Skip to main content

Style Magazine

Roseville Athletic Trainer Shares Routine for Older Adults

Oct 30, 2015 09:59AM ● By David Norby

Photo © Elena Ray/

Active adults are always looking for new ways to stay fit. They know that as they age, regular exercise is essential for maintaining strength and optimum health. Here in our corner of California, the mild winter weather usually allows for a daily walk or game of golf, but now is also a good time to enjoy a variety of indoor workouts. Read on for five, low-impact recommendations that are varied enough to keep you coming back for more. Remember: Check with your doctor before you start any new exercise regimen.

1 / Hatha Yoga

Yoga fulfills all of the categories of good exercise, combining endurance with stretches, strength training and balance. Hatha yoga typically describes a gentle, basic yoga routine with no flow between poses. Classes include slow-paced stretching with simple breathing exercises, perhaps seated meditation, and poses that can range from a “seated forward bend” to “warrior I,” which builds up power in the legs and hips. Don’t forget the final “relaxation” pose, a great stress-buster in which you lie down turn off your thoughts.

2 / Strength Training Circuit Followed by Yoga Cool Down

“As adults age, they must actively maintain their strength and flexibility or risk losing it,” says Noelle Ritter, ATC, CSCS, MES, certified athletic trainer at Roseville Health & Wellness Center. “For a low-impact workout, begin with multi-joint functional movements such as chair squats, modified floor push-ups and alternating lunges, then complete the workout with some basic yoga poses.” Ritter recommends this routine to stretch the muscles and gain long-term flexibility, which will help to build overall postural strength. 

3 / TRX

TRX Suspension Training is a small-group workout that’s low impact and beneficial for all ages. “A TRX is a nylon strap with handles that allow you to perform hundreds of different exercises using your own body weight and gravity,” explains Lisa Packheiser, ATC, fitness director at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville (a Spare Time Club). “We offer classes that consist of retirees who are looking to get and stay strong overall, work on their balance, flexibility, stability and core strength, and TRX can do all of that.” The workout is beginner friendly and it’s easy to modify exercises to your own comfort level.

4 / Group Fitness 

These classes fit the bill for many people who enjoy interaction and camaraderie while exercising. Melissa Thomas, group fitness director at California Family Fitness, recommends the club’s Young at Heart programs. “These low-impact workouts combine cardio, strength training, balance and stretching,” Thomas explains. “In just 50 minutes, members who participate in this musical aerobics class increase functional movement and overall fitness while having fun and meeting new people.” 

5 / Qigong

Qigong is a practice that’s similar to tai chi with numerous health benefits, according to Alex Tuggle, LAc, a second-generation licensed acupuncturist, certified qigong practitioner and instructor in the Eight Treasures qigong of the Ni family lineage, at Golden Wellness Center in Placerville. “The energy-building aspect of qigong is different than any other type of exercise,” he says. “With gentle core-building exercises and deep-breathing techniques, you create a mind-body connection that facilitates your body’s ability to heal and regenerate. [What’s more], the exercises can be adjusted to various physical abilities and fitness levels in order to strengthen your core and [increase] lower body strength.” Qigong practices are easy to learn and can aid in the treatment of anxiety, depression, diabetes, neuropathies and other health issues. Tuggle says his classes “balance the mental, physical and emotional aspects for complete wholeness, wellness and health.”

— Janet Scherr