Exercise tips for older adults during COVID-19 pandemic

You may be finding it tougher to exercise while under lockdown or a stay-at-home order. But you can still find ways to make movement a part of your daily routine

With most of our daily movement restricted during the pandemic, it can be difficult to keep up an exercise routine.

If you enjoy fitness classes, you’re probably missing the camaraderie and the atmospheres. And even if you are getting some movement in, you might be feeling frustrated that you’re not at your usual level of activity.

But now, more than ever, exercise is important. It can have a huge impact on anxiety and help ease stress and depression. In addition it can boost your immune system which help you fight the virus if you do ever come into contact with it.

Tips for getting exercise during COVID-19:

Get outside if you can

Check the latest guidelines on the specifics for Wellington County. Take a walk or ride a bike outside if you can.

Gardening and yard work are also good options. The fresh air and sunshine will benefit mental health as well.

Make it a social activity

Including the people you’re self-isolating with can make exercising more fun. Play an active game with your spouse, children or grandkids or turn on some music and dance together.

Track your workouts

Using fitness trackers, apps, or keeping a journal can help you stay accountable and motivated.

Seeing your progress and your ability to keep active will give you a sense of accomplishment and an emotional boost to keep going.

“Sneak” in movement

Even though we’re mostly housebound, you can still find ways to incorporate movement into your day. Try to think of physical activity as a lifestyle choice rather than as a designated event. This may help sustain you in times like these, when your schedule has been upended.

Use chores. Household tasks like scrubbing, sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming can all add up when done at a brisk pace. They work muscles in your arms and legs.

Exercise during commercial breaks. Many of us are watching more TV. Make the commercials and credits count by adding in some squats, side leg raises, heel raises, toe raise, wall push-ups, knee flexion and extension exercises.

Take advantage of pauses during the day. Take advantage of times when you’re waiting for something to finish or start.

Move around the house more. Walk around while you’re making calls. Take an extra lap or two around the house if you have to put something away. If you have stairs, go up and down them a few times a day.


The Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) is offering ways to participate in the SMART (Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together) exercise program through technology.

Visit for YouTube link www.vonsmartexercise.com.

SMART Exercise Classes are also offered on Wightman Channel 6 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: low intensity at 7am; moderate intensity at 8am; and high intensity at 9am.

The VON SMART program is now offering a full schedule of live virtual Zoom exercise classes.   

To register contact VON SMART program coordinator Kelly Gee at kelly.gee@von.ca or 519-314-0264.

Kelly Gee