If you have limited mobility, you might think you’re simply not able to get involved in any sort of physical activity. Maybe you’re worried about injuring yourself or focusing too much on what you’re not able to do. However, studies have shown that the benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks of becoming sedentary. For seniors in particular, exercise can help lessen pain, increase energy levels, improve balance, reduce the risk of falls, and even boost your mood!
Seated Exercises for Seniors of all Abilities
The good news is that exercise comes in many varieties, and by simply adopting a more creative approach, you, too can experience all the benefits of exercise. There are many different forms of senior chair exercises available, allowing the elderly to build and tone muscle, lubricate the joints and increase blood circulation. Seated exercises prevent seniors from the danger of falling down and limit the amount of energy they expend.
Experts recommend getting your heart rate up for 30 minutes every day, as well as including strength training at least twice per week. If you’re just beginning a new routine, start off slowly and increase your activity level; set manageable goals and as you meet them, you’ll find the motivation to continue!
Here are some popular chair exercises for seniors of all abilities:
- Toe taps: To help improve activities like going up and down stairs, strengthen the muscles in the lower front and rear of your legs. Sit toward the edge of the chair with your heels touching the ground and your legs straight out in front of you. Point the toes toward the ground then up towards the ceiling, repeating the movement 8-10 times.
- Bicep curls: Strong biceps allow you to carry groceries and laundry, so strengthen the front of your upper arms by using a light weight in each hand (you can even use soup cans!), turning your palms forward and lifting the weight toward your shoulders. Complete 8-12 repetitions, stopping when your arms fatigue.
- Tummy twists: Hold a ball or weight at your waist with your arms at a 90 degree angle and pulled into your sides. Using only the upper body and keeping your belly pulled in, twist to the left as far as you can, come back to the middle, and twist to the right. This helps improve your core strength and posture.
- Seated row: Work your chest and upper back muscles by holding your arms out in front of you with thumbs toward the ceiling and your elbows bent. Pull both elbows back as far as possible while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Leg extension: If you have trouble getting up from the sofa, this type of chair exercise focuses on the quads, which are essential for standing and sitting. Slowly lift the right knee toward the chest and then return to the starting position, repeating with each leg 8-10 times.
- Lateral raise: Another way to improve your posture is to incorporate lateral raises into your routine, which help tone the shoulders. Hold a light weight in each hand, keeping your back straight. Keep your arms by your sides and turn palms toward one another, relaxing the shoulders and lifting the weight out to the sides until your arms are parallel to the floor. Do this for 8-12 repetitions.
Regardless of your current physical condition or your age, you can work to overcome your mobility issues and start reaping the physical, mental and emotions rewards by utilizing the above chair exercises for seniors.
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.