Exercise programs for elderly patients have received much attention recently for their potential role in preventing illness and injury, limiting functional loss and disability, and alleviating the course and symptoms of existing cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic disorders. The basic components of an exercise training program include strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. This article reviews the main attributes of each, along with some of the most recent research defining their roles in health care. Where available, it discusses specific recommendations for prescribing exercise modalities. Finally, it presents suggestions for developing integrated exercise programs and enhancing patient compliance.