Seated Exercises for the Elderly

Did you know exercise helps create new brain cells and enhances your brainpower and activity?

Sadly, most people assume that exercise is for the young and that the elderly do not need to work out. However, exercising is an essential requirement of old age. The elderly who have not exercised in their younger years have a higher need to do so.

Joints and muscles lose their range of motion as we age, making us more prone to various problems, like falling. Therefore, with regular exercise, the elderly can maintain their health and keep up with their favourite activities.

Benefits of Exercising for the Elderly

  • Reducing the risk of heart disease, hypertension, stroke
  • Reducing type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced risk of dementia
  • Improved bone health
  • Better life quality
  • Better mood
  • Independence in doing daily tasks
  • Recovery from injury or surgery

Some exercises like walking, jogging and cycling are among the best exercises for the elderly. Nevertheless, some older adults are unable to engage in outdoor activities. They can add indoor exercises for the elderly to their daily routine. In today’s article on Living Maples, we will introduce some of the best-seated exercises for the elderly that you can do at home without going out of the cozy environment of your home.

You only need to spend 10 minutes every day to master these exercises, which are easy enough for the elderly. After that, you can move to more challenging exercises. Of course, before that, you need to know what the best workout time for seniors is?

Not every exercise is good for the elderly, and the exercises in this article are specifically designed for the elderly. Remember to consult your doctor before taking up any exercise. If you have any chronic condition or have had recent surgery, you need to modify these exercises to not hurt yourself.

Never start any exercise session without warming up. Start each workout session with a 3-5 minutes warm-up. The following warm-up routine works best for seated exercises:

  • Warm-up by alternate marching of your feet for about 60 seconds
  • Do arm circles for 30 seconds
  • Repeat this procedure for 3 to 5 minutes.

Open Arms Chest Stretching

Seated Exercises for the Elderly
  1. Sit on a chair and relax.
  2. Fully open your arms outward. It is as if you want to hug someone. Keep your chest forward. The head should be slightly upward.
  3. Move your chest forward and backward a few times and stretch your hands back as far as possible to relieve the tension in your muscles.

Pillow Squeeze

  1. Sit on a chair and keep your back straight. The arm should be at your sides.
  2. Start marching by alternating your legs. You should raise one thigh as high as possible and return it to the previous position. Repeat the same procedure for the other leg.
  3. If you want, you can move your arms, too.
  4. Do this exercise for 30 seconds.

Marching on Chair

  1. Sit on a chair and keep your back straight. The arm should be at your sides.
  2. Start marching by alternating your legs. To do this, you should raise one thigh as high as possible and then return it to the previous position. Repeat the same procedure for the other leg.
  3. If you want, you can move your arms, too.
  4. Do this exercise for 30 seconds.

Stretching on Chair

  1. Sit on a chair.
  2. Place your right hand on your left shoulder and place your left hand on your right shoulder. You create a cross with your hands.
  3. Try not to move your legs. Rotate your torso to the right and left and count to five on each side.
  4. Repeat the exercise 5 times for each side.

Thigh Stretching

  1. As you sit on the chair, make sure your feet are at right angles to the ground.
  2. Raise your leg as far as possible.
  3. Keep the contraction for 5 seconds, and then bring your leg to the starting position.
  4. Alternate legs and repeat the exercise 10 times.

Dumbbell Curls

Seated Exercises for the Elderly
  1. Hold a light dumbbell in each of your hands and sit on the chair.
  2. Keep your elbows at your sides and curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders simultaneously.
  3. Repeat the exercise 12 times.
  4. You can also do this exercise while standing.
  5. The other variation of the exercise for seniors is standing and doing it as a single-arm curl and using your free hand to balance yourself by holding the chair.

Neck Stretching

  1. You can do this exercise either on a chair or sitting on the floor.
  2. Rotate your neck to the right and left and keep the rotation to each side for 5 seconds.
  3. Repeat the procedure three times.

Toe Taps

  1. Sit on the floor and keep your legs flat in front of you. The heels should be on the ground. Tilt your toes forward and backward.
  2. Repeat 15 times.
  3. Try to engage your abs while doing this exercise.
  4. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, you can sit on the edge of the chair and keep your heels on the ground and do the abovementioned procedure.

Seated Running

  1. Sit on a chair and lean back. Your shoulders should rest against the back of the chair.
  2. It would be best to extend the legs in front of the body.
  3. Grip the sides of the chair with your hands and lift your legs off the ground.
  4. Engage your abs and bend your legs in an alternating fashion toward your chest.
  5. You can turn your shoulder toward the opposite leg bent to make it more challenging.
  6. Do this for 30 seconds with a 5-second resting interval.
  7. Repeat three times.

Seated Ankle Exercises for the Elderly

Seated Exercises for the Elderly
  1. Sit on the chair.
  2. Place your ankle on the knee of the opposite leg.
  3. Rotate your ankle and make circles.
  4. Continue rotation in the opposite direction.
  5. Alternate legs.
  6. Do this exercise for 30-45 seconds for each ankle.

Sit and Stretch

  1. Sit on the chair and keep your knees together. The back should be straight.
  2. Raise one arm and extend it toward the ceiling. You should stretch the body.
  3. Look at your hand to feel a stretch in your shoulder and neck.
  4. Stay in this position for 10 seconds.
  5. Switch sides and repeat the procedure three times.

Tips on Doing Seated Leg Exercises for the Elderly

As you have noticed, there are various exercises that you can add to your daily routine and enjoy their benefits while sitting on your chair and watching your favourite program on TV. The list of seated exercises for the elderly is endless, but the ones mentioned here are the basic options most elderly can benefit from.

Seated Exercises for the Elderly

Several tips are worthy of mentioning here:

  • Best Chair: You should be very careful in choosing the chair you like to do your exercises. The chair should be well-made with a straight back. Check the stability of the chair before choosing it. It is better to choose with a cushion. Kitchen chairs are also suitable for doing seated exercises.
  • YouTube chair or seated exercises for the elderly: Nowadays, YouTube is the best source to learn various techniques. There are millions of videos on this media that you can watch to the exercises correctly with perfect form.
  • Join Classes: If there is a gym in your neighbourhood, you can try joining it to exercise under the supervision of a coach, who can suggest you the best exercises based on your age and physical condition.
  • Consult Your Doctor: As said earlier, it never is too late to start exercising. The elderly might suffer from some conditions, so they shouldn’t put their bodies under so much pressure. Hence, it is necessary to consult your family doctor before doing these exercises.

Final words

Overall, physical fitness is necessary at every age, and the elderly should do their best to start exercising to lead healthier and happier life. Remember that there is no need to do heavy workouts and the exercises should seniors avoid because these simple exercises for the elderly can guarantee your physical health. You should also know what to drink after a workout?

Get started right now, and make sure you warm-up.

Source vivehealth blog.hurusa
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Mitchell
Mitchell
5 months ago

My father uses a wheelchair. Do you think I should advise him to do some of these seated exercises? Are these exercises even suitable for wheelchair users?

Bobby
Bobby
Reply to  Mitchell
5 months ago

You can consult his doctor and see if he has any suggested exercises. But let him take it easy in the beginning and then increase the number of exercises, repetitions and the total workout time. His tolerance increases as he works out.

adam
adam
Reply to  Mitchell
5 months ago

I think it would be great. Why not? Some of those exercises are designed for people who have movement limitations. 

Jaquelin
Jaquelin
5 months ago

If someone told me how practical the chair exercises are, I wouldn’t believe them. Since the outbreak of covid 19, I haven’t been to a gym. But I try to walk for forty to sixty minutes a day. I didn’t feel as energized as I used to. My daughter told me about seated exercises, so I’ve been doing seated twists and seated sit-ups since then. These exercises have been practical for my daughter too, she has an office job, so seated activities are for everyone!