If your elderly parent is struggling with his or her weight, you might wish to lend a hand. Weight issues among the senior citizen population aren't uncommon — according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33 percent of individuals over the age of 65 were considered to be obese. You can be supportive by suggesting some ideal exercises for your parent to pursue, and perhaps even joining him or her for some workouts together. As a senior citizen, your parent won't likely be up for high-intensity cardiovascular exercises, so here are some other worthwhile activities that can lead to results.


If your parent has a swimming pool in his or her building or there's a community aquatic center nearby, swimming can be a convenient and effective exercise for weight loss. Many senior citizens enjoy swimming because it burns calories steadily but doesn't cause pain to the joints because there's no impact. Thus, if your parent has bad knees, for example, he or she may prefer swimming to other forms of cardiovascular exercise. If your parent needs a little motivation to get into the water, many aquatic centers have classes for senior citizens, during which swimming and water aerobics — which are also good for weight loss — are taught.

Interval Walking

As long as your parent's physical health is conducive to walking, he or she should be able to use this simple cardiovascular exercise to help lose weight. Walking burns calories steadily but slowly, which is why many exercise enthusiasts opt for jogging instead. However, if your parent isn't up for jogging, interval walking can be a happy medium to increase the workout's caloric burn. Armed with a stopwatch or the timer on a smartphone, your parent can walk at a moderate pace for a set duration, such as five minutes, and then increase the pace to a brisk walk for another set duration, such as 90 seconds.


Tennis might not work for someone who is excessively overweight and/or in poor physical health, but if your elderly parent is up to the challenge, tennis can be effective. This form of exercise can be fun because some people consider it to lack the repetitive nature of common cardio workouts. Tennis is also a good social activity, which can get your parent out of the house a few times a week to play with a friend or even with you.