Chair Exercises for Seniors and aged people might be a great way to maintain good health despite limited movements and disability.
At any age, physical health is the key to a better lifestyle. Your body has to be fit in order to keep you going. Physical fitness helps your immunity to work more efficiently it also helps you to cope with emotional or physical stress.
Physical fitness improves immunity and emotional health
Specifically, in elders, physical fitness benefits your muscles and bones’ strength. Your immune system slows down as you age, so fighting off diseases or infections may not be as easy as it once was. Its importance is emphasized because, risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, type 2 diabetes and other disorders is reduced or prevented just by staying fit. Like the saying goes ‘A healthy body bears a healthy mind’.
Another particular advantage is the prevention of obesity which is an exceptionally detrimental disease. So, for the sake of the remarkable significance of physical fitness, here is a set of exercises that people in old age can easily do.
Seated leg lifts
- Vigorous exercises are not an option in old age so exercising while being seated is a great choice. For this reason, leg lifts while being seated are good for a healthy routine. It helps with improving core strength. A chair with both armrests is recommended but if it is not available, you can hold onto the sides of the chair’s seat.
- To perform this exercise, all you have to do is;
- Sit on a well-built chair, hold onto the armrests or sides of your seat.
- Put your feet together and with your knees bent, raise your legs as high as it is possible for you.
- Repeat this 5-10 times every day.
Circling your shoulders
- For as easy as it can be, this exercise can be done anywhere and at any time in both standing and seated positions.
- All you have to do is, place your fingers on each of your shoulders. Slowly rotate your shoulders, first backward and then forwards. You can repeat this exercise 5 times in each direction.
- This option is beneficial for the strength of your leg muscles and is done in a seated position.
- Sit firmly in a chair, make sure your feet and legs are aligned, only a few inches apart. With your head in a straight manner, look straightforward.
- Engage your core strength and lift up your left foot’s heel from the floor, as high as you can. Then gently bring it back to the floor.
- Take a deep breath and repeat the same step for your right foot’s heel.
- This exercise can be repeated 10 to 12 times.
- Biceps is a muscle located on the front area of your upper arm. This muscle is utilized for performing basic tasks, such as picking up stuff. There is actually a variety of exercises that can be performed for this muscle while being seated.
- One way is to curl your biceps. This requires you to hold either a light weighted dumbbell or a resistance band. In case neither is available, you can use water bottles too. With your back straight and not resting against the chair, look forward and keep your legs perfectly aligned and your arms aligned to both sides of your body.
- Holding a dumbbell (or a water bottle) and without extending your elbows lift them up and bring them as close to your shoulders as you can. If you are using a resistance band then first secure it under your seat and then stick your hands inside each side of it. After that, bring it upwards. It can be repeated 5 to 10 times at once.
- Another way is to hold light-weighted dumbbells and while sitting in the same position. Without bending your elbows, raise your arms over your head.
- Having a stiff neck is a commonly reported issue among seniors. To avoid this problem, stretching your neck can be very beneficial.
- In this case, sit on a chair and keep your back straight. Then, slowly tilt your neck to your right side and keep it in that position for a few seconds. After that, tilt it backward and again let it be for a few seconds. Repeat this step towards the left side and then forwards.
- This is a soft but beneficial option. It can be done for both arms and legs muscles.
- Sit properly in a chair. Place a pillow between your knees and squeeze as much as you can. Hold it like that for 5 seconds and then relax.
- For arms, hold a pillow between your arms or you can hug it. Squeeze it for 5 seconds and then gently release it.
- These steps can be repeated 8 to 10 times a day.
- Good for your ankle joints, ankle twists are easy to do and can be repeated multiple times.
- After being seated in a chair, place your left ankle on top of your right knee. Point your toes forwards and twist your ankles in a circular motion. Repeat this step for your right ankle as well. Perform 5 twists each time.
Extending your knees
- Easy to perform, extending your knees can help with walking properly and standing for a longer time as well.
- Just stay seated in a chair and keep your back straight. With your feet, a few inches apart, extend your right knee forwards. Repeat this step for your left knee as well.
Chair Exercises for Seniors Guidelines
- Before making, any sort of exercise, a part of your routine, consult your physician first about the possible harm of your chosen exercise
- Try to perform every exercise slowly
- Do not use heavy items as your joints may not be able to support that much weight
- Take breaks in between every exercise
- Take deep breaths before and during exercising
- Place a pillow and sit on it if you have issues regarding your hip muscles or joints
According to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), seniors aged 65 or above and who have no health conditions that limit their ability to move, should exercise for 150 minutes per week. [Ref]