many cases completely halt this age-related decline in physical capability. You see, as you age, your muscle mass starts to diminish right around after you turn 30.
If you are in your sixties, seventies or eighties and haven’t done any significant exercise in years, you have lost a very significant amount of muscle mass.
Other negative effects of aging include the stiffening of connective tissues and joint issues. These reduce your mobility and combined with diminished muscle mass make you even weaker.
Unfortunately, these negative changes also affect your cardiovascular system. Exercise helps to keep your veins and arteries elastic and your heart strong, reducing the likelihood of cardiac events and blood clots.
But here’s the good news: Simply doing some form of strength training a couple of times a week and some light cardio every day can help reduce all these negative effects.
And the best part is that it doesn’t matter even if you have neglected exercise all your life, you can see a vast improvement in your overall health and functionality within months even as a senior.
But what to do if you don’t have the money to spend on gym memberships and expensive exercise equipment. Well, I’ve got good news for you.
You can do both strength training and cardio for free with the equipment you already own. I assume you have a pair of shoes at least, but that’s about all you need for an effective exercise program.
Let’s start with strength training, as it is more important for your overall health and will produce more significant and immediate results, which will keep you motivated with exercise.
Strength training offers several health benefits for seniors and it should be the mainstay of your exercise routine. Many people cringe when they hear the words strength training or lifting weights.
This is because they are not familiar with the activity and just have negative images of bulging bodybuilders lifting extreme weights that make their veins bulge. They might think lifting weights is a stupid “jock” activity
Don’t let yourself be one of these persons. Strength training is not about showing off and torturing yourself with extreme weights. It’s simply about improving your body and health.
Strength training can reverse age-related muscle and bone loss, increase strength levels, improve balance, improve metabolic diseases like high blood sugar and lipids, help seniors lose weight and even improve your overall wellbeing and mental health.
Got you convinced? Great. Since you are reading this post about free exercise equipment, I’m not going to try to convince you to get a gym membership though.
Instead, I’m going to show you how to do strength training completely free. You see, you yourself are the best strength training machine there is. That’s right, all you need for an effective strength training routine is your own bodyweight.
Bodyweight exercises, also known as calisthenics, are a very effective form of strength training. They have several benefits over other forms of strength and resistance training like lifting free weights, using gym machines or using Therabands.
Firstly, bodyweight exercises are very natural and functional movements. They are done by moving your body in space. This has an optimal real-world carryover for functional strength.
Secondly, bodyweight exercises are relatively safe. Because you use your own body, there is no danger of getting pinned under a weight or the danger of a cable giving out during a lift. The movement patterns are natural and what your body was designed to do.
Thirdly, you can do bodyweight exercises anywhere. All you need is your body and you kinda have to take it with you where ever you go. So no need to skip workouts when traveling.
And finally, bodyweight exercises are completely free. Unless you count all the maintenance costs your body requires. Then it’s probably the most expensive gym machine on the planet. But hey, you have to feed and maintain your body even if you don’t perform exercises with it.
You can train your whole body with a few calisthenics movements like pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, and planks. Bodyweight exercises can be scaled to be so easy that literally, anyone can perform them or so hard that virtually no one can perform the by manipulating the leverages, repetitions, and range of motion.
So there you have. Your own body is all you need for an effective strength training routine. You can find a free weight training routine at the end of this post!
If you want to take your strength training to another level from calisthenics there is always the option of using improvised weights.
If you are a senior person who hasn’t done any former strength training, you can improve your strength with relatively light weights.
Items like water bottles can be used for effective upper body strength training but even senior women will soon become too strong to see any benefit from using a bottle that weighs a pound or two.
Here’s a quick list of improvised weights you can use to do strength training:
- Water bottles are great for doing exercises like bicep curls, overhead presses, and lateral raises.
- Water jugs can be used as an additional weight for lower body training like doing squats. They are also substantial enough for doing deadlifts and farmer walks.
- Furniture can be used as an improvised weight. Lifting the end of a couch is a perfect substitute for a deadlift.
- Grandchildren Lifting and carrying small children is a great example of functional strength training. Most kids also love it, but you better ask them first, just in case you know.
Those are just a few examples from the top of my head. I bet you can think more right away. The only thing that matters it’s an object that is safe to lift and has some substantial weight.
Free cardio exercise for seniors
As I pointed out, in the beginning, a well thought out fitness routine consists of both strength training and some form of cardiovascular exercise to improve heart health and endurance.
I’m sure you are aware that you can improve your cardiovascular health very effectively with running or jogging. What you might not know is that both jogging and running can be too taxing for many seniors and you need a pair of good running shoes, which are definitely not free.
Then again, if you are physically fit enough to run and already own a pair of running shoes, by all means, keep running. It’s definitely a good form of exercise.
But for the rest of the people that don’t want to spend money on expensive shoes and do grueling 5k’s I have good news. There is an easier cardiovascular activity that will keep your heart health in check and improve your physical fitness.
I’m of course talking about walking. Many people don’t seem to count walking as an exercise even though it’s actually the perfect form of exercise for us. We, humans, are designed to walk. Everything in our physique has evolved to make walking as effortless as possible.
Walking can be done in different intensities just like running. You can climb hills or increase your walking speed if you want to increase your heart rate. But the truth is there is no real need, simply walking a decent amount daily is all that it takes to keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
The best part is that you don’t need special walking shoes. You likely already own several pairs of shoes you use walking around running your errands. Just use the most comfortable ones and try to walk as much as possible.
A good number to aim for is either 3 miles per day or around 10 000 steps. A pedometer or an activity tracker like Fitbit will make it easier to follow your daily step count. Combine this with bodyweight training and you have a complete fitness routine without any expensive equipment.
Exercise routine with free equipment
So now you know how to improve your overall fitness completely free. But I bet there are a bunch of questions running through your head right now?
- What exercises should I do?
- How much of each exercise should I do?
- How often should I train?
Don’t worry, I got you covered. Simply head over to my free weight training routine for seniors page and download the routine
Combine the routine with the walking guidelines I pointed out in the previous chapter and you have a very simple, yet effective exercise routine that covers all the large muscle groups of your body and basic cardio needs.
Follow this routine for at least a month and I promise you will notice positive results in your wellbeing, strength levels, and waistline if you watch your diet a bit.
The trick is to start light, build a habit and progress over time. Aim to improve some part of your routine at least weekly and you will see results.
If you have any questions about the routine or the exercise, don’t hesitate to contact me!
I hope you found my tips for free exercise equipment for seniors useful. The fact is that there is no need to invest in any fancy equipment, training routine, diets or supplements to improve your physical fitness.
Your own bodyweight is all that you need to improve your physical fitness. There are almost no limits on how far you can take bodyweight training. Just look at Olympic level gymnasts, all they do is bodyweight training.
Sure, going to the gym can have its benefits and convenience. But if you think about it, before civilization all the exercise people got was from physical activity. It’s what our bodies are designed to do.
You don’t really think people were out of shape during the stone age just because they didn’t have sneakers and a gym membership, do you?
If you found this post useful, please bookmark my site and feel free to share the content on social media. If you have any questions about the exercises or routine, don’t hesitate to leave a question in the comments section below. I’ll get back to you asap.
See you next time!