Exercise can be scary if you’ve ever had an injury, have pain when you walk, or aren’t feeling stable on your feet.
After a nasty fall in her kitchen a few years ago, my mom had a fractured hip. She wasn’t sure she’d ever see the inside of a gym again.
But then we discovered an exercise program anyone could safely do at any age.
A Safe Way to Stay Fit…
I remember the first time I watched my mom do chair exercises at the community center. She had hesitated to go at first, thinking it would be too difficult to keep up with everyone else.
My mom had always been active when I was growing up, but as she got older, things became more difficult for her. Her joints hurt more often, and she tired more easily than before. After the accident, we were both nervous that exercising alone could injure her further.
But here we were, both sitting and sweating in the community center. And I could tell my mom was feeling more confident.
Chair exercises weren’t an entirely new concept for her. A physical therapist used them to help my mom regain strength, coordination, and balance following her fall.
As the class moved on to another exercise, this one focused on arm strength. My mom picked up some small weights and easily lifted them over her head. The instructor came over to check on her form and gave her an encouraging smile.
I could see my mom’s confidence growing with each passing minute. She chatted with some of the group during breaks between exercises, swapping stories about their grandchildren or discussing upcoming events at the center.
As we exited the class, my mom seemed lighter somehow – like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She told me how much she enjoyed the class and how good it felt to move again.
Over the next few weeks, I attended chair exercise classes regularly with my mom. Her posture improved dramatically; she stood taller and walked with more confidence than before. Her mood seemed brighter, too – there was a newfound sense of energy in everything she did.
One day after class, we stopped by a local diner for lunch. As we sat outside in the warm sun, sipping our coffee, my mom turned to me with a big smile.
“You know,” she said thoughtfully, “I never thought I’d enjoy an exercise class again at this age.”
Watching my mom do chair exercises at the community center has taught me so much about what it means to age gracefully: It’s not about giving up or slowing down but finding new ways to stay engaged with life no matter what challenges come your way.
It’s well-established that exercise helps to improve your physical and mental health, strengthens bones and muscles, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, and improves overall well-being. However, not everyone can engage in high-intensity exercises due to various factors, such as physical limitations or health conditions. This is where chair exercises come into play.
Chair exercises are low-impact exercises that can be performed while seated, making them an excellent option for people of all ages and abilities. For example, if you have arthritis or joint pain, you may find engaging in high-impact running or jumping difficult. On the other hand, chair exercises can be modified to suit your individual needs and abilities, making them a safe and effective option for people with physical limitations.
Chair exercises aren’t exclusively for those with limited mobility. Young people, particularly those who work desk jobs or spend long hours sitting, may experience health problems such as poor posture, weak core muscles, and stiff joints. Chair exercises can help to counteract these issues by promoting better posture, strengthening your core muscles, and increasing flexibility.
Additionally, chair exercises can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which are becoming more common due to the demands of modern life. By engaging in regular chair exercises, you could make it easier for yourself to manage the challenges of daily life.
If you’re experiencing a decline in physical function, you may find it difficult to perform everyday activities such as walking or standing for extended periods. Chair exercises can help improve balance, strength, and flexibility, allowing you to maintain mobility and perform daily tasks more easily. Furthermore, regular exercise can help reduce the risk of falls, a significant concern for older adults.
Chair exercises are accessible to everyone. Unlike traditional forms of exercise, which may require expensive equipment or gym memberships, you only need a sturdy chair and some comfortable clothing. Chair exercises are an ideal form of physical activity for those who may not have access to other types of exercise equipment.
Now let’s take a look at four different chair exercises that are suitable for everyone:
1. Seated Leg Lifts
Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift one leg off the ground until it is straight out in front of you, hold for a few seconds, then lower back down. Repeat on the other side.
Try ten repetitions on each leg for a total of twenty reps. You can challenge yourself further by pausing for 5 seconds at the movement’s top. As you build strength, consider using ankle weights for more resistance.
2. Knee Lifts
Sit up straight with your feet flat on the ground. Slowly lift one knee towards your chest, and lower your knee back to the floor. Repeat with your other leg.
Try ten repetitions on each leg for a total of twenty reps. Challenge yourself by pausing for 5 seconds at the top of the movement while pulling in your abdominal muscles.
3. Arm Circles
Sit straight in your chair and bend your arms like a goalpost. Squeeze your elbows together, hold for two beats, and return your arms to their original position.
Try for at least two sets of 10 reps.
4. Chair Jumping Jacks
Get your heart pumping with a fun twist on traditional jumping jacks. Bend your knees and keep them together, then you open your legs and lift your feet off the ground while throwing both arms in the air.
Try for two sets of 10 reps.
With these four demonstrations provided above as examples, plenty more variations are available online, making this form of fitness very accessible wherever you go.
Keep Your Brain Fit
With age comes wisdom, but it’s no secret that our brains tend to slow down.
Regular exercise is key to keeping your brain in tip-top shape at any age. Adding a quality brain health supplement like Stonehenge Health® Dynamic Brain™ can also help give you an extra edge.
Incorporate Dynamic Brain™ into your daily routine and enjoy improved memory recall, faster processing speeds, and increased awareness for the best version of yourself yet.