No Time for the Gym? Try These Chair Exercises at Home

Posted by Hilary Young on December 20, 2013

No Time for the Gym?  Try These Chair Exercises at Home

The key to maintaining your health, especially as you age, is to remain active. Countless studies and reports have found that daily moderate exercise is key to helping prevent life threatening diseases and debilitating falls. Seniors are highly encouraged to keep moving.

However, many seniors face limited mobility and this makes exercise difficult and dangerous. Because of their fear of suffering a fall or injury, seniors with limited mobility often choose to remain sedentary. This lack of movement actually increases mobility issues and compromises overall health.

A great workout option for seniors with limited mobility is chair exercises. Allowing for safe and low impact exercise, these simple movements can help you stay active and limber.

Ankle Rolls/Toe Taps

Helping to keep your joints lubricated and mobile, this exercise is simple and can be completed while sitting.

  • Lift your toes off the ground and circle your ankle 360 degrees.
  • Circle clockwise five times, then switch directions and circle counter-clockwise five times. Repeat on the other foot.
  • Lift your toes up as far as you can. Then bring your toes down into a point. Repeat ten times, and then switch to the other foot.
  • To add a balance component to these exercises, complete them while standing. Be sure to hold onto or to be near a stabling device while you complete these exercises.

Knee Lifts

Building muscle and maintaining flexibility, the knee lift can easily be performed from a chair.

  • Sit on the edge of your chair and lift one knee up, at a 90-degree angle.
  • Slowly bring the leg down, and then repeat ten times.
  • Complete ten repetitions on the other leg.
  • Make sure to complete the exercises is a slow and controlled manner.

Abdominal Twist

Help support your core with this simple exercise.

  • Sitting on the edge of your chair, keep your feet planted on the ground.
  • Using abdominal muscles, slowly twist your body to the left and then return to center.
  • Then twist your body to the right, returning again to center.
  • Complete ten repetitions to the right and left.

Seated Row and Press

Great for toning arms, these exercises can be made more challenging by adding a light hand weight.

  • Hold your arms out in front, making a fist with your hands.
  • Pull your fist back toward your chest, making a rowing motion.
  • Lift your fists from your chest up into the air, and then bring them back down to your chest.
  • Repeat the arm row and up press ten times.

With many options for both strength training and cardio workouts, all performed from a chair, exercise is possible for everyone. Even seniors with limited mobility or those in wheelchairs can engage in daily exercise.


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