Elderly And Senior Endurance Exercises Improve Your Heart Health

If you are looking for one of the best resources on elderly endurance training exercises for seniors on the internet, you found it!

The main topics of this section are

  • Benefits: Discover why endurance training is good for you.
  • How often: Learn when and how to train your endurance.
  • How to start walking: Learn how walk correctly at home.
  • Tips for your feet: What you should and should not do.
  • Training zone: What is a training zone and why you should know yours.

The ways this section will help you improve include

  • Strength: Create a stronger torso and legs to increase you stability.
  • Safety:  Increase your ability to get up, walk and exercise.
  • Mobility: Achieve a lasting ability to get around more easily
  • Activities: Enjoy those tennis lessons or bike riding again
  • Social: Begin to see and enjoy your friends and family

The benefits of Elderly endurance training in a senior exercise program are

  • Increased endurance, energy level, increased fat metabolism, and prevention of heart disease
  • This works best if you workout at least three times a week spaced out with a 48 hour rest in between
  • It is possible to improve with a two day a week workout but we prefer at least three days

Two days a week is not likely to help you loose weight  but  really any amount of exercise is better than no exercise at all.

Start a walking program

One of the easiest forms of Elderly endurance work is brisk walking. Walking has been referred to as the "King of exercises".

If you are a low fit person, start with 2 - 5 minutes of  continuous walking.

Try this a few times per day. Then build up to 30 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week.

Older adults can safely walk as much as 60 minutes a day.

Beginners or those with balance problems, joint problems should walk first on flat surfaces or indoor at a mall.

Then you can gradually work up to more uneven surface as your balance and joints permit.

Tips for healthy feet

  • Keep nails filed straight across the top
  • Wash your feet daily with mild soap and water and dry thoroughly.
  • Those with diabetes should check their feet daily for redness, ingrown toe nails and blisters.
  • Gradually build up your pace.
  • A healthy senior can safely walk between 1 to 3 miles per hour.

Picture122Hiking or walking shoes are the best choice for your elderly endurance  program.

Regular sneakers or tennis shoes are not ideal because they are designed for more side to side movements in sports.

Look for a shoe with thick soles to provide cushioning and good heel support for increased stability.

Thick socks will increase your comfort and reduce the risk of blistering.

Finding your correct training range for elderly endurance exercises

Picture123Endurance exercises include brisk walking, stationary bike riding, running, low impact aerobics, swimming, water aerobics, cycling or any exercise that makes you breathe faster and your heart to speed up.

Endurance exercises or activities should be performed at least 2 times per week.

For optimal improvement in your heart and lungs and muscles, try 3 to 5 times per week.

Think of how much easier it will be to walk, grocery shop and play with your grandchildren!

Your workout should be intense enough to make your heart beat faster and your breathing to increase but not so high as to over stress your system.

This is your training zone. Try to work out in this range to get the most benefit out of your endurance exercises.

Below you will find three good ways of monitoring your intensity level for your endurance activities and finding your training zone. Pick one that will work for you and your situation.

Method 1: Maximum Heart rate :

This method is the most precise when finding your training zone for your endurance exercises, but can be the hardest to learn.

Take a breath... and see if you can follow along...

A good range for the typical senior exerciser is between 65% to 80% of your maximum heart rate, which is 220 minus your age.

If you have been inactive for a while or have limiting health problems, keep your heart rate between 50% and 75% of your maximum.

For example....

A healthy 75 year old man with a maximum heart rate of 145

needs to exercise between 16 and 21 beats

when counting for 10 seconds.

Find your age on the chart below, and follow to get your heart rate range for a 10 second count.


Take your pulse at approximately 5 minutes into the exercise.

Take your pulse again at approximately 10 minutes into your endurance exercise or after the hardest part.

Take your pulse just after your cool-down.

Picture120To find your pulse on your wrist: Use the pads of your two fingers tips.

Place your finger tips just below the wrist creases at the base of the thumb.

Press lightly until you feel a pulse

(which is the blood pulsing under your fingers).

If necessary, move fingers around until you feel the pulse.

Picture16Review the 10 second counts so that you don't have to do math in your head while exercising.

Slow down for the pulse count but keep your legs moving.

It is usually better to take your pulse at your wrist (radial artery) instead of your neck ( carotid artery).

It is possible to press too hard on the carotid artery which could cause slowing of the pulse.


I know this sounds complicated.....

But once you find how many beats per 10 seconds you need to have.... you are done!

Method 2: Rate of Perceived Exertion:

Don't like the previous heart rate method?

Too complicated?

Want an easier way to tell how hard you are working during your workout?

An easier method is to just rate your feeling of how hard you are working on the 0 to 10 scale.

This is called the "Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion."

For most older adult exercisers, you can work in the "moderate" to "strong" range which is 4 - 5.

Give it a try.. it actually works quite well.

Method 3: Talk Test:

Still too complicated?

Want a VERY easy method to tell how hard you are working and make sure you are training correctly and safely in your training zone?

Try the talk test. It doesn't get much simpler...

Picture27Basically, you should be able to speak in your normal voice and tone during your exercise session.

If you are out of breath and are unable to speak regularly, then you need to lower your intensity level by slowing down.

How's that? Easy, eehh?


  1. I got a puppy. Now almost 2. Forced exercise and it fun. She loves walks, swimming. And you cannot deny them.Gets me up early and makes sure there a daily walk. I am 72. And I went for a high energy breed.

  2. I normally walk at a 3.5 mile/hr rate, 4 miles, 6 days/week, but it doesn’t increase my respiration rate much. Plus, I do weights twice/week. I’m 77 and would like to get in shape for a ski trip. I tried going to a fitness center and doing the inclined treadmill at 15% incline which got my heart rate up to 167 after about 20 minutes at 2.5 mph, but I’ve read this is too high for my age although it didn’t tire me. My resting rate is about 72. So, what is the best way to increase my endurance?

    1. Chuck. You are an inspiration! Great job. Strengthening 2x per week is a good frequency. Your theoretical maximum heart rate at birth is 220 bpm and declines by about .7 beats per year. Your theoretical maximum heart rate would then be 166 bpm. That is only a guideline for your age. Certainly we are all different. If you keep your heart rate in the 130’s that would be 80% which would be fine for endurance training. If you are going skiing, I would be thinking of my knees more than my endurance. Really try to strengthen your knees at least 6 weeks before your trip. Knee injuries are very common in skiing. Good luck!

  3. Hey Doug

    Good work man. These are really good tips. And I agree with your comment that everyone needs to start at their own place and then build up the stamina. Starting off with the recommended timings will only lead to loss of strength and tiredness. Whereas starting off slowly and then gradually increasing the stamina will lead to better fitness and endurance.

  4. After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the
    -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now
    each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same
    comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service?

    Many thanks!

  5. Doug, have watched your videos and feel they are spectacular.
    I would like to know if I can buy them in spanish. I feel although there may be others probably of latin origin, I prefer your’s,

  6. Par ailleurs, les Eaux du Ciel qui s’unissent à nos eaux intérieures jouent également un rôle primordial face
    à cette transcendance multidimensionnelle.

    1. Remember to start slowly. If you are a low fit person, start with 2 – 5 minutes of continuous walking. Try this a few times per day. Then build up to 30 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week.

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