Beginning Exercises for Retirees

Everyday more and more people enter the clan known as retirees. Unfortunately too many of these folks retire from physical exercise, as well. That is a guaranteed way to have a short retirement. One of the best ways to lengthen your retirement is to set up a regimen of exercise. So, to help you we are going to give you some beginning exercises for retirees.

We shall learn how to begin exercise and how to get the best results from our exercise.

Warm up — How to begin exercising

Probably the most important phase of any exercise program is the warm up. So in beginning exercises for retirees, it is very important.  It is just what the words say, a warm up. Muscles and joints that are cool tend to be stiff and unresponsive. Liken them to water; when it is cold it is stiff and rigid (ice); when it is warm it is fluid and flexible. That is what we want from our muscles and joints.

Warm up arms

Stretch Arms Up

Our warm up for exercise should consist of stretching our arms and legs. Try to reach as high as you can with your arms. Then stretch and reach to the sides. Now reach front and back. Now stretch your arms to the back and try to touch your hands together. It’s OK if you can’t touch them, just try to touch them. This should be done in a standing position if you can.

Warm up legs

Leg warm-up one

For your legs, begin by doing shallow squats. Go down ⅓ and then back up. This should be done slowly and consistently. Do this about three times. Relax a few seconds and the squat to about ½ the way down.

Half squat or 90 degree

Continue to do this slowly and consistently. Perform three repetitions. One more set of three, but this time go down ⅔ of the way down. Follow the same procedure as above. Now, relax for a minute or two.

We shall continue with the legs and stretch the calves. This exercise is quite simple. Raise up on your tiptoes slowly and with control. Do about five repetitions and then relax a minute. Repeat the stretching two more times and then relax a minute or two.

Warm up core

Forward bend

Now we shall stretch our body core and buttox. Begin by placing your hands on your hips. As you stand with your feet a comfortable distance apart begin to bend at the waist as if you were bowing. Do it slowly and deliberately. As you reach about a 45 degree angle stop bowing and hold it for about three seconds. Then return to an upright position, slowly. On the next repetition bow to as close to a 90 degree position as you can comfortably achieve. Hold it for three seconds and slowly return to and upright position. Do about three sets of these and then relax a few minutes.

Core continued

Bend backwards

After relaxing we shall assume the same position as before, but this time we shall lean backwards. The first time we stretched the back muscles, this time we stretch the abdominal muscles. With your hands on your hips, slide them a little toward the small of your back. Now, lean backwards in a comfortable manner with your hands pushing slightly forward in the small of your back. Lean only about six inches or so if you can. We are going to hold this position for about three seconds and then slowly return to upright. Do this three times. Repeat the exercise twice more increasing the stretch as you can comfortably do so.

All movements in stretching exercises for retirees are done in a slow deliberate fashion, not hurried.

Lateral muscle warm up

Bending to the side
Other lateral bend

Once more stand erect. Place your hands on your hips, again. This time we shall stretch the side muscles of our core. We shall alternate tilting to the right and to the left keeping our hands on our hips. If you can, tilt to about a 45 degree angle to the right and then to the left. Remember, move deliberately and slowly. Do this until you have tilted each direction at least three times. You can do more if you wish.

Having completed these stretching exercises you should have pretty good blood flow throughout your body. Now you can begin exercising.

Let’s Exercise Arms

Arm exercise
Arms extended front

Let’s begin by standing in an erect position, with our feet comfortably apart. Raise your hand to a position right next to the corresponding shoulder muscle. It might help if you can form a fist, but if not, that’s OK. From that position push your hands forward in a steady controlled move and then back to the shoulder. It would be best if you do it too slowly than too fast. Repeat this move in a consistent manner until you do ten repetitions. Relax, and let your arms hang down. Repeat the exercise two more times.

Continuing with the arm exercises for retirees, let’s stand and hold our arms parallel with the ground. Now, stretch out your arms as far as possible with your palms up. Once again, form a fist. Now you are going to do the “muscle man” exercise.

Muscle man one
Muscle man 2

Bring your fist toward your shoulder and then back out straight and parallel to the ground. As you bring your fist toward your shoulder your biceps should bulge a little, thus the “muscle man”. Do ten repetitions and then relax a minute. Then do two more sets.

Next we work the shoulders. Stand erect with your hands to your sides, palms touching your thighs. In a controlled and steady manner raise your hands over your head keeping your arms straight and your palms static. If possible, touch the backs of your hands together high over your head. If you cannot, that is OK, just go as high as you can. Do ten repetitions and relax. Then do two more sets.

Let’s Do Legs

Leg exercise
Leg warm-up one
Half squat or 90 degree

Our legs’ exercise will be somewhat like our warm up. We start by standing with our feet comfortably apart so we can maintain good balance. Begin with your hands on your hips. The first set of squats we shall go down half-way. As you move down move your hands from your hips to straight out in front of you. As you ascend to the standing position move them back to your hips. Do ten repetitions. Then relax.

The next set we follow the same procedure but this time go a little below half-way. Always do these in a deliberate and controlled movement. Do ten repetitions. The third set, go as low as you comfortably can. It may be halfway or all the way or not halfway. Whatever you can do comfortably, that is what you do on the third set.

For the calves we do tiptoes. Always in a controlled way. Begin by standing erect with your feet comfortably apart. Raise up on your toes ten times. Then relax a few seconds. Do two more sets of the same exercise.

Core exercises for retirees

For our core we do an exercise which combines our warm-ups. Begin with your feet spread a little more apart than normal standing. Place your hands on your hips as in the warm-ups.


Core exercise


Begin the exercise by leaning forward to about a 60 degree angle.

Forward bend

Next move your upper body to the right maintaining the 60 degree angle.

Other lateral bend

Now, move your upper body to a back leaning position and the same angle.

Bend backwards

Then on the left maintaining the same angle.

Bending to the side

If you wish to return to the upright position between moves, that is OK. Do the cycle ten times, then relax a few seconds. Repeat the exercise two more times.


Once you have learned how to perform these exercises you can complete the whole thing, warm up and exercise, in around thirty minutes or less. You will have raised your metabolism and will be toning your muscles so that you can handle just about anything that a retired person will need to do.

Understand, that these are only beginning exercises for retirees. As you continue to build your strength and endurance you will probably wish to add more exercises to your regime.


More to come

Remember that any exercise program should be paired with good nutritional intake. You can find further reading in articles in this website.  You can find out about the vitamins that you need to take as well as some supplements that will help you stay healthy.


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