6 Simple Chair Exercises for Seniors

chair exercises for seniors

Exercise can have numerous positive effects on the body, regardless of age. Chair exercises for seniors boost self-esteem, relieve stress, and reduces depression. Elderly people tend to lose mobility in their limbs, which is a normal byproduct of aging. This makes exercising even more important for seniors in order to train the mind and body to remain functional and to maintain proper mobility of the body.

Did You Know!

According to a recent Swedish study, physical activity is the number one contributor to longevity.

Elderly(1) people might not be able to perform regular training exercises at the gym due to the higher chances of injury and weakness, but there are a few simple chair exercises that can be done while being seated.

Simple Chair Exercises for Seniors

1. Ankle and Wrist Rolls

Why Use?

The elderly tend to have less strength in the extremities of their bodies, which is in the hands and feet due to poor blood flow and weaker circulation. Activating the hands and feet helps trigger better circulation of blood and strengthens grip.

How To Use?

  • Sit on a chair, but do not lean on it. Keep your back straight.
  • Start by flexing your fingers. Open and close your fists and try to squeeze them as you do.
  • Once you have warmed up, make a fist, and roll your wrists. Perform 10 rotations.
  • Perform the same with your feet. Start with flexing your toes, followed by rotating the feet. As you rotate your feet, try to curl and straighten your toes simultaneously.
  • Repeat these exercises in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions.

How Much To Use?

Perform 2 sets (1 clockwise and 1 anticlockwise) of 10 reps for the hands and feet. Repeat it 2-3 times in one workout session.

[Read: Reduce the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer]

2. Single-Leg Calf Raises

Why Use?

Calf raises(2) are a great exercise to work out the lower foot and strengthen the calves, the muscle that is most activated when walking, jogging, and running.

How To Use?

  • Sit on a chair and plant both feet on the ground. Your feet should be about hip-distance apart. Keep your back straight and avoid leaning back if it does not allow you to sit up straight.
  • Starting with one foot, raise your heel off the ground while keeping your toes grounded. Raise your heel as high as you can. You will feel your calf muscle tightening.
  • Lower the heel and repeat with the other leg.
  • Perform 10 repetitions per leg.

How Much To Use?

Try to perform 3 sets of 10 reps each, per leg.

3. Sit-and-Stands

Why Use?

This exercise is an easier version of the squats. Squatting is a great exercise for all-round lower body strength, but seniors might find it hard to perform a full squat and get back up. This exercise makes the routine easier while still being very beneficial.

How To Use?

  • Sit on a chair with your feet firmly grounded at about hip-distance apart.
  • Engage your core (abdominal muscles and lower back) and slightly bend forward, as if you were about to get up from the chair.
  • With as little assistance as possible, push with your feet and stand up. Apply pressure on all corners of your feet evenly, and try to keep your back straight as you stand up.
  • Push your hips back, bend your knees, and slowly lower yourself back to a sitting position. Try to keep your back straight as you do.
  • Repeat the workout.

How Much To Use?

Try to perform 3 sets of 10 reps each.

[Read: Alzheimer’s disease Treatment]

4. Seated Hip Marches

Why Use?

Similar to the Sit-and-Stands, this exercise is an altered version of high knee jogging. The elderly might find it hard to raise a leg while standing and balance on one leg, and this routine solves that by using a chair.

How To Use?

  • Sit on a chair with your feet firmly grounded at about hip-distance apart.
  • Hold the armrests for support while keeping your back straight. Engage your core (abdominal muscles and lower back).
  • Lift one leg off the ground with the knee still bent and raise it as high as you can. Then, lower it. Repeat with the other leg. It should look like you’re performing a high knee march.
  • Perform 10 reps per leg.

How Much To Use?

Try to perform 3 sets of 10 reps per leg (so 20 reps per set).

5. Heel Slides

Why Use?

This exercise activates the hamstrings and glutes, helping you strengthen your legs.

See Also
bloodcot

How To Use?

  • Sit on a chair with your feet firmly grounded at about hip-distance apart.
  • Tighten your core and try to keep it that way throughout the exercise.
  • Extend one leg forward while keeping your heel grounded but raise your toes upward toward the ceiling as you extend the leg. You should be dragging your foot forward.
  • Tighten your glute and hamstring on that side as you extend the leg.
  • Now, drag your leg back to neutral position.
  • Repeat this motion with the other leg.

How Much To Use?

Try to perform 3 sets of 10 reps per leg (so 20 reps per set).

[Read: Treat Arthritis at Home]

6. Seated Torso Twists

Why Use?

This exercise activates and strengthens the core and obliques and builds mobility in the lower back. This is one of the best back exercises for a herniated disc.

How To Use?

  • Sit on a chair. Your feet should firmly be grounded at about hip-distance. Do not lean back and keep your back straight.
  • Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing outward to the sides.
  • Keeping your pelvis firmly steady, take a deep breath, and then exhale. Exhale, and turn your torso towards your right, as far as you can.
  • Inhale and return to the neutral position.
  • Exhale and turn your torso to the left.
  • Repeat this for 10 twists per side.

How Much To Use?

Try to perform 3 sets of 10 twists per side.

Precautions To Be Taken When Working Out

While these exercises are modified to be easier for seniors, you must listen to your body and perform only as much as you can. Do not overexert yourself, or you risk damaging muscles and bones. Once you get used to the routines, try increasing the number of reps and sets. You will get stronger with time and live a better, healthier life.


FAQs

1. Is It Ok to Work out with a Herniated Disc?

As long as the exercises do not hurt, it is fine. In fact, there are workouts designed to help heal herniation.

2. Should I Work out Every Day?

It is not advised to work out the same muscle groups every day as your body needs time and rest to recover. Either work out 3-4 times a week or split your workouts to target different muscle groups.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Sign up for our Newsletter !
Get access to quality and natural health tips right from the experts. 
Subscribe !
close-link

Send this to a friend