Nine Workouts for Seniors Outside of the Gym

Many of the properties within the JES family of companies have wonderful fitness center complete with treadmills, free weights and more, but we know going to the gym is not for everyone. created a list of nine fun exercises that you can do without gym equipment.

  1. Tai Chi: This gentle exercise is a series of slow, focused movements accompanied by deep breathing. Tai Chi increases muscle strength and improves balance, which is important for reducing your risk of falling. There are free videos online, or you can speak with The Village of Bedford Walk’s Concierge about Tai Chi classes offered in the building.
  2. Qigong: Qigong (chee-gong) is an exercise similar to Tai Chi and is great for improving balance and coordination. You can learn this exercise by watching online videos or try taking a class with Mary Cruise at Columbia’s Heart, Body & Soul Center.
  3. Yoga: Practicing yoga leads to increased flexibility and is perfect for meditation and relaxing. offers free beginner yoga videos, or The Village of Bedford Walk residents can speak with our Concierge about signing up for a class.
  4. Walking: Fitting in 30 to 45 minutes of walking per day can significantly reduce the risk of heart failure in older adults, especially senior women (read more about this study at This is an easy way to increase your physical activity. Grab a friend and walk around the community – you can even walk the long hallways on days with bad weather. The Village of Bedford Walk even has a walking group that meets once a week. Talk to our Concierge for more details and to sign up for the group.
  5. Hula Hoop: You may be surprised how much of a workout this childhood favorite can be, and all you need is an inexpensive hula hoop. Not only is it a fun exercise alternative that gets you moving, it can really strengthen your knees and hips.
  6. Bicycling: Bicycling is a low-impact exercise that has a ton of benefits including building muscle, burning calories and strengthening your immune system, plus getting outside is an easy way to boost your mood.
  7. Workout and Dance Videos: If you want to work out without an audience, all you need is a bit of room in your home and a workout or dance video. Buy a DVD, look up exercise videos online or stream straight from Netflix or Amazon Prime.
  8. Nia: Nia is another low-impact exercise that combines dance and martial arts. There are no classes offered in the Columbia area yet but you can check it out at
  9. Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing: This option is a bit limited in mid-Missouri but if we get a lot of snow this winter, just strap on those skis or just enjoy the fresh snow and you can burn a lot of calories while appreciating the outdoors.

What do you think – would you try any of these exercises or would you stick to the gym?

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