Some of you may be familiar with an old television program called “Sit and Be Fit”. More or less, it demonstrated exercises done while sitting in a chair. Though they may not intense enough for younger individuals, seniors in particular can benefit from this type of activity. It can be challenging for seniors with mobility needs toget up and walk around, much less participate in any extensive type of physical exercise. Chair exercises allow seniors to keep active and become more physically fit.
When sitting down, the most important thing to remember is not to simply plop down. Instead, slowly lower yourself whenever possible. This uses more muscles, helps with balance, and is actually has been proven to be a safer way of sitting.
If you have been seated for a period of time, such as while reading a book or watching a movie, this is a great exercise for right before you get up. You want your weight moving toward the floor, so scoot to the front of your chair. Put your feet under you and tuck your heels back. Slowly and gently, raise your heels as high as possible with your hands on your knees while keeping your toes on the floor. This gives a good stretch to your toe and ankle joints and calf muscles. Cross your arms on your knees by leaning forward if you feel up to it.
Three Dimensions of, Exercises
These exercises move your eyes, arms, shoulders, and entire trunk while seated in a chair:
- Third dimension/Rotation: Imagine that you are sitting in your chair and someone calls your name from behind. To look to one side or the other, slowly turn your shoulders, spine, neck, eyes, and head. Now try it on the opposite side. For some extra stretching and rotation, you can reach out on either side with both arms or just one.
- Second dimension/Sideways: Pretend you dropped something on the floor. As far as you can comfortably reach, gently lean over and pick up the imaginary item. Repeat on the other side. Make sure to follow your hands with your eyes while doing this exercise.
- First dimension/Forward: Once again, as if you habr dropped something, gently reach down between your legs with both arms. Slowly raise your arms high above your head. Find a comfortable range of motion that is slow and steady.
If you find yourself hunching your shoulders and neck during breathing exercises, this will help. Raise your shoulders up toward your ears with your hands on your knees. Then, lower your shoulders gently. This doesn’t involve moving any neck joints, but it helps to release tension in the muscles of your neck.
Next, slowly raise your shoulders once again but this time, pull your shoulder blades together and rotate them. Do a couple of repetitions going backwards and forwards.
Make sure that your back is fully supported and push your behind to the back of the chair as far as it will go. Inhale through your nose while sitting up tall and straight. With more force than usual, exhale through your mouth. If you are unsure how to do so, you can imagine it as blowing\ out the candles on your cake. This exercise is perfect for engaging abdominal muscles and your diaphragm.
At Conservatory At Keller Town Center, you can stay active and healthy with the help of our Dimensions Health and Fitness Program. Seniors of all skill levels and ranges of mobility can enjoy comprehensive wellness services as a resident with us. Contact us if you would like to find out more.