Exercise Routines for Women Over 60

Woman in a yoga position

Women's exercise routines for age 60 and beyond focus on endurance, retaining muscle and bone mass, flexibility and balance, according to Dr. Gayle Olinekova, author of “Power Aging.” This focus can help you tone and trim your body, while reducing the risk of falling and injuring yourself. Cross training ensures that you use a variety of exercise types to meet your needs, and reduces the risk of injury -- and of boredom. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.


If you haven’t included frequent exercise in your daily routine, start now and reap the benefits. Walk two to three days a week, increasing your pace and distance a little each day until you walk briskly and manage at least 10,000 steps per day as measured by a pedometer. Add strength training by adding hand or ankle weights when you walk. One to two days a week, jump for at least 15 minutes on a mini trampoline to increase balance and give you a low-impact workout. Use the mini trampoline on days when weather doesn’t allow you to walk. Add one or more days of swimming or a water aerobics class to focus on flexibility, balance and resistance training.

Trim and Tone

An exercise ball adds versatility and value to your trim and tone workout. Begin with a three- to five-minute walk to warm up, then stretch your core by leaning back over the ball. Start your ball workout with 15 to 20 abdominal curls to tone your abdomen and back. Follow with 15 to 20 oblique ball crunches to trim your waist and increase your flexibility. Sit on the ball and rotate from side to side at the waist as you lift hand weights for strengthening and flexibility and tone your arms, shoulders and core muscles. Do this for 10 to 15 repetitions and finish your routine with 15 to 20 leg lifts while sitting on the ball. Cool down with a three-minute waltz for balance and coordination.


Weights and resistance bands increase bone and muscle strength. Warm up with a three- to five-minute walk and up to 10 minutes of yoga stretches to prevent injury. Use hand weights or bottles of water to do 10 to 15 bicep curls and 10 to 15 press-ups to strengthen your arms, shoulders and back. Sit in a chair or on the floor to do 15 to 20 leg lifts with resistance bands. Walk briskly for 10 to 15 minutes while carrying hand held weights and wearing ankle weights.

Balance and Flexibility

Dance and exercise balls improve your balance and flexibility with low-impact exercise. Sit on the ball and gently bounce for three to five minutes. Turn the music on and use the ball as a prop, lifting the ball up and down and from side to side as you dance for 10 to 15 minutes. Vary the music tempo from slow to brisk and then back to slow to improve your cardiovascular health and make your dancing more interesting.