6 Tips For Senior Fitness In The UAE

Just because we get older doesn’t mean we can’t do exercise to stay fit and healthy in the UAE. These 6 tips will help you understand how and why exercise is important at any age.
6 tips for senior fitness in abu dhabi, dubai and sharjah
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Great Tips & Advice - Senior & Elderly Fitness In Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharah

Article Contributor: AW

Gone are the days when many seniors thought that going to the gym or even working out at home in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah or RAK was probably too difficult.

Senior fitness in the UAE is big business and more gyms now provide specialist services targeted towards seniors including fitness classes, 1-2-1 coaching and even teaching services about the importance of proper nutrition etc.

If you’re a senior in the UAE one of the best ways to start your health and fitness journey is to hire a senior fitness personal trainer because they will have the specialist skills you need in order to exercise safely and make sure you train correctly.

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Age Isn't A Limitation

There are so many different training and exercise methods that can easily be enjoyed by seniors. Being fit, staying in great shape and even trying out a new workout is not reserved for the young. Most training programs can be enjoyed by all ages as long as sensible advice is followed.

There are many studies from around the world like the one found here that prove, without doubt, that staying fit through exercise as we age can help prevent serious illness and even premature death.

In this article we hope to provide you with some great tips and advice about senior fitness in the UAE.

If you need further advice or if you are looking for a personal trainer that specialises in senior and elderly fitness in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah you’ll find male and female coaches on the UAE Personal Trainers website who can help.

6 Tips For Senior Fitness In The UAE

1. Do Cardio Exercise

What is cardio exercise?

 

Cardio based fitness programs are not just about losing weight. Yes, a good cardio workout can help you lose weight and of course manage weight.

But, cardio training is about so much more. The key is in the title. Cardio training means cardiovascular training which helps in many way.

A good cardio training program in the UAE gets your blood pumping and increases your breathing. This increased blood pumping helps to give your heart a great workout but it also helps to pump more oxygen rich blood to the muscles.

The more cardio seniors and the elderly do the stronger their heart and cardiovascular system become.

 

Can all seniors and the elderly do cardio exercise?

 

Unless you have been advised by a medical professional not to do too much cardio fitness there is no reason why seniors and the elderly in the UAE can’t do some form of cardio workout.

Of course, like any exercise program you need to take some precautions. If you are completely new to training and exercise then you will need to start slowly and build your cardio fitness levels progressively. This is why you should use a senior fitness personal trainer when starting out and also seek medical advice just to be on the safe side.

It’s always good to combine exercise methods too, for example combining cardio training with strength training or flexibility exercises.

 

What types of cardio are suitable for seniors in the UAE?


As we mentioned above. Most cardio fitness programs are suitable for seniors as long as you start slowly and listen to your body. If you feel pain or discomfort then stop. You can always find another cardio routine that will be more suitable.

Some examples of cardio workouts include:

 

  • Aerobics. This is a fun and fairly fast paced exercise method that has been popular for many years. It can be provided on a 1-2-1 basis or for a social element you could join an aerobics class in your area of Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah.

    Aerobics is not just for ladies either, plenty of senior men enjoy it!

 

  • Brisk walking or jogging. If brisk walking or jogging sounds like fun to you then go ahead. This is a more gentler form of cardio exercise which can be great for beginners. Over time you can increase your distance and even speed to improve your performance and fitness levels.

 

  • Zumba. You might think you need to be fit and flexible to do Zumba but Zumba coaches in the UAE can easily tailor classes and private Zumba personal training sessions to suit their clients needs.

    As well as the fitness elements you’ll have great fun in a Zumba class too which is great for your mental health.

TIP! Be consistent with your cardio fitness workouts. Even if you can only do 15 minutes a day it’s better than missing cardio exercise for day’s at a time. Consistency leads to habit which means you’ll soon easily find the time in your schedule.

2. Do Strength Training

What is strength training?

 

Recent research, like the study found here suggests that strength training as we age is as important as cardio fitness.

There are a few different terms used when we refer to strength training.

You might have heard it called weight lifting, weight training, resistance training and more but all these terms refer to putting external resistance on the muscles to help them increase in size and performance.

You can even do strength training without using weights and training machines by doing body weight exercises which help keep your body toned and flexible too.

If you don’t use it you’ll lose it is a common saying and to a certain degree that’s true for strength training too. In a sedentary society like the UAE seniors can spend a long time doing not much at all. As we age this can progress to muscle wasting through lack of activity.

Of course not all seniors are inactive. Many lead fit and active lives but even for them adding more strength training does help.

 

What types of strength training is suitable for seniors

 

As long as you don’t overdo it there are plenty of ways to increase your muscular strength.

Strength training is not just about lifting weights as many people seem to think. You don’t need to go to the gym and lift a barbell that’s twice the size of you to improve your strength.

It’s also a good idea to focus on all areas of the body and not just your arm or back strength. Having stronger legs plays a huge role in mobility too.

 

  • Lifting Weights. This is a great and simple way to improve your strength. When we say weights this doesn’t just mean dumbbells or kettlebells. Weights that you have around the house can help – think tin of beans or similar.

  • Resistance Bands. Resistance bands have become very popular in the UAE because of their simplicity. The can be used at home or even outdoors and you can easily change the resistance to suit your strength level. With resistance bands you can also safely work on different parts of your body too – upper body, legs, back etc.

  • Bodyweight Exercises. If you’re up to it you can just simply use your own bodyweight as your training tool. It’s surprising how much benefit you can get from push-ups, wall presses and more.


Strength training in the UAE for seniors is very important. It helps retain muscle which can help many seniors and the elderly continue to lead independent lives.

 

What are the benefits of strength training for seniors?

 

Many seniors and the elderly have some mobility problems. Although there are many reasons for this sometimes this is just because of a weakness in the muscles.

Starting strength exercises early can help to prevent problems but there is no reason why you can’t start now and build up your strength gradually.

Strength exercises, resistance training and more will help you become more mobile, decrease aches and pains, increase bone density and of course helps with physical appearance too.

Everyday tasks like grocery shopping, climbing the stairs, cleaning the house and more can become easier which helps many seniors and the elderly lead more independent lives.

There are plenty of strength training classes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah which have been created especially for seniors. Joining such as class will also help you get out more and enjoy the social element of exercise too.

Tip! Safety is paramount when lifting weights. Don’t overdo it or you’ll end up injuring yourself. Start slowly and always lift weights with a partner or a personal trainer.

3. Do Balance & Flexibility Exercises

Balance and flexibility exercises provide great benefits for seniors and the elderly.

For one thing, improving balance can help to prevents falls which can have serious consequences.

Flexibility exercises can help alleviate aches and pains that are sometimes associated with ageing too like arthritis, stiff joints and muscle cramps.

Keeping flexible and well balanced also helps many seniors remain independent with age too because it can help with mobility.

 

Types of flexibility and balance exercises suitable for seniors

 

Flexibility and balance exercise are suitable for all ages. They are particularly suited to older people because most of them are considered ‘low impact’ types of exercise which do not place too much stress on the muscles or joints.


Yoga. Well known for improving flexibility, Yoga can be enjoyed at any age. For seniors, Yoga provides a great way to improve flexibility through gentle poses which don’t place too much stress on the muscles.

You don’t need experience and you definitely don’t need to be super flexible to start doing Yoga in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah. Professional yoga coaches can customise their programs to suit all ages and abilities.

As well as being a great way to improve flexibility and balance Yoga can also provide mental health benefits too. And, seniors who attend Yoga classes in the UAE enjoy the social interaction benefit too.

Pilates. You might think you need to be slim and flexible to do Pilates but again this is a misconception. At some point everyone who does Pilates was a beginner and the same applies to seniors. If balance improvement is important to you then Pilates will definitely help.

It can help with lower body balance, helping you feel more steady on your feet and also improve the blood flow to your muscles.

Pilates, like Yoga is a great way to add stretching to your workout routine. Stretching really helps to loosen tight muscles, especially in the morning.

Tai Chi. So popular in the far east, Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese exercise method that is perfect for seniors. In China you often see large groups of seniors and the elderly in parks doing their morning Tai Chi practice. With it’s sequence of moves it helps to stimulate blood flow to all the major organs and muscles and increases your alertness for the rest of the day.

You don’t need experience to learn how to do basic Tai Chi moves. A Tai Chi personal trainer or group fitness coach in the UAE can help.

Swimming. One of the best ways for seniors to keep fit, swimming is another low impact exercise that can help with flexibility. The reason is that swimming for fitness in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah provides a whole body workout. You’ll be exercising most of the major muscle groups in a gentle way which improves overall flexibility.

Tip! Take your time. Flexibility and balance exercises like Yoga and Pilates take a while to master for beginners. Don’t overdo it and where possible use a professional coach.

Healthy Isnt A Goal But A Way Of Living - UAE Personal Trainers
Take Care Of Your Body - UAE Personal Trainers

4. Breathing Exercises

Ever heard the term ‘stop and take a breath’? There’s a good reason why people say this. When your anxious, upset or just frustrated about something if you stop, breath deeply a few times you’ll feel a sense of calm and composure.

Breathing exercises for seniors help in the same way. For years, breathing techniques have been used by Yoga teachers and even doctors to provide clients with a sense of calm.

But, working on your breathing has other benefits too. As well as helping you feel calm in stressful situations focusing on your breathing can help improve your cardio health and improve your circulation too. It also increases mental clarity.

Controlling your breath isn’t an alternative to pain medication. However, aches and pains that are an unfortunate part of ageing can be managed to a certain degree with improved breathing. Focus on your breath and breath deeply.

5. Try New Activities

Senior health and fitness isn’t just about being fit physically.

Social contact can also be a challenge for many seniors in the UAE which can lead to a decline in mental health, depression and more.

Fitness clubs provide a great combination of social activity ‘and’ physical fitness and they are in abundance in the UAE. Everything ranging from swimming lessons for groups to Zumba classes.

There are many other ways to keep active and mobile too.

  • Golf. Playing a round or two of golf in the UAE with friends is a great social activity but behind the scenes you’ll also be adding exercise to your day too. It takes a while to play a full round of golf and during that time you’ll be doing plenty of walking. Great for your cardio health.

    Golf also works on your hand-eye coordination and your flexibility too.

  • Dance Classes. Many venues in the UAE provide dance classes specifically for seniors. You’ll meet new people and dancing provides a good workout for the body and mind.

  • Walking. Group walking is a social activity for many men and women which helps you stay in great shape. Try to avoid the heat of the day and walk in the early morning or late evening.

  • Healthy eating classes. Diet and fitness go hand in hand. You can’t out train a bad diet but the odd treat here and there never hurt. However, if you are interested in nutrition then why not join a healthy eating cookery class. Again you have the social element and you’ll also be learning how to cook nutritious, healthy meals at home for you or for guests.

Tip! Being more active as a senior is a good way to take care of your physical health. Meeting new people, trying new activities and just getting out and about does wonders for your mental health too.

6. Improve Your Sleep

Sleep is often an overlooked part of leading a fit and healthy life for seniors in the UAE.

Many people say, the older you get the less sleep you need but this isn’t really true. Even seniors and the elderly should try to get at least 7 – 8 hours of quality sleep per night.

The quality of sleep counts too. A restless night doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not sleeping but your sleep patterns might be erratic, dosing for an hour or two and then waking up.

Not sleeping well has been proven to have a direct impact on both physical and mental health and while intermittent periods of sleeplessness are normal chronic sleep problems can have a detrimental effect to seniors.

You know when you’ve had a great nights sleep, you wake up feeling refreshed and alert. The opposite occurs when you have a bad night.

Sleep problems not only have an impact on how you feel in the morning. Extended periods of lack of sleep effect how you feel the entire day. You might suffer from a lack of energy, lack of focus and not think as clearly as you normally would.

 

What are the some of the reasons why seniors might have problems sleeping?

 

  • Inactivity during the day. If you spend long periods during the day being physically and mentally inactive this can leads to sleep problems at night.

  • Pain. Chronic and acute pain can cause restless sleep.

  • Insomnia. Often associated with stress and anxiety, insomnia can lead to extended period of sleeplessness.

 

How can seniors improve their sleep?

 

  • Be more active. If you are able you should try to be more active during the day. Taking gentle exercise can help, playing sport like golf, swimming and more.

  • Try not to nap during the day. Many people feel the beneficial effects of taking a nap during the day. However, if you find you gave problems sleeping at night it’s a good idea to try and get in a pattern of only sleeping at night.

  • Don’t eat immediately before bed. While a snack is tempting close to bedtime it can keep you up so try not to eat at least a couple of hours before you retire for the day.

  • Try reading. Watching TV in the bedroom might be too much of a stimulant before bedtime. Instead, try reading. It can help relax you.

  • Breathing exercises. Try deep breathing exercises when you go to bed. It can help relax your body and your mind too.

 

Of course this article is here to provide guidance only. If you continue to suffer from a lack of sleep (known as chronic sleeplessness) you should seek advice from your medical professional in the UAE.

Tip! Doing some form of exercise on a regular basis can help to keep you active which in turn can make you feel tired at the end of the day.

Ultimately, there is no upper age limit when it comes to exercise and fitness for seniors in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah or Ras Al Khaimah. The kind of exercise you can do might change with age but if you follow sensible advice you can remain active and healthy well into your senior years.

Sometimes senior and elderly fitness needs to be done with caution so it’s always a good idea to find a Senior Fitness Personal Trainer in your local area for advice and support.

In Summary.....

While there might be certain exercises and exercise types that are clearly unsuitable for seniors in the UAE there are still so many way to get fit or stay in shape. It’s never too late to learn something new. 

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