If you think exercising is only important when you were younger, think again. It’s so much more than just looking good and maintaining a slim physique. In fact, exercising is just as important now, as it is in your younger years – maybe even more. Just because you can’t move as well as you once did, doesn’t mean you should give up on exercise. Even if you can just sit in a chair, there are certain chair exercises that can be very beneficial to your overall health.
Contrary to popular belief, fitness for seniors is not optional. If your elderly loved one wants to remain independent and improve their quality of life, exercise is not a matter of choice – it’s a necessity.
The good news is that you don’t have to go to the gym every day or get on a treadmill to exercise. There are various exercises that you can do even while sitting down! Your exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous to be effective. Chair exercises definitely work. They increase your flexibility, elevate your heart rate, and tone your muscles.
Here are some of the easiest and most effective chair exercises that your elderly loved one can do as often as they like. Make sure to use a sturdy chair to avoid injuries.
Disclaimer: Before starting any type of exercise, make sure to consult with your doctor or your healthcare provider to determine whether the exercise is right for your health needs and level of fitness.
1. Hand Squeeze
Start your chair exercises by improving your hand’s strength and endurance. They really help when you carry heavy objects for a long period of time. It also helps in contracting the muscles of the arms and chest.
Start by holding a ball in front of you with both of your hands. Then, try to press the ball together as hard as you can and release. Do this at least 10 times. To push yourself further, push the ball away from your chest while squeezing it and pull it back in. It is important to do this slowly as it will yield a better result.
2. Glute Squeeze
Squeezing your glutes (butt muscle) every now and then offers you great benefits. For one, it strengthens the muscles around your buttocks. It is one of the simplest chair exercises to perform.
To begin this exercise, simply tense and squeeze your glutes together while sitting on a sturdy chair. Hold the clench for five seconds and then rest for another five seconds. Repeat it at least 8 times. As the muscles around your butt increase their strength over time, hold the clench longer (i.e 10 seconds or more).
3. Seated Row
Chair exercises such as the seated row help improve your posture and reduce back pain. The seated row also helps in working your back and chest muscles.
To start, grab a chair and position yourself at the edge of a greater range of motion. Hold one arm out in front of your chest with your elbow slightly bent and thumb facing up. Start pulling your arm back as far as you can possibly go while compressing the shoulder blades together before releasing. Do the same on the other arm and repeat at least 10 times every day. You may also perform this chair exercise with both arms at the same time.
4. Tummy Twists
Doing tummy twists help enhance the strength in your core. This is another of the chair exercises that help in maintaining a proper posture.
Begin by holding a ball in front of your waist at a 90-degree angle. Twist your upper body to one side as far as possible then go back to your original position. Then twist your body on the opposite side then back to the middle. This may also be done if a ball is not available. It is important that only the upper body is moving so that the core muscles can contract.
5. Seated Hip Stretch
Doing regular daily activities such as getting out of a car often becomes difficult for someone if they suffer from tight hips. The seated hip stretch is one of the chair exercises that allows you to move more freely by increasing your hip’s flexibility.
Start by sitting on a stable chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. Place one leg over the other so that your ankle sits right at the top of your other leg. Relax your hip. By this point, you may already feel your hip stretching. If you’re willing to push yourself further, push down and stretch until you feel a slight discomfort. Stop if it becomes too painful. Breathe naturally and hold the position for a maximum of 30 seconds before switching legs.
6. Knee Lifts
Knee lifts, when performed correctly, are very beneficial for you. They improve balance and postural support. They also reduce lower back pain.
To start the exercise, sit with your feet within shoulder-width apart. Tuck your pelvis and bring one knee up as close to your chest as possible then slowly put your knee down to the starting position. Now, repeat the same thing with the other leg. Keep alternating for at least 8 times.
7. Arm Circles
These chair exercises helps build strength in your shoulders.
You may begin by sitting with your feet shoulder-width apart. Once in position, hold a ball above your head while making sure that your elbows are slightly bent.
Circle the medicine ball starting from above your head, to the left, down, right, and back up and over your head. Repeat the steps starting from the opposite direction. This exercise can also be done without any equipment. However, if your loved one is unable to place his hands over his head, extending his/her arms in front and moving it in a circle would also work. Repeat the exercise at least 8 to 10 times each day.
A Paradise for Parents knows that it is very important to stay physically fit and healthy especially in our golden years. Our assisted living homes have a personal trainer who works closely with residents to ensure that their physical capabilities are accommodated.
If you want to know more about assisted living facilities, A Paradise for Parents staff and our resources can answer all your questions. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (623) 295-9890 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about the services we offer. You can also fill out an online form located on our homepage. We’d be happy to assist you in your search for an assisted living facility for your loved one.