Home workout recommendations for elderly parents

I’m trying to help my father-in-law get enough exercise while staying at home. Does anyone know of fitness videos or online fitness subscription services appropriate for elderly adults? He’s in decent health but needs something low-impact and not too strenuous. 


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My husband is a trainer who specializes in seniors. He has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and many post-graduate courses related to seniors and exercise. His oldest client is 88! He works at Anytime Fitness in Berkeley and also sees clients at their homes (he has lots of gear). Now with the SIP he’s also been giving private online classes and seeing clients at the park (keeping their distance, sanitizing equipment, wearing mask, etc). His name is Dario Mathias, you can read his profile here: https://www.anytimefitness.com/gyms/3170/berkeley-ca-94707/#section-staff

let me know in case you have more questions! His number is (510)990-7163

Absolutely! Just google AARP exercise videos. I’m not even that old and AARP is an excellent resource for many topics.

Hi -if your folks can handle ZOOM - the local YMCA east bay offers exercise classes on ZOOM and they are free to Y members and non - members. There are chair exercise classes that are appropriate for older people. The Y also has free weekly exercise videos made by the athletic directors. Some of those are harder than others. Most can be modified for differences in strength and balance. I hope your parents can stay active. It’s so important for us all and the YMCA is here to help. 

"Sit and Be Fit" is on KQED2 at 7am most days. It's a great show for elderly folks with varying levels of strength and coordination. 

Please tell him to check out the YMCA: https://ymcaeastbay.org/healthy-living  They offer a variety of classes, including specifically for seniors, in different formats: live Zoom workouts, recorded workouts, and a "workout of the week" with instructions for a short routine to do on your own. These are free and open to everyone.

Do some searches on youtube. I have made my elderly parent a nice playlist of fun "workout videos" from this site. I categorize them by time: for example search "15 minute workouts for older adults"  They are fun and have communities that follow them, especially during COVID.

YouTube Qigong videos. An excellent one to start with is the 8 Brocades Qigong Practice https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3K-0JpiJu-o.
I love it, it’s excellent. Others will also pop up and he could dabble and perhaps be inspired to try out other qigong videos. They’re relatively low impact, gracefully fluid, very calming and grounding. Highly recommend!

Would he be interested in gardening?   It's exercising with a purpose. 

I've been enjoying Zumba classes with Iris Perkins. The nice thing about zumba is you can easily modify it to your ability. You don't have to jump or bend if you are not able, you can just dance along. I've found her positive attitude to be infectious and people of all ages and body types are participating in the class. Honestly when all of this started these classes were keeping me sane, they gave me something to look forward to.

There is technology involved. The classes are on zoom, I follow her schedule on instagram, and I pay her ($5/class) on venmo. If they can handle all that and might enjoy zumba, it might be a great option.


My elderly parents got an exercise DVD geared towards seniors to use while their gym is closed and seem to be enjoying it - I don't know the specific video they have, but there are probably many options out there. They've also been doing Zoom exercise classes through their gym, but the video seems easier to use - no logging in or adjusting things, just put it in and push play.

I am a senior and missing the gym for sure. I am loving classes that are offered by a website called Senior Planet. They have two great aerobics classes and two great chair yoga classes each week. They also have some good stretch classes. You can join Senior Planet with a contribution or enjoy the classes for free. These are challenging classes but tailored for seniors.