Chair Exercises

For a senior, strength is important. With bone loss and lower amounts of calcium, it can be easier to break a hip or arm as a result of a fall. Keeping the body fit can improve balance and prevent falls that can be life-threatening.

So, what can you do if you are a senior who spends most of their time in a chair? Here are a few examples of the types of exercise that would be good for you.

For those in wheelchairs, you know how much strength it takes to move that wheelchair up and down halls. When you exercise the arms and shoulders it becomes less of a chore. Use light weights - about three pounds to start.

Try side arm raises. With dumbbells in hand and palms facing inward, raise the arms (one at a time or simultaneously) to shoulder height. Slowly return to the start position. This works the shoulder muscles.

Bicep curls are also useful to build the upper arm. With your arms leaning against the front of the chair and palms facing upward, curl the arm at the elbow until the weight reaches the shoulder. All of the work is concentrated in the front of the arm, which is engaged when you lift things.

Since you are seated, this is the best position to work the legs. These are big muscles so they can take it.

Leg raises work the front part of the upper leg - the quadriceps muscle. Sitting against the back of your chair or a chair, lift one leg straight out in front of you. Hold the position for a second or two and return to the floor. Squeeze your leg muscles as you straighten your leg.

Butt squeezes are good for keeping that bottom in shape. While sitting down, simply clench your buttocks and hold for a couple of seconds. Release and squeeze again.

Body twists can be done even in a chair. With arms outstretched at the side, twist the body to the right and then to the left, being careful not to swing. This engages the abdominal muscles and also gives you a good stretch in your back.

Who says that you can’t be fit in a wheelchair? If you are frail or have to use a chair, you can still participate in fitness exercises that will improve your health and quality of life.