About Me

P3PSdoug400Doug Schrift is a Physical Therapist, Certified Geriatric Specialist, and senior fitness coach. Doug is the creator of Eldergym® Senior Fitness, which promotes safe, simple and effective exercise for seniors and the elderly.

Through his website, www.eldergym.com, Doug encourages seniors to take genuine steps toward better health, improved mobility, and increased function.

This includes helping seniors discover the revitalizing power of exercise; inspiring them to feel more vital, energized, and ready for their day; helping them to get rid of those negative thoughts about their age, health conditions or physical body; teaching them how to achieve real and objective goals with activities that they enjoy doing.

Doug has advanced certification as a Geriatric Specialist with the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He continues to be active as a Physical Therapist, working with seniors and the elderly. He also has a special interest in balance disorders.

Your Life Choices Magazine placed eldergym.com in the top 10 fitness websites saying, “This site is tailored for the seniors’ age group and gives some great advice for what fitness activities you should be focusing on in your age category.” Doug is truly a leader in senior fitness and continues to create new programs and videos to help older adults.

Peter SchriftHis interest and passion for older adults started early. After college, Doug became the family genealogist, interviewing family elders, collecting stories and pictures, and maintaining the family database. He traveled from Pennsylvania to Rio de Janeiro, searching for long lost relatives. Fortunately, many older family members were able to be found, along with their wonderful and fascinating stories of times gone by.

From there, his interest grew into teaching fitness classes to seniors and the elderly. “I often learn as much from my older clients as I do from all the text books. I’ve learned that inactivity is usually the most important reason why seniors decline in their ability to function day to day. They must stay active, and that is how I can help them”

The cornerstone of Doug’s work with older adults is helping them improve in the four well known areas of fitness. These are endurance, flexibility, strength, and balance. To do this, Doug has developed a program combining these areas on a 4 dvd set called, “The Complete Senior Fitness series.” It consists of a 30 minute workout dvd for each area.


Doug uses his three favorite props in these dvds including an elastic tube, ball, and wand. With these three props, seniors can not only reduce the boredom of exercise, but can also be assured they are exercising safely and effectively.

Doug continues to develop new programs for seniors, write articles for internet publications, and speak to groups of seniors on the topics of balance, general fitness, and motivation.

This site is focused on senior and elderly fitness, and is designed to help you with exercise tips, articles and videos. Take a look at some of our safe, simple and effective exercises in the many videos we have online.

Please feel free to bookmark this site if you are interested in this area. We continue to add new information and videos on the subject of senior and elderly fitness.

Eldergym Senior Fitness


Doug and the family exploring the local sights in Arizona.


Doug enjoying one of his hobbies, barbershop singing!


Other Stuff

Healthy ageing toolkit for facilitators, volunteers and community

I had the pleasure assist to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as an expert contributor to the Healthy ageing toolkit. The materials within this toolkit were developed with subject matter expertise in the life course approach, healthy ageing determinants and evidence-based behaviour change theories. The toolkit includes content about noncommunicable diseases, risk factors such as falls and social isolation, as well as tools which provide guidance and activities to help people pursue healthier lives and enable active ageing with dignity and a better quality of life.

Complete Wellbeing Magazine

Very happy to contribute an article for Complete Wellness Magazine. Vital exercises for those with limited mobility


  1. I take care of my friends father who has stage 4 alzheimer’s. What safe exercises can we show him to do to help with strength& balance ? Do you have videos ?

    1. I would start with simple posture and stretching exercises in a seated position like these:
      You will likely have to mirror the exercises for him to follow along. Best to be in a chair right in front of him. And you will get a workout too. Then start on leg exercises like these:
      Leg exercises are the most important exercises for seniors especially with challenges like Alzheimers. Good luck!

  2. I’m really pleased to find your website. I’ve been doing a chair exercise dvd for seniors for awhile and am looking for a bit more variety. The dvds I used when I was younger are just too difficult for me now (I’m 76) but I know I need to do more than I’m doing now. I just finished chemo and will be having surgery soon. I also have sciatica and am really anxious to build strength (particularly core) and flexibility. Realistically, I know I’m not going to order all of your dvd programs and exercise 60 minutes/day so I’m a little confused about which ones I should start with. I’m leaning towards the “Complete Fitness” set. What is your advice?

    1. The complete senior fitness is geared for the inactive senior. It contains 4 dvds. Strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. Each dvd is 30 minutes long. Simply watch each dvd once a week. For example watch flexibility on Monday, Strength on Tuesday, Endurance on Wednesday, and Balance on Thursday.

  3. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last July. I had a bilateral mastectomy and then chemo. I had a very rare, near fatal reaction to chemo. A preventive hysterectomy. Since chemo is now out for me, I feel I have to do something to better my chances for survival. From what I’ve read, exercise is the biggest thing, and then diet. I am 70 years old and have always had a sedentary life. I have high hopes for your program.

    1. Thanks Nancy, you are an inspiration! I will send you some other exercise dvds for you to try, to build your strength and confidence. Good Luck.

  4. Doug, thank you dearly for thus site, my mom had a mild ischemic stroke and I stretch her daily…I’ve been searching for stretches for 3 weeks and these are fabulous! Her shoulder is a bit sublux can these be used for that. GOD BLESS!


    1. Thanks for your gracious comments. Let pain be your guide for shoulder stretches. They should feel good, not painful. Definitely add some shoulder strengthening exercises also. Try them without weights to start with. Then build up as tolerated. Best wishes!

    1. Thanks. Nice selection of upper body exercises. Hopefully you have some attachments to get the legs moving too!

  5. Really love your site. Feel safe from injury doing the exercises you show. Am creating a workout using your exercises in addition to yoga. Which exercises would be best for stiff computer shoulders?

  6. Thank you for this informative and inspirational website for seniors. After becoming quite unfit (too much sitting), I embarked on a fitness program and now feel the benefits. It didn’t happen overnight (getting fitter), but it did happen eventually.

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