1. Restorative or Modified Yoga
Yoga is beneficial for stability, flexibility, and balance. Restorative yoga can help improve flexibility and strength. Chair yoga offers an alternative for people who are unable to get up and down from the floor. It is also a great way to include people who use a wheelchair.
2. Aquatic Aerobics
Water’s buoyancy creates less impact on bones and joints, making aquatic aerobics a good alternative for older adults with arthritis, sore joints, or people with bone and joint injuries, who must get 150 minutes of weekly moderate activity.
3. Functional Fitness
Often, older adults lose their independence because of a reduced ability to perform movements like sitting in or getting up from a chair, or being able to reach food on the top shelf. Think about offering classes focused on strengthening the muscles and coordination required to perform these daily activities.
4. Fall Prevention
Balance and physical activity are essential in preventing falls, a leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injury in older adults. Offering classes focused on both activity and non-activity-based aspects of preventing falls can help older adults improve strength and coordination. You can find information about different fall prevention programs on the National Council on Aging’s website.
5. Partner or Line Dancing
Many older adults don't receive the amount of social interaction we all need. Line dancing is a great way to provide that in the midst of a fun, engaging aerobic workout.
6. Nutrition for Healthy Aging
As people age, their risk for nutritional deficiencies can change, too. For example, older adults are at greater risk for dehydration and inadequate protein and fiber intake. Have an outside nutrition expert—or a staff dietitian—host classes that provide older adults with the dietary information they need to eat healthy.
7. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a relaxing, low-impact form of exercise. Studies show it helps improve sleep quality, muscle strength, balance, and flexibility—all of which can help older adults maintain their health and independence.