Safe exercises for seniors who are frail or have limited mobility
Along with improving strength, flexibility, and blood circulation, exercise also boosts mood, helping to keep seniors as healthy and well as possible.
Chair exercises, done while seated on a chair with back support, are an excellent option for seniors who are frail, at risk of falling, or have limited mobility.
The goal is to provide a steady base so your older adult stays safe while moving their arms and legs during their workout.
We explain why chair exercises are so helpful for seniors and share 6 effective chair exercises in an easy 10 minute routine.
Why chair exercises are helpful for seniors
A major benefit of chair exercises is the reduced risk of falling.
It’s also a great way for seniors with limited mobility to get the health benefits of exercise.
Chair exercises can be just as challenging as regular standing workouts, especially for upper body or abdominal muscles.
Another advantage is that exercising while sitting takes less effort than standing and puts less pressure on lower body joints like knees or ankles.
6 chair exercises in an easy 10 minute routine
Dartmouth-Hitchcock, an East Coast health care organization, created a simple 10 minute chair exercise routine for older adults.
Note: For safety, the chair shouldn’t have arms and shouldn’t easily fold, roll, slide, or be unsteady.
These 6 seated exercises help seniors:
- Build or maintain muscle
- Get heart rate up
- Improve blood circulation
- Increase flexibility
- Increase range of motion
The video acts as an exercise instructor
This video is especially handy because it’s a full routine with clear directions that can be easily followed.
Start by doing the routine 2 to 3 times a week. As your older adult builds strength and endurance, add on more days or go through the routine more than once at a time.
Preventing injury is the top priority
It’s still possible to fall out of a chair and get injured so it’s important to make sure your older adult is steady on their chair and able to handle these exercises.
The first few times they try new exercises, ask them to take it slowly and not overexert themselves.
And stand close by until you’re both confident that they can safely do the movements on their own.
Recommended for you:
- 12 Easy and Gentle Seated Stretching Exercises for Seniors in 4 Minutes
- The Best Way to Improve Senior Mobility: the Sit to Stand Exercise
- Head to Toe Gentle Seated Chair Exercises for Seniors Improve Range of Motion
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Garfield County Senior Programs
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