If strength, mobility, and/or balance are issues, these chair exercises are a great way to improve fitness!
As individuals age, exercise can become more challenging or intimidating for fear of getting hurt or falling down. Luckily, the emergence of chair exercises for seniors is becoming increasingly popular. People are who are trained in yoga can also be trained in chair yoga as well as have an understanding of low impact chair workout for seniors and exercises. Trying out chair exercises can be easy and not only help those who have knee pain but also those who have difficulty standing or balancing. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for chair exercise for seniors.
Chair Exercises for Seniors
Being able to successfully complete a chair workout is a great step for some individuals who have been bed ridden or unable to exercise for a while. What even better is that in today’s society, yoga is very popular and is really for everyone. Yoga can provide a well-rounded chair workout for seniors because it not only can help the mind-body connection but overall health. Here’s an example of a yoga related chair exercise for seniors:
Easy Seated Yoga Pose
Seated Mountain is a yoga pose that is also called Tadasana. This posture is great because it engages the core, helps with posture and allows focus on breathing. It’s a great resting point to return to after completing various chair exercises for seniors. Here’s how you do it:
- Sitting in a sturdy chair, take a deep breath, sit up straight and extend the spine
- While exhaling, allow your sit bones, which are near the tailbone, to root into the chair
- Ensure legs are at a 90- degree angle with the knees over the ankles. Leave a space between your knees that could fit a fist.
- While taking a deep breath, exhale and roll shoulders down the back while pulling the bellybutton inward towards the spine.
- Allow arms to rest at the sides
- Use legs by lifting up the toes and allowing the rest of the foot to press into the ground
Seated Jumping Jacks
Moving away from yoga chair exercises for seniors, we want to point out that you can also do other types of cardio related exercises. If you weren’t aware, it is possible to successfully do seated jumping jacks. They allow the heart rate to raise, even in a seated position, while at the same time being safe for the joints. Here’s how you do it:
- Sitting in a sturdy chair, scoot your body towards the front of the chair with the knees bent and arms resting at your side
- Extend legs to the sides, allowing them to be straight and wide with heels touching the floor
- At the same time as extending your legs, raise arms in a V shape above the head
- After the movement is completed, bring arms and legs back to the center
- Repeat either in a set or for an amount of time (like 10 minutes) to get the full benefit
Seated Forward Bend
A successful chair workout for seniors doesn’t have to only include cardio, stretching is also beneficial. The seated forward bend which is also called Paschimottanasa is a great way to stretch the back muscles, massage the intestines and help digestion. Here’s how to do it:
- Sitting in a sturdy chair, follow the steps for Seated Mountain to use as a beginning point. Allow your body to focus on extending out the spine
- Once the spine is fully extended, allow the torso to fold over the legs. This can start by allowing the hands to rest on the thighs and slide them down the legs.
- While the torso is bent over the legs, breathe deep for around 5 breaths
- After the deep breaths, life the torso back to an upright mountain position
Chair exercises for seniors are a great way to get low impact exercise while keeping the body moving. It can be a mixture of cardio and yoga to both help the body stretch and gain strength. Before really getting into chair exercises, it’s a good idea to speak to a medical professional to see if they have any advice or warnings for what is right for you.