Ready To Become Stronger And More Independent?

I created Eldergym® to help YOU! The purpose of Eldergym® is to help soup up your strength, free up your flexibility, boost your balance, and enhance your endurance. In other words, become a fit and independent “Awesome Elder.”
So if you are looking for one of the best exercise resources for seniors and the elderly on the web, you found it!

You can do it!

My hope is that this website will help you to discover the revitalizing power of exercise;

inspire you to feel more vital, energized, and ready for your day;

help you to get rid of those negative thoughts about your age, health conditions or physical body;

teach you how to achieve real and objective goals with activities that you enjoy doing;

and encourage you to take genuine steps toward health and happiness.

The Problem: “Why am I so weak?”

Picture54As a Physical Therapist I have many senior and elderly patients who are referred from their doctor because they have fallen, are having trouble standing up, or just can’t function as well as they used to. What is the problem? Generally it is inactivity.

Studies have shown that it only takes a few days of lying in bed to start losing your strength, flexibility and balance.

Once this happens you are at risk of beginning the downward spiral. What is the downward spiral you ask?

The Downward Spiral is the Problem

Picture62Well, let’s say you are feeling under the weather one day.

You are retired so end up spending a few days in bed or on the recliner watching TV.

After a while the chores start piling up. Finally you get up one morning and… “oops” lose your balance — falling on the floor!

If your hip is not broken you likely have a nasty bump somewhere.

The pain causes you to spend more time in bed… day by day getting weaker and weaker. Then out comes the cane or walker.

You begin to go outside of the house less and less because it is harder to walk.

Daily chores and activities become increasingly more difficult like cooking, shopping and taking a shower. You spend more time in the recliner and bed.

Well…you get the picture.

Moral of the story? Yes, you guessed it…Use your head…don’t stay in bed!

“Mom and Dad are just not as active as they once were, and I am worried they will fall down”

Picture12On the other hand, maybe you are the child of an elderly adult. When your parents live alone and are inactive, you may worry about him or her falling at home.

This is often a big concern of family members.

Exercising and staying active will improve their chances of staying safe.

Staying active, sensibly exercising and following a healthy lifestyle can add years of productive and functional living to your life.

Explore our site for helpful information and exercise videos to start your journey to greater strength and better balance with exercise for seniors and the elderly.

So the problem is inactivity. What is the solution? Where do I begin?

Picture41Well, it took a while to get in the shape you are in. Remember to take small steps in the beginning. No need to hurry. Your body requires from 4 to 6 weeks to become accustomed to a new activity or exercise program.

This is true especially if you have been inactive for a long time.

Try exercising for a few minutes a day at first. Gradually build up to 30 minutes twice a week.

From there try exercising 3 days per week as your strength and endurance improves.

Here is the good news. Fitness Training can benefit women and men of all ages.

  • Help your strength with weight training in the arms and legs.
  • Expand your bone density in the hips and spine.
  • Access greater energy levels for daily activities.
  • Learn to improve your balance with standing and walking.
  • Take action to reduce your risk of falling at home.
  • Have fun and keep your independence and vitality.

Ok, I am ready. What should I do?

Start with the basics

Start with the basics for exercises for the elderly. Get the big picture and explore how to safely begin an exercise program!

Learn correct posture

Learn correct posture before you start in order to help maximize the benefits of exercise. Watch our posture video for important exercises.


Review the proper techniques of breathing to improve your lung function and energy level. This video will show you how.


Increase your flexibility to allow full motion in your shoulders, hips, and legs with these exercises. Watch our stretching videos for valuable instruction.


Build strength in the arms, legs and back to greatly enhance your functional independence with our strengthening videos


Gain endurance and improve your ability to walk and participate in energetic social activities like dancing and nature outings.


Develop better balance to increase your safety in the home and in community.

  • Ann West says:

    We are using your 4 DVD and really enjoy them and feel they are very helpful. Just 1 suggestions – either stop saying right and left or turn so we are going the same way you go. It gets confusing at time. Thanks for listening

    • Doug Schrift says:

      Yes you are correct, it can get confusing. It is called mirroring when an instructor faces the class and uses the opposite terms when cueing the class. Right is left and left is right. It is a little more difficult when shooting a video because I am at the same time instructing the seniors behind me and in front of me. My participants are not professionals and it was actually the first time they were following me. Sorry for the confusion.

  • janet maloney says:

    wonderful exercises, have only had the dvd’s one week but am enjoying them tremendously and feel better after each use. Just wonder where the exercises are performed as it is such a relaxing picture with the beautiful building and the flowers. Thank you

  • Anonymous says:

    Doug. Is there cerification courses in this to teach?

  • Jacqueline says:

    Hi, I tried to download the e-book but the site does not permit me to put in my name or email address so I can’t. Help!

    • Doug Schrift says:

      Yes it is working. Try using a different browser or computer to enter your information. Let me know how you do.

  • Edgar says:

    Sorry folks I sent in my question but missed a letter on my Email address as below, should be drjmmen not drjmme I hope this doesn’t invalidate my original question which took me a long time to think out, and I’d hate to have to repeat it, in fact it would come out a bit different the second time.

  • Edgar says:

    A question. I am just 87 with a normal BP and pulse rate, generally was always around 110/65-70, pulse around 50 at rest. Until about 2-3 years ago I became very sedentary and noticed all three had gone up. I now exercise daily by walking at a good pace up a 15-17% hill, then a 3 block walk to a pharmacy, take BP which is usually around 200+/95, pulse 90-100. I then take it every minute and it goes down very rapidly, to 145/77, 140/73 and etc, I do this 5 times at 1+ minute intervals and it usually ends with 118-133/68-73, pulse around 65-73. The whole going and return over a similarly uphill route, takes about 24-28 mins. I’ve been doing this for over a year.

    My concern is …am I endangering myself for stroke or etc by working up my Sytstolic to 200+ during about 7-9 mins each way with the 6-8 min break,

    ……. My doctor encourages me to do this…….. but ……….It bothers me so please give me a clear answer. I have become very fit, incidentally, fast walker etc.

    Thanks, Edgar

    • john jackson says:

      your heart rate is much too high—use formula –220 -age equals max. heart rate advisable exercise at 75-85%of this max. for best results!

    • Doug Schrift says:

      Certainly check with your doctor first. Our muscles need more blood when we exercise and our heart pumps harder. It is not unusual to have a 50mmhg increase in blood pressure when we start exercising. This is a short term rise in blood pressure. Over the long term, exercise helps generally lower our blood pressure which is good. It is generally safe for seniors to exercise. For those with a chronic or progressive disease, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor.

  • Steve Keller says:

    I am a male 80 years old. I go to Family Fitness and use their machines. Do you have any specific advice for that type of exercise. I go through a circuit of 14 machines, and it takes me over an hour.

    • Doug Schrift says:

      These are some important exercises for seniors to include when using cable machines at a gym.
      1. Leg press
      Strong legs are very important for standing and balance control
      2. Back extension
      Helps counteract the round back many seniors develop
      3. Pulling and pushing motion machine
      Helps maintain strong arms and shoulders
      4. Neck extension
      Helps counteract the head down posture many seniors can get.

  • The same defense mechanism that protects a boxer, is exactly the same one that protects a faller…..”Quickness”. At Plyometric Products, all of our innovative functional movement training equipment, revolves around three attributes, “Balance, Power, and Quickness”. Our motto? Be Prepaired

  • C J says:

    Is there an iPhone /iPad app for the exercises?

  • Viv says:

    Is there a BOOK available with pictures of all the exercises
    Shown with full explanations? I’d be interested in that if it isn’t too costly.

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