Seniors with mobility issues or unexpected injuries can still be as active as ever before – even from the comfort of home! By adding 10 minute chair exercises to your day, you can build muscle, strengthen your core and keep your heart healthy. They can even help save your life! According to the World Health Organization, just a few minutes of moderate exercise three times a week can enhance balance and reduce falls, which is the number one fatal injury impacting individuals over age 65. Take advantage of these six simple chair exercises to turn your living room into your own personal gym!
Lower and upper body exercises for seniors
Before starting any workout, it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider or physical therapist first to discuss any issues or limitations. Once you get the go-ahead, start slowly to prevent injury. As you build up your strength, you can begin to increase your reps, add extra resistance and incorporate new exercises into the mix.
- Sunshine warm-up – Every workout should start with a warm-up. While you sit in your chair, place your arms to the side. Inhale and slowly raise your arms out and upward. Once you reach the top, exhale and lower your arms back to your sides.
- Ball raise – A ball raise is a great way to tone up your arms muscles. Rest a ball on your knees. Begin lifting the ball to shoulder level and then lowering it back down, taking about five seconds in both directions.
- Cat/cow stretch – If your lower back gives you trouble, this simple twist on a popular yoga pose can stretch your tightened muscles. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and place your hands on your knees. Take a deep breath and then exhale, arching your back as you look toward the ceiling. As you inhale, roll your shoulders forward, suck in your stomach and drop your chin to your chest. Reverse and repeat slowly for 10 reps.
- Tummy twist – Strengthen your core and improve your balance with a simple twist. Sit up straight and grab your ball again, keeping it close to your body with your elbows slightly bent. Rotate your upper torso as far to the right as you can while keeping your legs still. Then, slowly twist to the left.
- March in place – To add some aerobics to your routine, sit up tall and situate your feet hip-distance apart. As you hold on tightly to your armrests, slowly lift your left leg with the knee bent as if you were marching. Lower your leg and then repeat with your right. It’s important to keep your spine strong and tall to put your ab muscles to work.
- Tap your toes – Strengthen your shin and calf muscles with a quick toe flex. With your heels planted on the floor, sit on the edge of your chair and begin pointing your toes to the ceiling. Then, switch it up by pointing them to the ground. Repeat for five to 10 reps.
Join a chair exercise class in St. Louis! Until you join us, check out these in-home chair exercises for seniors.
The best thing you can do to ensure you’re performing your workout correctly is to join a group class! Through our Wellness Program, Envision Health Partners in St. Louis leads chair and wheelchair exercises for seniors at classes across the region. To learn more about our chair exercise classes, contact us today to get a free health assessment and to find a group in your area.
Need help talking with your parent or other family members?
Feel free to contact us today for a free in-home assessment as we can provide helpful suggestions that will make this difficult conversation a little easier.