Chair Exercises For Staying Active With Low Mobility

Exercise plays a big part in our physical and mental well-being, and regular exercise can help us stay healthy in both body and mind. However, when you have restricted or low mobility, exercise can seem quite daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Multicare Mobility has put together this handy guide on how and why you can still benefit from exercise with a chair-based workout.

Why Should I Exercise?

The NHS recommends that adults spend around 150 minutes a week doing some form of exercise. Even older adults or those with a disability should aim for at least a moderate level of activity every day.

There are so many benefits to exercising regularly. Building your strength and fitness, will help you feel more independent. You’ll also find you have more energy and reduced feelings of fatigue. Overall, it can help improve your health, alleviate existing pain or stiffness and make you less susceptible to illness or injury in future.

Exercise can also help combat feelings of stress or low mood, which can particularly affect those whose mobility has recently declined. The endorphins you get from exercise can boost your mood and help you feel altogether more positive.

What Should I Consider If I Have Limited Mobility?

If you use a wheelchair or have limited mobility, it can be harder to find cardio-based exercises that will get your heart rate up, but luckily there are some other options available for exercise - in particular, something that can help you to work on building your body strength or maintaining some flexibility.

You should check with your doctor beforehand before starting an exercise routine. Although they are more than likely to encourage increasing your exercise and movement, they will be able to tell you what sort of exercise would be most beneficial as well as any limits such as time spent exercising or any particular exercise to avoid.

What Do You Need To Prepare For A Chair Based Workout?

To begin your chair workout, make sure you’re wearing loose, comfortable clothing you can move in. Have some water nearby as it’s important to stay hydrated throughout your workout.

Find a solid, stable chair (without wheels) and sit upright with your feet flat on the floor if possible, your knees bent at a right angle. You may find that a chair without armrests will give you better freedom of movement

Chair Based Workout Plan

This chair workout plan is gentle and easy to follow. Try this workout twice a week, and build up to adding more repetitions over time.
Strength Exercises

If you don't have small weights at home, you could substitute them with a common household item such as cans of soup or filled water bottles.

  • Sit to Stand
  • Mini Squats using the back of the chair for support
  • Calf Raises using the back of the chair for support
  • Leg Lifts using the back of the chair for support
  • Seated Arm Raises
  • Seated Chest Presses
  • Seated Bicep Curls

Flexibility Exercises

These exercises can help relieve stress and stiffness, and improve range of motion and posture. During these stretches, be careful not to overextend yourself which could cause an injury - just enough to feel a slight stretch.
  • Neck Rotations
  • Shoulder Shrugs
  • Forward Flexion
  • Seated Sideways Flexion
  • Side Stretches

The NHS also has some wonderful resources for further information and exercises if you have low mobility plus other advice on wellbeing. Other exercise types you could try are seated yoga or water-based exercises such as aqua jogging which are low impact.

*Collaborative post

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