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Tips for taking online exercise classes

22nd March 2021

As many of us have a lot more time on our hands due to the various restrictions around the UK, it means that we have been able to get into a routine when it comes to keeping the body active and supple. As we get older, especially, it is really important to keep our body and our minds as active as possible, whether that is with long walks, online exercise courses or stretches at home.

But, for those with limited mobility or those who may rely on the use of homelifts or stair lifts, the thought of exercising can be a little daunting, especially if they haven’t exercised in a while, but it doesn’t need to be a scary prospect. In this article, we go into a little more detail about taking online exercise classes, some great online workouts and what you need to do in preparation. Keep reading for recommendations from exercise and sports experts and some great top tips for those who want to get a little more active.

Why exercising can benefit you


Exercising comes with so many health benefits that help your body and your mind. Raising the heart rate releases endorphins that aid stress and anxiety relief, it also helps build muscles, increase fitness and improves heart health.

Bupa has a lot of information on their website about exercising and how it can help you, they commented: “Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Study after study shows the benefits it can have. Not only does regular exercise help you manage your weight and reduce your risk of developing diseases, but it can also help prevent and treat mental health problems. It can boost your wellbeing and mood, and is a great way to unwind from the stresses of life.”

Exercising is not only about losing weight, although this is one of the benefits, for older adults it is a great way to keep the body supple and nimble, improving mobility and allowing you to live independently for longer, eradicating the need for things like walk in shower enclosures.

Things you need to think about before starting


There are a few crucial things that you need to think about before starting online exercise courses, especially if this is your first time trying one - if you jump straight in you can risk getting an injury. With recommendations from a selection of experts on exercising, below are a few top tips that you need to consider before starting your exercise journey.

Ask your doctor for advice

One of the best places to start is to speak to your doctor and ask for any advice for starting exercises, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or you struggle with your mobility, this way they can advise you on any aids to use or any exercises you should try and avoid when exercising.

Gareth Bartlett, Director at Elder Fit commented on the same topic: “Before beginning a new exercise class we would advise seeking advice from a medical professional. If a chair is required ensure it has a high back with straight legs, to avoid any trips when getting up and walking to the back.”

If you require a chair and struggle to stand for long periods of time, then there are many exercises that are tailored to those with limited mobility.

Get appropriate footwear

Even if you are working out in your home and following an online exercise course, it is still a good idea to make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear, not only to support your legs, ankles and feet but to avoid slips and offer some added grip when jumping about, this is something else Gareth recommends:

“Always wear appropriate footwear and keep a drink close by. Remember to work within your limits, and if you need to take a break to press the pause button. Home exercise sessions should be energising and you do everything at your own pace. If you do not have a resistance band we find a couple of tins from the cupboard works really well with some of the exercises.”

If you often work on a yoga or exercise mat, then you can get grip socks to help you when it comes to slipping and sliding. Julie from Move It Or Lose It also recommended finding the right footwear before starting: “Make sure you wear appropriate footwear (unless it’s mat work). Trainers are ideal to cushion impact and avoid slippers, flip-flops or socks on wooden floors.”

Find classes that suit you

The worst thing you can do is try an online class that is too difficult for you and not enjoy the class or feel pain when doing so. The best thing to do is to spend some time finding the right classes to suit you and your needs.

“Then it is time to find the programme that suits your needs and goals. Try to develop a new routine and plan when you will exercise each week. Set some goals and try to enjoy them. Our exercise routines are evidence-based and so with Elderfit you are In safe hands,” comments Gareth.

Whether your trainer is offering online classes at home or you are following them on YouTube, make sure you start off simple and work up to more active classes. If you have a trainer, raise these thoughts with them so they can tailor what they are offering to suit you.

Becky, the blogger behind The Lifestyle Blogger UK, also suggests that finding the right class to suit you is really important: “Most classes can be adapted to any fitness level and your instructor should give you both the beginner and advanced versions of each exercise. However, if you aren't sure, make sure you ask these questions before the class starts. Your instructor won't mind you asking, and would prefer you to ask beforehand than just went along with it and injured yourself.”

Find appropriate space in your home

The next tip is to make sure that the space you are working out is suitable and you have enough space to move and complete the class. Becky continues to explain a little more:

“Find a space in your home where you won't be disturbed by other people/pets and put your full focus into the class. If you can, get yourself a yoga mat as this will help when doing any on the floor exercises. Also, make sure you wear the appropriate clothing. Nothing that's going to get in your way or cause you to trip when performing the exercises.”

Julie from Move It Or Lose It also suggests moving any trip hazards before starting and working out near a window to allow fresh air in: “Create a safe space with no trip hazards like wires, furniture or pets. Check that you can move in all directions including swinging arms upwards without hitting the chandeliers! Avoid standing in front of a window so you are not a silhouette. Ideally have a room where you can open the window for ventilation, keep a drink of water nearby and have fun!”

Great online exercises


There are so many great online classes to follow that are free and easy to access and offer a range of different exercises for people of varying abilities. Below is a selection of starter classes for those looking to begin their fitness journey or those who just want to stay active during this time.

The Body Coach 10 Minute Chair Workout For Seniors

This online class is run by The Body Coach and is perfect for seniors with limited mobility as all the exercises are from a seated position. The class also has subtitles and BSL for those who may need them. At only 12 minutes, this class is perfect for beginners and those looking to get into fitness.

Age & Opportunity Movement Sessions

Another seated exercise, this class is a little longer at 22 minutes but is very gentle and designed for those with limited mobility in mind and run by Age & Opportunity. Age & Opportunity have a great selection of online classes on their Youtube channel.

Yoga With Adriene Yoga For Seniors

Adriene is known for her great yoga workouts and many of them are tailored to older adults. These slow and gentle yoga classes are perfect for those who want to stretch out their muscles, perfect for those who often find themselves feeling tight and uncomfortable.

The Girl With the Pilates Standing Pilates For Seniors

This standing pilates class was originally filmed live but can now be followed on Youtube any time and is great for those aged 60+. The class is more suited to those who are able to stand for long periods of time, so this may be a class to work up to over a period of time.

Whether you are already into your exercise or are just looking to start, this guide will give you some top tips on how you can make the most of online exercise classes whilst at home. Try some of these popular online classes and start your very own routine.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.