We all know how important it is to stay fit and active as we reach a certain age, but doing exercise isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially if you suffer from mobility problems. However there are a number of things you can do without even leaving the comfort of your chair that will improve your fitness and burn those calories.
Read on as K5 – the evacuation chair and access product specialists – outline what you can do to keep yourself fit even if you find getting out and about difficult.
Make sure your chair is secure
First things first, before starting your exercises make sure that the chair you are sitting on is secure, with a sturdy base and no wheels, though if using a chair with wheels is unavoidable make sure that they are locked.
You should also avoid using a chair that has arms as these could get in the way of doing the exercises properly, while you also want to aim to use a chair with a firm seat rather than something too deep and comfy.
Leg Exercises
Seated leg exercises are all about maintaining flexibility in the joints.
Preparation: Sit forward on the chair to avoid slouching back and keep a straight back.
Exercise 1: Start with both feet flat on the floor, raising the heels up and bringing them back down – repeat 20-30 times or as many as you can do. Try and keep an even pace, moving at a speed that feels comfortable.
Exercise 2: Extend one leg out in front of you, keeping your foot flat on the floor, with your other leg in the normal sitting position. Proceed to alternate between tapping your heel and the front of your foot on the floor. Do this 3-5 times before changing to the other leg – repeat this for both legs several times.
Exercise 3: In your seat, raise your knees alternately as if marching. Again it is important to keep an even pace, but the exact speed you perform the exercise should depend on what feels comfortable for you. You can combine this with moving your arms up and down in a marching motion to really get the heart pumping and those calories burning!
With all of these leg exercises it is very important that you perform them in a controlled manner – avoiding bringing your feet down firmly to avoid putting your joints under too much stress.
Arm Exercises
Preparation: As with the leg exercises sit forward in your chair. You can combine these exercises with weights so have them to hand if you want them.
Exercise 1: With both hands, reach out straight in front of you, but avoid locking your elbows (this happens when you extend your arms as far as they’ll go). Bring them back into your body, before stretching them up above your head, but again don’t lock the elbows, bringing them back down into the start position. Repeat this motion 10-20 times, or as many as you can manage.
Exercise 2: Take two dumbbells and bring them up to your shoulders. Then, take your elbows out wide so they are parallel to the floor. From this position, extend your arms out without locking your elbows, before curling the weights back towards your shoulders. You can even do this without dumbbells if you don’t have the strength in your arms. Repeat this exercise 10-20 times, or as many as you can manage.
Exercise 3: Sitting forward in your chair, bend forward until your back is at a 45° angle (if you can) and hold the dumbbells down alongside your lower leg. From here, bend your arms up, bringing them both up towards your chest. Repeat 10-20 times.
Exercise 4: Sitting forward in your chair, make broad motions through the air with your arms as if you’re swimming through water, but avoid bending your neck at all. You can also combine this with the marching leg exercise for a more rigorous exercise!
The key to all of these exercises to complete them at a pace that feels safe and comfortable for your body – never overdo it. You can even make the exercises something you enjoy, so why not do them with friends and get fit together?
This guest blog was written by John Rooney in association with K5 – specialist providers of evacuation chairs and mobility equipment that is designed to improve the lives of those who struggle getting around.

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