But it can be difficult for people of any age to find the time and motivation for a trip to the gym. And many fitness-minded folks prefer the privacy, affordability and convenience that comes with working out at home. So if you have a senior with get-fit goals on your holiday shopping list, here are a few suggestions for gifts that will help them set up their very own home gym.
Dumbbells are an excellent investment because of their flexibility. For example, they can be used for several senior-friendly exercises such as overhead presses, arm curls and tricep extensions. And arms aren’t the only body part that will get a workout. Dumbbells will add an extra challenge to forward lunges, forward raises to work shoulder muscles and bent-over rows to build back strength.
Dumbbells are also adaptable because exercisers can increase the weights they are using as they build strength. Verywell suggests getting a full set of weights, adjustable dumbbells, or at least a range of three different weights that can be used for different exercises.
Kettlebells are ball-shaped weights that have a handle. They tend to start at heavier weights than dumbbells and might be an ideal gift for an active senior looking for a fitness challenge. Some kettlebells even include features that allow users to adjust the weight.
Several exercises, including kettlebell curls, squats with kettlebells, and basic kettlebell swings can be appropriate for seniors. However, many experts suggest those who’ve never used the exercise tool to sign up for a few sessions with a fitness trainer who can teach them to use kettlebells safely on their own. So, if you purchase a kettlebell for a senior on your shopping list, consider coupling it with some class passes to a convenient gym or with a personal trainer.
These fitness tools have several advantages, including their portability. Seniors can easily stow one in a suitcase to keep their exercise routine intact during visits to friends and family. Resistance bands are also easy to store for seniors who might be setting up a home gym in an apartment or condo.
Like dumbbells, resistance bands are incredibly adaptable. For instance, seniors can start by using one during sets of seated bicep curls, then progress to standing bicep curls with the band tucked securely under their feet. Similarly, they can also be used during side leg lifts performed on the floor or while standing — perhaps using a chair for extra balance.
To make those floor exercises more comfortable for your favorite fitness-minded senior, you might consider buying them a yoga or pilates mat for the holidays. The biggest difference between yoga and pilates mats are their thickness. Yoga mats tend to be thinner, offering a more firm foundation for balance-based yoga poses. Pilates mats tend to be more padded, making them a good choice for floor exercises that put more pressure on bones.
If space and portability are a concern for the senior on your list, a yoga mat might be the better choice since it’s easy to store and can be used for both yoga and floor work. And mats of both types are available in a wide variety of colors and prints, allowing you to personalize your pick.
While you’re at the sporting goods store, consider a few personal purchases and offering yourself up as a workout partner. Giving these gifts can help seniors stay healthy for many holidays to come.
Special guest post by Hazel Bridges