Follow Your Academy roadmap to senior fitness

Ok , I know you are ready to jump in and start exercising. To make things simple, I made a roadmap to follow to get you on your way fast. Simply follow along below starting from Step 1 thru Step 6 to begin your journey.  I am so happy you are with us and I know your strength and balance will improve as well as your confidence and joy. Let's get started!


Check with your doctor

Before starting an exercise program you should consult your doctor. Let him or her know you are going to begin exercising or increasing your activity level. This is especially true if you have any of the following:

check with your doctor first
  1. Chest pain or pain in your left arm and neck
  2. Any shortness of breath
  3. A heart condition
  4. Any bone or joint problems
  5. If you are currently taking blood pressure or cardiac medications
  6. Any unexplained dizziness or fainting


If you would like to know if you are making progress with your program take this timed up-and-go test before you start and every 30 days to measure your progress. 

timed up-and-go test

To take the test you will need a chair and an object to put on the floor 10 feet from your chair.You will begin seated in the chair. You can use a cane or walker if you need an assistive device to be safe. If you are by yourself, use a watch with a second hand. When you’re ready to start, stand and walk as quickly as you can around the object on the floor and sit back in your seat. Start timing when your bottom leaves the seat and stop timing when your bottom sits back down on the seat.

  1. Stand up from the chair: You can use your arms or your walker to stand.
  2. Walk to the line or object on the floor at your normal pace: Be safe when walking. If you are unsteady, use your walker or cane. If still worried, have a family member beside your while you walk. 
  3. Walk back to the chair at your normal pace: Walk around the object and back to your chair. Stop the clock when your bottom touches the seat.
  4. Record the time: Write down the time taken to stand, walk around the object, and sit down again. Make sure to write the day and month also. 


What is my fitness level?

Our "Core Courses" are graded into Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and some even in Level 4. Take this assessment to get a better idea at which level to start. 

If you are an inactive senior or have never exercised you are LEVEL 1. If you have exercised in the past or are currently exercising you will be LEVEL 2 or LEVEL 3.  Still unsure? Take this quick assessment above to find your level. 


Claim your space:

claim your space

Before starting an exercise program you should also organize where you are going to exercise. The Academy is computer based so you will need the following:

Claim your space
  1. If you have a desktop computer, you will need to use that area in front of your computer.
  2. If you have a laptop, or tablet, you can have more freedom in terms of where to exercise.
  3. Use a kitchen chair or folding chair without armrests. This will allow your arms freedom of movement.
  4. Place a chair in front of you to hold on to when standing.
  5. Place a glass of water near your chair.
  6. Place your props under or to one side of your chair.
  7. Wear loose fitting clothing and good smooth bottom shoes so you don't trip. 
  8. You can also connect your computer to your TV to exercise in your living room. Here are the instructions


assemble your props

To follow along with the workouts you will need an armless chair and some hand weights. I recommend 2 pounds for women and 3 pounds for men to start. You may also want to get an aerobic step for leg strengthening and a yoga mat for floor work. See the video below. For other courses I will show you the other items needed to use the course. 

If you need weights, yoga mat or a step, here is where you can get them on Amazon and delivered to your home. 


Begin your exercise program

FINALLY , it is time to start exercising!  Are you ready?

Where do i start?

There are 2 ways to start exercising here in the academy for every learning style. 

 1. Start in the Library Do you like to just pick and choose your workouts. In that case, all the exercise courses, workouts, and classes are located in the Library. If you are an active senior, or don't like to follow a schedule, simply click the library link in the main menu and select one of our courses, workouts, and classes to start.

2. Start with our "Core Courses" below. Need more help to start exercising? Like to follow a schedule? Need more structure during the week? No worries! I have created several pre-made  workout schedules for you. I call them my "Core Courses" because they are each a set of 4 week programs designed to cover all components of fitness including upper body, lower body, cardio, balance, posture, core, and stretching. There is something to do every day for 4 weeks. 5 days of exercise and two "off" days for yoga stretches. To start exercising simply select your Level 1  Level 2 or Level 3  Workouts below, then click on Day 1, Week 1 and your are off and running.  If the level 1 workouts are too difficult, start with my Easy Start series of exercises designed to gradually get your body ready for exercising, all done from a seated position. 

What level do I start at?

Inactive Senior: If you are an inactive senior, you can start working out at level 1. Try completing the level 1 exercises, all of which are about 10 minutes long. If these are to difficult, I have a pre-level 1 Easy start series you can do to prepare for level 1. As you improve, replay the video again until you can tolerate 20 minutes. At this point you can move on to level 2. 

Active Senior: If you are an active senior, you can start working out at level 2 or level 3. You can either follow the programed schedules below or visit the library to pick and choose courses, workouts, and classes on your own.

How many days a week do I exercise?

The National Institute of Health recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity per day. Two of these days should be strengthening.  The programs below use the 30 minutes a day recommendation.

If you have never exercised, I suggest starting with Level 1. These are 10 minute sessions. This way you can avoid soreness and tiredness until your strength and endurance improves. Then continue until you can tolerate 30 minutes daily.

If you are following along with the calendar below, feel free to break up the exercise videos into several smaller sections to start. Your goal should be to get 20 - 30 minutes of cumulative exercise daily. 

How to begin exercising

  1. Select your LEVEL below. Start with Day 1 Week 1. Simply click on the daily links on the calendar, which will take you to the workout. 
  2. Make sure to do the 5 minute warm up before your workout. This is at the top of the right column. Then complete the 10 minute or 20 minute workout you chose. To complete your routine, make sure to do the 5 minute cool down in the top  right column after the workout for a total of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise. 

If you find the level 1 program too difficult, start with my pre-level 1 exercise Easy Start series. Any other questions about beginning this program, visit our support page, or leave a comment in the community for us to answer.

core courses

"Fitness Ahead!" 

Beginner Level 1

Intermediate Level 2

Advanced Level 3

Advanced Level 4

"Fit Start" 

Beginner Level 1

Intermediate Level 2

Advanced Level 3

Coach Doug

Doug Schrift PT

Glad you are here!

" If you have further questions on starting your program, head on over to the support page and let me know how I can help you. "