The top five exercises for over 50s

Keeping active and exercising regularly can help you stay independent and energetic as you get older. However, as you age, different types of exercise become better suited to the changes your body goes through. Your joints and bones become more susceptible to damage and the activities you enjoyed in your 20s and 30s may no longer be suitable. So what should you be doing to keep fit? First, it’s important to understand how exercise affects your joint health.

High impact versus low impact

Running is a popular activity but many runners experience injuries. As you run, the pressure of up to four times your body weight is placed on the joints in your legs, which can put a huge strain on them. This is why running is a high-impact sport — the impact on your joints is considerable — and why some people experience joint pain when running. Low-impact activities can be better for you as you get older as they don’t involve putting so much strain on your joints but still give your muscles a good workout. Here are a few low-impact exercises you can try: 

1. Cycling

Cycling is easy to adapt to your fitness level. This is particularly true for indoor cycling where you can set the resistance level and where you don’t need to worry about weaving in and out of traffic or around potholes.

2. Swimming

Swimming is a great exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels. The water supports your weight as well as providing resistance, giving you a good workout. If lane swimming is too monotonous for you, there are lots of swimming fitness classes you can try. 

3. Strength training

As we age, we start to lose muscle mass and function. Strength training will help slow down muscle loss. If you want to try a weights-based class that is low impact, look for one that focuses on low weight and high repetition.

4. Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are both great for keeping your body supple and strong. Start by going to a beginners class rather than trying it on your own at home. Your instructor can make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly and advise you on whether any health issues you have affect whether or not you can attempt certain movements or positions. 

5. Dance exercise classes

Make exercise fun by finding a dance exercise class that you enjoy. There are lots of low-impact dance classes, such as Zumba, that will give you a great cardiovascular workout and keep your joints moving. 

Author Information

Cahoot Care Marketing

Niched in the care sector, Cahoot Care Marketing offers a full range of marketing services for care businesses including: SEO, social media, websites and video marketing, specialising in copywriting and content marketing.

Over the last five years Cahoot Care Marketing has built an experienced team of writers and editors, with broad and deep expertise on a range of care topics. They provide a responsive, efficient and comprehensive service, ensuring content is on brand and in line with relevant medical guidelines.

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The 2020 Spire Content Hub project was managed by:

Lux Fatimathas, Editor and Project Manager

Lux has a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience from UCL, a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and experience as a postdoctoral researcher in developmental biology. She has a clear and extensive understanding of the biological and medical sciences.Having worked in scientific publishing for BioMed Central and as a writer for the UK’s Medical Research Council and the National University of Singapore, she is able to clearly communicate complex concepts.

Alfie Jones, Director — Cahoot Care Marketing

Alfie has a creative writing degree from UCF and initially worked as a carer before supporting his family’s care training business with copywriting and general marketing.He has worked in content marketing and the care sector for over 10 years and overseen a diverse range of care content projects, building a strong team of specialist writers and marketing creatives after founding Cahoot in 2016.