Why Exercise Matters For Seniors.
In the last century, people in the US lost over 2 hours of free time every day. You can replace some of it and spend it wisely through lifelong learning and exercise. If you ask your grandparents about the secret to longevity, chances are that they won’t mention exercise. Instead, they’ll say that they’ve enjoyed every minute of their life and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Maybe not having to worry about surviving doesn’t hurt. However, this thinking could affect your ability to live a long and active life.
///Routine, Quality, and Purpose.
In general, an active lifestyle consists of three components: a high quality exercise with a high degree of physical, mental, and social stimulation. The exercise should be a regular part of your daily routine, with a good quality and purpose. Regardless of your age, if you follow this advice, you will be more likely to do better on the cancer question: How long do I have?
Seniors can keep their minds and bodies strong by participating in activities that are relevant to their own lives. Experts have identified three primary performance-based criteria to help seniors choose activities that will provide a quality experience of live:
Function – exercise should include activities that stimulate the senses, so they can have full attention without distraction.
What Is Chair Exercises For Seniors?
Chair exercises is definitely one of the greatest form of exercises especially if you are exercising to get in better shape, lose weight, stay healthy and active, and do not have the time for the regular gym workouts.
Chair exercises is a great starting point for the elderly and is an easy way to start a workout program that eventually will lead to another form of exercise.
This form of exercise is very easy to do and the health benefits can be tremendous.
Chair exercises are also something that is not hard on the body, so it also can be used as minor body strengthening exercise.
It is very flexible and can be done almost anywhere, at any time.
The aging population is increasing everyday, so the health care centers, retirement homes, nursing homes and hospitals are seeing more and more people who need the benefits of chair exercises.
The main target of people who need to do chair exercises are the people who are bed ridden or people who are recently discharged from the hospital into a rehabilitation center.
Normally, a person who is just discharged from the hospital gets a routine of rehab that includes not only rehabilitation of the illness, but also a strengthening of the body and muscles.
A person who is newly discharged will need to stay in bed for a while, while a person who is bedridden needs to stay in bed for a long time.
Why Do the Elderly Need Chair Exercises?
Regardless of the age, every human being requires and benefits from physical activity. If you don’t use it, you lose it. And needless to say, the older you get the more you use out of your body. Regular activity, therefore, helps the elderly stay healthy and active.
As you grow in age, you may find the joints in your body getting weaker. The bones lose their density, there is a decline in the functioning of internal organs and muscles turn to fat due to inactivity. All these factors can have a negative impact your overall health and lead to depression, pain, and other complications.
Here are a few reasons why chair exercises are great for the elderly.
The Joints: Exercise will make the ligaments stronger. When the ligaments in the joints are too loose, they can lead to bulging disks in the back, the number one cause of back pain among most senior citizens. Strong ligaments and tendons can have a miraculous effect on elderly people.
The Heart: While elderly people lose their muscle strength, their heart's function improves considerably. That is why lifestyle and health changes can help them at this stage. Exercise promotes robust health, a better cardiovascular fitness and an improvement in the mood of the elderly.
How To Approach Chair Exercises For Elderly.
With physical and mental health risks becoming more and more prevalent amongst the elderly, it’s important to take steps to prevent and eliminate them. Whether you suffer from a general lack of body strength or you want to increase your physical ability, it’s easy to incorporate chair exercises into your daily routine.
Whatever you wish to achieve, you can with the right chair exercises. And chair exercises have a lot of advantages, that include:
No worry about a gym attendants or a boring routine.
Chair exercises are simple to learn.
The exercises can be performed anywhere.
All you need is a little time and a chair.
So let’s look at some exercises you can do to improve your physical fitness while keeping your mind sharp, and to keep you from the pain and ailments that come from a sedentary lifestyle.
17 Best Chair Based Exercises For The Elderly.
We have all heard that regular exercise is vital to a well-functioning mind and body. What many people aren’t aware of is that exercise can be done from a chair in your home. These easy, chair based exercises for the elderly make regular, strenuous exercise possible for those who can’t make it to the gym.
These chair based exercises are perfect for the elderly and require only a chair and some common household items. They are great for people of all ages, but are especially beneficial for elderly men and women.
Exercise 1: Chest Stretch
Begin with your arms relaxed at the sides of your chair, gripping the sides for comfort. Keep your shoulders and arms relaxed. Slowly move your hands apart with your shoulders and neck remaining as relaxed as possible. Take at least five seconds to move your arms apart, holding the original position for at least five seconds. Slowly bring your hands together as far as you can, also holding the position for five seconds. Keep your body as relaxed as possible throughout all movements. Repeat this exercise at least ten times.
Exercise 2: Shoulder Circles
Start by interlocking the fingers of your left hand in front of your body while holding your left arm to the side. Your right hand is on top of your left elbow. Lift the left hand up and then counterclockwise, in a circular motion. Then lift the right hand and move it up and counterclockwise in a circle. Do this repeatedly for five minutes.
This exercise is great for improving circulation and relieving stiffness. Studies show that it can even increase range extension and decrease shoulder pain.
Exercise 3: Upper-Body Twist
Sit on a chair with a back. You can either sit straight or lean back slightly. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Take your arms off the chair and rest them on your knees in front of you with your palms up.
Inhale deeply. As you exhale, twist your upper body to your right, as far as you can. Bend after you exhale in order to get as far down as you can. Stop when you feel like you’re putting strain on your back.
Hold the position for a few seconds. If you can, also rotate your head to your right and look to the right. Turn your head back as you inhale.
Slowly come back to the center position and repeat the movement with your left arm, rotating to your left. Again, hold the position for a few seconds, with your left arm straighter than your right. Put your arms down on your knees.
This is one set.
Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Exercise 4: Shoulder Rolls
Do this easy chair based exercise by rolling your shoulders forward, then backward, then side to side. This can help bolster your posture, work out issues related to shoulders, and improve your range of motion.
This is a very easy movement that you can do anywhere, but it will also help you gain flexibility and strength in your chest, shoulders, and upper back. It helps to focus on controlling the movement as opposed to power or speed.
To do shoulder rolls, sit tall with your back against the back of the chair, knees bent, and feet on the floor.
Roll your shoulders forward, toward your chin.
Next, roll your shoulders backward.
Roll your shoulders to the side.
Roll your shoulders in the other direction.
Follow this shoulder roll exercise with more shoulder rolls in the opposite direction.
This is a very simple move. Cue the brain to use the muscles appropriately.
This chair based exercise can help improve your posture, shoulder and spine mobility and is ideal for the elderly.
Exercise 5: Hip Marching
While shuffling heel to toe is certainly an exercise that most people know, hip marching can add a new dimension to the exercise.
Stand upright and, keeping your feet on the ground, bend your knees and drop your hips. You’ll want to imagine that you’re marching when you tilt your hips up and down.
Keep your back straight and bring your knees as high off of the ground as you can. You can march for 20 seconds in one direction, then march back for 20 seconds, giving the other leg a break. Repeat the movement for 3 minutes, and then rest for 30 seconds. Continue this routine for 4 to 5 minutes.
Some people may prefer to march with their feet on the ground, but marching with your feet off the ground is a better way to do this exercise because it takes the pressure off of your back.
Maintaining a straight back and marching in place will work your butt, hips, and thighs.
Exercise 6: Sit and Reach
The sit and reach test is a floor-based test that can be used to measure flexibility. If you’re feeling a little stiff, chair stretches and exercises are a great way to improve your flexibility. These chair based exercise will also give your body a good work out.
Begin by sitting up as straight as possible in a chair. You will want to keep your feet flat on the floor. Make sure that you’re comfortable and that you’re not supporting yourself against the back of the chair with your hands or arms.
With your feet in the same spot, slowly bend down towards your toes, stretching towards your toes as far as you can. Make sure that you keep you’re back straight and a flat line from your shoulders to your knees.
When you’ve reached the maximum point of your reach, you’ll want to slowly move back to the starting position. Take your time as you move back to your starting position. Make sure that you’re not jumping too quickly into the starting position.
Exercise 7: Ankle Stretch
Materials Needed: 1 chair, 1 towel
Ankle flexibility is important to standing, walking, and falling. The ankle joints are formed by four bones–the tibia, fibula, navicular, and talus. A fibularis tendon connects the fibula to the lateral side of the foot. By placing pressure on the lateral side of the ankle, the fibularis tendon shortens and pulls your foot toward the outside of your ankle. This motion results in a stretch.
There are two variations of ankle stretches–one is done with your foot on an elevated surface, and the other is done with your foot resting on the floor.
Ankle Stretch with Foot on an Elevated Surface: To complete this exercise, stand near the edge of a chair with your leg up in the air. Place your foot on the seat of the chair. To add resistance, stand on the floor near your leg, bending your knee. Now, raise your leg slightly off the chair. Hold this position for five seconds, and then place your foot back on the chair. Repeat this exercise two to three times, and repeat with your other leg.
Exercise 8: Ankle Rotations
Rotating your ankles is a simple and easy exercise. When you’re seated on a firm, stable chair, you can begin by placing your left ankle on your right knee and turning your foot clockwise in a circular motion for 30 seconds. Then, switch your legs and rotate your left foot counterclockwise for 30 seconds. Finally, take your right foot and rotate it clockwise in a circular motion for 30 seconds. Do this for several minutes.
This exercise stimulates your ankle’s motion and helps to prevent stiffness by increasing blood flow. If you find that your ankles are getting sore, you can try this next exercise to help work them out.
Exercise 9: Arm Raises
This exercise involves standing next to an armchair with arms. Turn your body toward the armchair and support yourself on it. Then, slowly lift your arms out to the side, then up in front of your body, then behind you, returning to the side.
You should do this fifteen times and repeat the exercise daily.
Exercise 10: Toe Taps
Toe taps are a highly effective way of improving the strength and mobility in your lower body. The exercises should be performed for 5 repetitions on each leg. This can be increased gradually if there is no discomfort.
As you progress, you can increase the number of repetitions and switch from doing it from a seated position to standing on the toes of the affected leg.
You can make these exercises easier by lowering your toes and performing them on a softer surface.
Exercise 11: Neck Stretch
You can't do this exercise while sitting in a wheelchair, but you can do it in a wheelchair, by positioning yourself on your back with your chin up and your shoulder blades together. If you want to do this exercise at a desk, I suggest that you place a chair in front of your desk with the seat very close to the desk and the back of the chair against the desk. Before you begin this exercise, you must make sure that the chair won’t roll. Then, spread out your arms flat against your sides, as though you were going to do airplane arms. Next, push the chair away with your chin until you feel slight tension in your neck. Then, hold your position.
This is an excellent exercise for strengthening your neck. It tones your neck and is a great exercise for preventing neck pain.
Exercise 12: Captain’s Chair
This advanced rotational exercise for the elderly strengthens the hip rotator muscles in the hip and reduces risk of falls.
Sit in the chair.
Place the leg at a 90 degree angle to your body, firmly pressing the foot to the floor.
Turn your body to face the chair leg, use arm to support you.
Brace your abdominal muscles and then rotate the leg outwards while keeping your hip stationary.
Turn up to 90 degrees each time, lower again and repeat.
Remain seated as you perform the exercise.
Repeat ten times on each leg.
To make the exercise easier, look straight ahead while performing it.
Move your upper body as you rotate your lower body.
To make the exercise more difficult increase the range of movement.
Remember to stretch after each set.
Exercise 12: Seated Row
Sit facing a table and hold onto the edge. Pull your shoulder blades back and lift your chest. Slowly row the table towards you, such that a part of the table touches your abdomen. Follow this up with a return to the start position to complete one rep.
Exercise 12: Seated Tummy Twists
Twists stretch and strengthen your muscles and internal organs. Seated on the floor with your legs and bottom firmly planted on the ground, allow your elbows to rest on your knees while your upper body twists from side to side. As you twist, make sure that your gaze follows your shoulders as the twist. This adds to the effectiveness of the exercise and improves your spinal mobility.
Exercise 14: Glute Squeeze
This exercise strengthens your glutes.
Exercise 15: Seated Tap Dance
PROMOTES HEART HEALTH: This exercise is a great way to get your heart pumping in the mornings. You can also use it to warm up before exercising. By pumping your arms, your heart rate will increase, which will get blood flowing into your limbs. As you sit, tapping, you are also keeping your grip strength in top condition, which can help you in day-to-day tasks as your heart ages.
PROMOTES DIGESTIVE HEALTH: Every part of your body is connected, and as you sit tapping your feet, you are also working your digestive system. Tap dancing was even used to help cure constipation in the elderly at one point.
IMPROVE YOUR COORDINATION: This move will also help you fine tune your coordination. As you tap your foot in time with the music, you are also tapping in time with the beat of the song, which helps you tap to the beat of your life.
PROMOTE YOUR INNER CREATIVE GENIUS: As you tap to your own beat, you are also exercising your imagination. Tap dancing is all about being creative, there is no right or wrong way to shake your groove thang; you can decide whatever makes you feel good to tap, if you are a beginner, start slow with low arm movements, then work up to higher arm movements.
Exercise 16: Seated Forward Bend
This is a good exercise for people with lower back problems. You can do it in a chair or lying down on your back as long as you can comfortably reach your toes. Gently grab a hold of your big toe and hit the floor. You can also hold the side edge of the seat of the chair to support yourself further. Don’t go too far forward or round your back. Make sure you stop when you feel a gentle stretch but don’t force anything.
If you’re lying down, stretch both legs downwards. If you’re sitting, you can bring your legs together facing towards each other. Ideally, by the time you’ve relaxed, your hip area, hamstrings and chest should be flat on the ground. Hold the stretch and then gently try to bring your hips up slightly.
Exercise 17: Rowing
This is a great exercise to help with the coordination of the upper and lower body. It helps to build up the chest and arms as well as the core.
One person can use this as a regular rowing style machine, but it can also be used on the floor.
Two or more people can use it to join hands and have a tug of war competition or to help one another with a push up variation.