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Easy To Do Chair Exercises

Many seniors believe that they cannot exercise because of their age or because they have decreased mobility. That's wrong! Age and a lack of mobility does NOT mean you can’t exercise and take full advantage of the benefits that come from movement! In fact, there are plenty of exercises designed to increase or maintain strength, flexibility, cardiovascular health and range of motion that you can perform comfortably and safely in a chair.

Physical activity and exercise in older adults can reduce the risk of chronic disease, increase life expectancy, preserve functional capacities and the ability to independently perform activities of daily living, such as cooking and cleaning, and it also improves measures of physical health that combat the effects of aging. Exercise is crucial for leading an active, healthy, happy life!

Whether you’re using a dining room chair or sitting on an exercise ball (only if you have adequate balance), a seated workout is more than just movements. Chair-based exercises can help develop your cardio fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility.

Here are a few to try!

Neck Stretch

  • Sit up straight on your chair with your arms to your side and feet flat on the floor.

  • Tilt your head to the right as if you were trying to touch your ear to your shoulder.

  • Gently apply pressure with your opposite hand.

  • Keep the rest of your body straight.

  • Hold in this position for 30 seconds.

  • Return to the starting position.

  • Repeat steps with a lean to the left.

  • Do 3 reps on each side.

Arm Raises

  • Sit up straight in your chair with your arms to your side and your feet flat on the floor.

  • Raise your right arm up over your head while keeping your body straight.

  • Hold in that position for 3-5 seconds.

  • Return to the starting position.

  • Alternate arms and repeat steps.

  • Do 10 reps for each arm and then do another 10 with both arms raised and hands clasped together.

Seated March

  • Sit back in your chair with your knees bent and feet on the floor.

  • Alternate lifting your knees to your chest as if you were marching.

  • Move your arms in unison with your legs as well.

  • Keep your back straight as you do this.

  • Do 10-15 reps for each leg.

  • If you have light ankle weights, you can add these for an extra challenge.

Knee Extensions

  • Sit on the edge of your chair with your hands gripping the side for extra support. Keep both feet flat on the floor with your knees bent.

  • Straighten your right knee so your leg makes a straight line (or as straight as you can get it).

  • Hold for 2 seconds.

  • Lower your foot back to the floor.

  • Repeat steps for the opposite leg.

  • Do 10 reps for each leg.

  • If you have light ankle weights, you can add these for an extra challenge.

Ankle Circles

  • Extend one leg out as far as you can while keeping your other foot on the ground.

  • Point your toe up and then rotate your foot once clockwise.

  • Rotate the same foot counterclockwise.

  • Alternate which foot you use.

  • Do 20 reps for each foot in each direction.

Arm Rowing

  • Sit up as straight as possible in the chair.

  • Place your arms straight out in front of your chest.

  • Pull your arms back in so your elbows are drawn in next to your sides.

  • Moving both arms simultaneously.

  • Do 15 reps .

Side-to-Side Twist

  • Start with your feet flat on the floor and as straight as possible in your chair.

  • Interlock your fingers in front of your body.

  • Slowly twist your body from right to left, keeping your back as straight as possible.

  • Return to center.

  • Twist in the opposite direction.

  • Repeat for 15 reps on each side.

Benefits of Chair Exercises

Seated exercise offers all the benefits of standing exercise, without the risk. These exercises will help to keep your joints flexible, improve your range of motion and mobility, strengthen and stabilize your muscles - resulting in improved balance, which is essential for preventing falls and injuries.

A few benefits of chair exercises for include:

  • Improved flexibility and range of motion

  • Decreased joint pain and stiffness

  • Improved muscle strength and balance

  • Increased blood circulation

  • Elevated mood and concentration

  • Lowered stress levels

Get Started Today

All you need is a sturdy chair and a desire to become healthier and stronger!

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