Two out of three men and one out of two women age 75 and older don’t participate in physical activity on a consistent basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the fact remains that chair exercises for seniors and other types of workouts offer a wealth of physical and mental health benefits for aging adults.
Trying to encourage your elderly loved one to increase their fitness level? Have him or her try out these chair exercises for seniors.
- One-Legged Stand: Stand directly behind the chair, placing your hands on the back for balance. Keeping your back and shoulders straight, slowly lift your left leg a few inches off the ground stand on your right leg for one minute. Repeat; raising your right leg and standing on the left. As you become more comfortable, increase your one-legged standing time and/or try closing your eyes to further work on developing your balance.
- Toe Rockers: Stand directly behind the chair, placing your hands on the back for balance. Keeping your back and shoulders straight, rise up onto your tip toes, hold for 10 seconds, then slowly rock back onto your heels, hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence eight times, rest, then repeat the whole set up to three more times.
- Chair Stand: Sit in the middle of the chair with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. If possible, cross your arms over your chest, placing each hand just below the opposite shoulder. Keeping your back and shoulders straight, bend forward and stand up, while trying to keep from using your arms or hands. Take at least three seconds to slowly sit back down into the chair, again, keeping your back and shoulders as straight as possible. Repeat this exercise for 10-15 repetitions, rest, then repeat the entire set as many as three more times.
- Side Leg Raise: Stand directly behind the chair, placing your hands on the back for balance. Place your feet approximately hip-width apart. Keeping your back and both legs straight (but not locked) and your toes pointed forward, lift your left leg out the side six to 12 inches. Hold your leg in this position for one second then lower it back down to the ground. Repeat this process with your right leg. Keep alternating your legs until you’ve completed 10-15 repetitions on each side. Take a brief rest; then repeat the set as many as three more times.
- Arm Raise: Grab a pair of hand weights (three-five lbs.). Sit in the chair with your back straight and your feet on the ground, shoulder width apart. Hold your arms straight down by your sides, with your palms facing inward. Take at least three seconds to slowly lift your arms out to the side until they become level with your shoulders. Pause in this position for one second, then take three seconds to lower your arms back down to their starting position. Repeat this exercise for 10-15 repetitions, rest, then repeat the entire set as many as three more times.
Chair exercises for seniors are a great way for your elderly loved one to start getting in to better shape.
Of course, the best way to fully reap the rewards of physical activity is to engage in an exercise plan that’s been specifically tailored to his or her capabilities and needs.
Older adults can work with a personal trainer to build strength, balance, and cardiovascular fitness, as well as implement a nutrition plan that will optimize the benefits of their workouts. In Howard County, Maryland, older adults can explore their options for one-on-one personal training by calling Fitness Together Ellicott City at (410) 750-2228.