Rucking For Seniors: Full Interview & Personal Advice

close up shot of a ruckers rucksack with a view of his rucksack patch.
Photo Credit: Travis AFB

Lately, I’ve noticed that more seniors are joining us in ruck clubs and other rucking events. While the majority of the folks with us are in their late 20’s or 30’s, it did dawn on me that I’ve been seeing more seniors at these events.

Thankfully, ruckers are a cool and nit group of folks, which led me to meet Jerry. He was one of the oldest members with us, but certainly young at heart.

We got to chatting and I managed to ask him some of the questions that I’ve been curious about but never got the chance to ask. I mean, it’s kind of awkward to just walk up to someone you don’t know and asking them why they ruck at their age.

After chatting with him for about 20 minutes, I asked him if it was ok to informally ask him a few questions so that I can share his thoughts with the world. Perhaps he can explain why more seniors are choosing to ruck and if it’s good for them to ruck in the first place.

Below are some of the questions I asked him along with his responses. Keep in mind that I felt a bit too awkward to take a photo of him during our ruck, but he did give me permission to share his responses on here!

1. What got you interested in rucking?

Here’s how it got started for me.

It all started when I came across a group of ruckers walking around town. They were all rocking their backpacks and clearly they were part of some group. Curiosity got the best of me, so I simply walked up to them and asked them what they were up to.

And they definitely had me intrigued! They talked about how rucking is not just your average exercise routine but a whole experience. I got a lot of different responses but what stood out to me were the following:

  1. It’s a sport that’s usually done in a group
  2. They keep on exploring different parts of towns and explore different trails
  3. One of them even told me that he lost 30-something pounds having done it for 7 months.

But what sealed the deal for me was their infectious enthusiasm. They had this contagious energy that made me think, “Hey, I want to be a part of this rucking party too!”

Little did I know that rucking would become so much more than just working out for me. It became my escape, my mini vacation from the daily routine. It’s my way of challenging myself, staying fit, and having a ton of fun along the way.

2. Why are more seniors choosing to ruck?

As a 65-year-old with a couple of health issues like osteoporosis and arthritis, I decided to start rucking because it just made sense for me on so many levels.

First of all, rucking is easy on my joints, which is a big deal for me given the discomfort I usually get when working out at the gym or when trying to go out for a run. Unlike activities that involve running or high-impact movements, rucking is more like controlled walking with a weighted backpack. It gives me a full-body workout without putting too much pressure or pain on my bones and joints.

Now, arthritis can be a real pain, quite literally. But I found that rucking actually helps me with that. The consistent and smooth movements of rucking help to keep my joints lubricated and improve their overall health. Plus, since it’s low impact, I don’t have to worry about aggravating my arthritis symptoms while still getting some much-needed exercise.

But it’s not just about the physical benefits. Rucking has been a game-changer for my mental health as well. Being outdoors, surrounded by nature, gives me a sense of peace and tranquility. It’s like my personal time to clear my mind and reduce stress. Who knew that strapping on a backpack and going for a walk could do that?

Rucking introduced me to an amazing group of people. I’ve joined rucking groups. It’s been fantastic to meet new people who share my interests. We motivate each other, share stories, and have a great time together. It’s like having a support system that keeps me going.

The best thing about rucking is how adaptable it is. I can customize my rucks based on how I’m feeling that day, adjust the weight, choose different paths, and mix things up to keep it interesting. It’s not a rigid exercise routine, but something I can make my own.

So, that’s why I chose rucking as my main exercise.

  • It’s low impact
  • strengthens my bones
  • helps with my arthritis
  • brings me peace of mind
  • connects me with awesome people
  • lets me personalize my workouts

note: if you’re a senior with medical conditions, I recommend talking to a doctor first before trying any form of exercise.

3. How long have you been rucking, and what made you stick with it?

I’ve been at it, actively, for about a year now.

The reason I’ve stuck with it is simple: the results and the sense of accomplishment I feel after each ruck. It’s not just about the physical benefits, although those are pretty incredible. It’s also about the mental and emotional boost I get from challenging myself and pushing my limits.

4. As a senior, what advantages do you find in rucking compared to other types of exercise?

There are a lot of advantages, that I’ve personally experienced, in rucking compared to other types of exercise.

The low-impact nature of rucking is what stands out the most to me. As I told you, given my osteoporosis and arthritis, I needed a workout that wouldn’t exacerbate my joint pain or put any more strain on my bones.

Rucking fits the bill perfectly because it’s a controlled, rhythmic movement that’s much easier on the body compared to high-impact activities like running or jumping. I get a full-body workout without all the pounding and jarring.

5. Did you have any concerns or hesitations about starting rucking at your age (as a senior)? How did you overcome them?

Starting rucking at my age definitely came with some concerns and hesitations. I questioned whether my body would be able to handle it and if I was taking on too much.

But I decided to give it a try. I started slow and listened closely to my body. If I felt any discomfort or fatigue, I would take breaks, adjust the weight, or even shorten the distance. Over time, I built up my stamina and strength gradually. I learned to trust my body’s signals and pace myself. The key is to start with realistic expectations, be patient with yourself, and remember that progress takes time.

6. Have you noticed any improvements in your overall fitness or specific health conditions since you started rucking?


Since I started rucking, I’ve seen some amazing changes in my fitness and health. First off, my endurance has gone through the roof! I can go for much longer distances without feeling like I’m about to collapse. It’s been a real confidence booster.

Also, my arthritis has actually improved since I started rucking I used to deal with joint pain and stiffness, but the repetitive walking motion with that backpack has worked wonders. It keeps my joints lubricated and reduces inflammation. It’s like a natural remedy for my achy joints. I still have my bad days, but overall, things have improved a lot.

Even better, rucking has boosted my overall well-being. I’ve got more energy, both physically and mentally. It’s like a natural mood enhancer. Plus, being out in nature when rucking gives me this sense of peace. It’s my little escape from the daily grind.

All in all, it has had a huge impact on my fitness, mental, and physical health. It’s become a part of who I am, and I would recommend it to anyone out there, whether there my age… older..younger.. it doesn’t matter. It’s not just about the exercise; it’s a whole experience that can truly transform you.

7. Why do you think more seniors should consider rucking as a form of exercise? What makes it particularly suitable for your age group?

In my opinion, more seniors should do it. Why?

Well, rucking is very customizable. You are the one who sets the distance, pace, and weight. It’s all about finding your sweet spot, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rucker.

And my favorite part is that it’s low-impact! That means it’s easier on your joints and bones, which is a big deal for people my age. No more worrying about pounding your knees from those lunges at the gym or risking injuries. It gives you a solid workout without all the aches and pains.

Rucking is a social activity too. I got the chance to meet some great people out here. Lots of folks out here, especially the young ones, are relatively new here. They get the chance to network and just meet new people.

8. What advice or tips would you give to other seniors who are considering trying out rucking for the first time?

First off, start slow and steady. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

Take it easy and gradually increase your distance and weight as you get comfortable. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Especially at this age. It’s all about finding your rhythm.

Oh, and don’t forget to gear up! Invest in a good rucksack that fits you well and distribute the weight evenly. Trust me, a comfy backpack makes all the difference in the world. And don’t skip on those comfy shoes either. Your feet will thank you!

find out how much weight you should be carrying when rucking.

Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and engage your core. It’ll help prevent any unnecessary strain on your back and make the whole experience much more enjoyable.

Oh, and always stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle and sip on it throughout your ruck.

Lastly, just have fun with it! Seriously, enjoy the journey. Rucking is not just about the destination; it’s about the entire experience. Embrace the sights, the sounds, and the feeling of accomplishment. And remember, it’s not a race. Take breaks, breathe in that fresh air, and soak up the moment.

Check out our top recommendations for rucking boots, rucksacks, socks, and other rucking gear.

What I learned from Jerry’s Experience on Why Seniors are Rucking

  1. Rucking helps seniors workout in spite of their health conditions. If anything, it seemed to be helping Jerry with his health conditions
  2. Seniors choose rucking because it is low impact, strengthens bones, helps with other medical conditions, brings peace of mind, connects them with like-minded people, and allows for personalized workouts.
  3. Compared to other types of exercise, rucking is advantageous for seniors due to its low-impact nature, which is easier on the joints and bones.
  4. It is customizable, low impact, social, and provides an adventurous experience.
  5. Strong sense of community (I can see other seniors, definitely not Jerry though, needing more sense of community as their social connections tend to slow down at this point in their lives)
  6. Jerry’s advice to other seniors considering rucking is to start slow and steady, invest in proper gear, maintain good posture, stay hydrated, and enjoy the journey.

What Does The Science Say About Rucking For Seniors

This study was conducted to explore the effects of different types of exercise on depression in elderly individuals.

The study involved 60 adults over the age of 60 with major or minor depression. They were randomly assigned to one of three groups: supervised high-intensity PRT (80% maximum load), low-intensity PRT (20% maximum load).

Although rucking itself was not directly studied, we can make an argument for its potential benefits for seniors based on the following key points:

  1. Strength Gains: The study found that strength gain was directly associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms for older adults (aged 60+). Rucking, which involves walking with a weighted backpack, is a low-intensity form of resistance training. By carrying the weight while rucking, seniors can potentially improve their strength and experience similar benefits in terms of reducing depressive symptoms.
  2. Improved quality of life: When it comes to vitality and overall well-being, the study found that the group doing high-intensity progressive resistance training (PRT) experienced greater improvements in their vitality and quality of life compared to the other groups. This means that even though rucking is considered a low-intensity form of exercise, it can still have a positive impact on physical activity and overall well-being. So, for seniors who engage in regular rucking sessions, there’s a good chance they’ll see improvements in their vitality, which can lead to an enhanced quality of life.
  3. Potential Sleep Quality Benefits: The study also showed that all participants, regardless of the type of exercise they did, experienced significant improvements in their sleep quality. However, the group doing high-intensity PRT had the biggest improvement. Although the study didn’t specifically look at the effects of rucking on sleep quality, we know that regular exercise, including low-intensity activities like rucking, has been linked to better sleep patterns. So, it’s quite plausible that seniors who incorporate rucking into their routine could potentially enjoy improved sleep quality as a result.

Adam Sheriff

Adam is an experienced rucker and has been in the game for the past 5 years. He competed in a local ruck challenge and was hooked ever since. He has been actively helping people get into rucking and has set up local ruck events to help spread the word and encourage more people to get in on the action. When he’s not out rucking or setting up ruck events in town, he manages

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