If 2020 has taught us anything, it has taught us the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle in later life. Working out from the comfort of your own home has never been easier, but sometimes the amount of choice out there can be a little overwhelming.
In this article, we’ve picked five of our favourite YouTube channels for active over 50s.
We should make clear; there is a lot of difference between the exercise capabilities of a 51-year-old and a 92-year-old. This is probably obvious to most people. The videos and channels we have picked focus a little more on people in their 70s and 80s rather than their 50s.
But the beauty of exercise is that it can benefit anyone. If you are 50 years old and consider yourself active already, you should be fine to follow workout programs aimed at a younger audience. However, if you are 50 and haven’t exercised since high school, the workouts on the channels in this article may suit you better.
Right, now we’ve got that sorted, let’s take a look at five excellent YouTube channels.
Channel #1: Senior Fitness with Meredith
Meredith has found her niche in life, and that is creating exercise videos for people aged 55-75+. Her channel provides exercise videos that you can perform in your own time. Alternatively, she frequently streams live workouts that you can follow along with.
If you have specific conditions such as back pain or mobility issues, then the recorded videos are best. If you have no fitness complaints, then the live workouts can be a lot of fun.
One of the best things about Meredith’s channel is that she manages to avoid being patronising or condescending. Something that a lot of senior fitness channels end up doing. The exercises are well thought out, and ideal for doing on your own at home.
They are excellent for beginners, as she describes each exercise well, going into great detail. However, those of you who have exercised before may find this a bit dull.
Overall, Meredith runs a tight ship. This is a superb senior fitness YouTube channel. Unlike some on this list, it is 100% dedicated to this specific niche. She's got a warm North-American personality, which is very positive and friendly.
Channel #2: Eldergym Fitness for Seniors
The best thing about Eldergym Fitness for Seniors is that it is run and presented by seniors! There is a combination of single-exercise demonstration videos, short workouts (usually around 5 minutes in length), and some full workouts that last half an hour.
Doug Shrift, who presents the workout videos, has a friendly and calm presenting style and does a good job demonstrating the exercises.
The lighting is pretty poor, and the short workout videos could be a little longer, but the single-exercise videos are excellent. The categories are well defined too, with a library of breathing exercise videos, back and trunk strengthening videos, balance exercise videos, to name a few.
While not as polished as the other channels on this list, Eldergym Fitness for Seniors has a lot of heart and genuinely useful content. Think of it as the scrappy underdog on this list!
Channel #3: Yoga with Adriene
Yoga is a great exercise choice for seniors, and Yoga with Adriene is the most popular Yoga YouTube channel. So, it was a bit of a no-brainer to add it to this list.
Adriene is an excellent yoga teacher (yogi?), and there is a reason why her channel is so popular. She does a Yoga for Beginners video series, which is an excellent start for seniors. But she also has Yoga PE, which is for kids and features her dog Benjie (which is an excellent reason to follow this series instead).
Adriene’s Yoga for Back Pain video series is another excellent choice for seniors, as back pain is a common complaint in the over 50s.
If you are interested in yoga and want a way to strengthen your muscles, burn some calories, while helping to reduce stress and anxiety, then Yoga with Adriene is a great channel to subscribe to.
Another benefit is that Adriene has a stellar personality; she can be amusing, playful, and doesn't take herself too seriously, which is something that so many yoga instructors do. There is zero ego on her part, which is pretty impressive, considering she is getting 8 million views per video.
Channel #4: HASfit
HASfit is not a YouTube channel aimed at seniors, but it does have a senior-specific workout video. It's 22 minutes 40 seconds long and is pretty good. It's a shame that they stopped with just the one.
What's good about the video is that it has one person demonstrating exercises for people who have no mobility issues, while another person demonstrates exercises for people who may not be able to stand and perform the same movements.
This is such a thoughtful and creative idea and something that nobody else appears to be doing. It's an excellent way for people with very different fitness levels to work out together. It's also suitable for people in wheelchairs.
Now, the presenters do sound a little patronising and sound a bit like they are talking to children rather than seniors. But after looking at their other videos, this is just how they talk. You'll either find it comforting or very irritating. But YouTube does have a mute button, so it's not too big of an issue!
Channel #5: Body Coach TV
After his outstanding efforts to entertain the nation's children, the Body Coach (Joe Wicks) has become very well known in the fitness world. But it’s not just children that he trains, he made his fortune training adults.
In 2020 he recorded a video for seniors, and it’s pretty decent. Unlike Meredith (#1 on our list) the Body Coach is not an expert on training the elderly, and it does show in his exercise selections.
That said, his workout is probably the most enjoyable one to perform. His personality shines through, and he doesn't come off as patronising or condescending, just helpful. Also, the lighting and graphics in his video are superb. It makes such a difference!
The only downside is that the workout is a bit short (just 11 minutes), and he only appears to have done seven videos aimed at seniors (compared to about 300 aimed at kids).