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Chair Exercises for Seniors

A properly designed workout routine is very important, especially for the well-being of the elderly. Here are a few chair exercises for the seniors which are comfortable as well as beneficial for their health.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2018
Exercising is very important for every elderly person, as it improves muscle strength and flexibility, and provides relief from age-related joint pain and increases joint mobility. In short, exercises for senior citizens facilitate healthier aging.
Seniors Using Resistance Bands In Class
Chair exercises are the most suitable form of exercise for the elderly as they can be performed sitting on a straight back chair or a park bench. Therefore, those people who have difficulty in maintaining their body balance and coordination, can do these exercises.
That does not mean, that those who are still active should not do chair exercises. There are many types of these exercises. Each of the exercises discussed here focuses on different parts of the body.
Exercise #1
Sit straight on the edge of a sturdy, straight back chair keeping your feet flat on the ground. Do not lean back to support the body. Keep heels firmly grounded on the floor and bend the toes of both the feet downwards. Then, slowly move toes upward towards the ceiling. Again, curl toes inward and then point them upwards. Repeat these movements 8 - 10 times.
Exercise #2
Do some gentle leg exercises sitting on a chair. Sit comfortably on a chair without leaning back. Lift both legs together off the ground as much as you can. Stop the movement when you feel a locking sensation in the knees. Then bring down the legs slowly to the ground. Repeat 6 - 8 times. However, do not perform this exercise if you feel pain in your knees.
Exercise #3
Those older adults who suffer from arthritis, often have gripping problem due to inflexible finger joints. You can perform hand exercises for improving the hand grip.
Sit on a chair and open and close both hands repeatedly. When you unfold the fingers, spread them as much as you can to get a stretching feel in them. While folding the fingers, make a tight fist. Repeat for 8 - 10 times. After this, you'll sense a tightness in hand muscles. To release this tension, shake hands randomly. This relaxes the muscles really well.
Exercise #4
For arm exercises, you need a ball. Sit on a chair holding the ball in front of you. Then try to squeeze the ball with both your hands. While doing this, extend your hands in front and then pull it back towards the chest.
This back and forth movement of the arms should be done in a slow and controlled manner. It should have 10 - 12 repetitions. These stretching exercises are not just good for arms muscles but, also for the chest muscles.
Exercises #5
Rolling the shoulder is an excellent exercise to strengthen shoulder muscles. Sit straight on a chair and raise both the shoulders up to ear level. Holding the raised position, move them slowly towards the back. Then bring the shoulders to the front and then to the top. Repeat at least 10 times. Alternate the direction of rotation with every repetition.
Exercises #6
Stretching the lower portion of the body is also necessary. For this exercise, sit straight on a chair with both the feet resting on the ground. Put the hands on the thighs. Now, lean forward slowly keeping your back straight and then move backwards. Repeat this movement for 5 times.
Another lower back exercise involves stretching of legs and arms forward. Hold this position and count till 5. Then slowly get back to the original position. Repeat it twice or thrice.
Doctors recommend that every elderly person should perform such senior exercises for half an hour daily to maintain health and fitness. While working out, wear loose and comfortable clothes. While doing any exercise, if you feel uncomfortable, stop it immediately. Never stretch yourself beyond the body's capacity, as this may adversely affect your health.