BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Sports & Fitness

Expert-recommended products for staying fit when you're 50 and older

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

As you age, there’s a tendency to slow down. In many ways, that's natural. However, there is a huge difference between slowing down and stopping. In fact, if you stop working out because you hit 50, it could compound any challenges you face later in life. Knowing which workout gear you need and how to use it is instrumental in maintaining your fitness level as you age. We have both expert-recommended and Testing-Lab-tested products below.

Shop this article: SmarterLife Exercise BalliReliev Massage Gun and Whatafit Resistance Bands Set.

Staying physically active becomes increasingly important as you age. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of disease, keep you moving longer and elevate your mood.

In this video

BestReviews’ Judd NeSmith, NASM-CPT, PES joins Gary Gelfand to discuss essential products that people over 50 need to stay fit.

Products people over 50 need to stay fit

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, all bodies build muscle the same way. When you work out, you damage muscle fibers. After exercising, your body repairs the damage by fusing those muscle fibers together and thickening the strands to create muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth). As we age, this process still works, but it becomes less efficient.

To stay fit as you grow older, you need to exercise regularly. Use low-impact gear that builds muscle, such as an exercise ball, loop bands, exercise bands, and dumbbells. Additionally, you can promote recovery and reduce aches and pains by using a foam roller and a massage gun. Together, these devices can help you stay physically active and healthy as you progress in years.

Exercise ball

An exercise ball is a rugged inflatable that provides limited stability while working out. This may sound like a drawback, but maintaining your balance during an exercise actually engages more muscles. This makes the workout more beneficial. You can use an exercise ball to strengthen your stomach muscles, your back muscles, your leg muscles and more. It is ideal for increasing body strength to eliminate issues like back pain. It also increases balance to protect against falls.

Foam roller

As long as you have no injuries or underlying medical conditions, a foam roller is an excellent fitness tool. According to NeSmith, it can also be used to address tight quadriceps muscles that can pull on the kneecap and cause knee pain. You can use this device after workouts to reduce inflammation and diminish delayed-onset muscle soreness that can occur as much as three days after a workout. Additionally, there is evidence that using a foam roller can improve flexibility. 


Dumbbells are one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment, not to mention they’re beginner-friendly. “They’re great for upper body exercises,” says NeSmith, “especially for the arms, back and chest.” You don’t need to use heavy weight to get a good workout, either. When used correctly, even five-pound dumbbells can work these muscle groups effectively. 

Massage gun

A massage gun is like having your own personal masseuse or masseur. You can use it to target hotspots deep within your muscles. The repeated blows increase blood and lymphatic circulation to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. They can also help release tension and fluid, helping you to move without pain and extend your range of motion.

Loop bands

Loop bands are like large flat rubber bands that you place around your arms or legs to increase the resistance and intensity of your workout. The beauty of loop bands is they come in a variety of resistances, so you can move up to the next level whenever you feel ready. Loop bands help increase strength and elevate your fitness level. Since loop bands do not provide a stable grip, they can also engage stability muscles for added benefit.

Exercise bands

The exercise bands that we are using have handles that allow you to achieve a better grip. They are very similar to loop bands and offer nearly identical benefits. However, you can increase the intensity substantially more with exercise bands by connecting several bands to the handles. A quality set of exercise bands will also include hardware that allows you to attach the band to an immovable object to dramatically increase the range of exercises you can perform.

Best fitness equipment for people aged 50 and up

SmarterLife Exercise Ball 

The SmarterLife exercise ball can be used for a wide variety of exercises that tone muscles and improve your core strength. The anti-slip surface and 2,000-pound weight capacity ensure your safety when working out.

Sold by Amazon

Amazon Basics High-Density Round Foam Roller

While this high-density foam roller is lightweight and easy to transport, it is made with polypropylene and has molded edges to maintain firmness. It can help relieve muscle tightness and soreness when used immediately after exercising.

Sold by Amazon

HolaHatha Neoprene Dumbbell Set

The neoprene dumbbell set comes with sets of 3-, 5- and 8-pound weights, making it a beginner-friendly option. The dumbbells are made from cast iron and have a PVC coating for comfortable handling and maximum durability.

Sold by Amazon

iReliev Massage Gun

This massage gun is light, quiet and easy to use. It has three speeds, a long-lasting battery and comes with four massage heads to provide relief for any area of your body.

Sold by Amazon

Sweet Sweat Mini-Loop Resistance Bands

There are five resistance bands in this versatile set. They range from 5 pounds to 40 pounds of resistance. These anti-slip, anti-wrinkle bands can increase the intensity of a wide variety of exercises.

Sold by Amazon

Whatafit Resistance Bands Set

Whatafit resistance bands are made of 100% natural latex. These multifunctional fitness tools are 36 inches long and can be combined on the included hardware to offer a maximum resistance of 150 pounds.

Sold by Amazon

PlayMakar MVP Plus Percussion Massager

Our tester found this gun easy to use and especially good for a sore neck, back and legs. They also found that the battery would last for roughly a day.

Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: