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Seated Exercises For The Elderly

Seated Exercises For The Elderly

Exercise is essential, no matter what age or phase of life! For older adults, strenuous exercise can become difficult due to health conditions or weakened muscles. Exercises can be done in a wide variety of ways, and chair exercises can be an excellent avenue for seniors to stay active, as well as regain & maintain strength in various body parts. We have compiled a list of exercises to help get you moving while staying comfortably seated.

Tip Before Starting:
Keep a small towel to dab away sweat and a water bottle on hand. Staying hydrated is a crucial component of a good exercise session. 


Shoulder Muscles

Our shoulder muscles are incredibly important. These muscles ensure that we can carry out a wide range of movements. Keeping our shoulder muscles healthy ensures that we can easily do things such as brush our hair or throw a ball to play with our grandchildren and other day-to-day actions. With age, shoulder muscles are subject to wear and tear, causing fatigue when our arms are used a lot.

Seated Shoulder Circles

Seated shoulder circles are a good exercise to target this area of muscles by increasing mobility, warming up the body, and improving flexibility for a greater range of motion.

The YouTube video below explains how to carry out shoulder circles: 


Bicep Muscles

Biceps are essential in helping us carry objects and bring them towards or away from our bodies. Biceps arguably carry out the majority of arm movements, and keeping them in good shape means being able to carry out independent tasks well into old age. 

Seated Bicep Curls

Seated bicep curls are a simple way to stay strong, and a lightweight dumbbell or lightweight & easy-to-grip object is all required, along with a seat.

In a comfortable chair, sit upright - grip the dumbbell in your hand and ‘curl’ it up towards your shoulder, then release it downwards back towards your lap at a comfortable pace.

The YouTube video below gives detailed instructions and visuals for how to carry out this exercise:  


Core Muscles

The core and its muscles are essential parts of our bodies. They house a large grouping of our internal organs. The muscles around the core are necessary for nearly all movements in our daily lives, everything from bending down to standing up! Proper care of our core subsequently means our backs & spines remain healthy as well. 

Extended Leg Raises

Extended Leg Raises are simple-looking exercises that certainly help to test & maintain strength within the core and hips. The YouTube video below highlights how to conduct the exercise in a safe, and sustainable manner: 

Tummy Twists

Also great for activating the core muscles, seated tummy twists help to work out the core and oblique muscles. Alongside the workout, tummy twists are an avenue to improve posture as well. This exercise works best with a medicine ball in hand or any similar object (such as a medium-sized rubber ball, basketball, etc.) to engage and ensure tension in the muscles.

The YouTube video below demonstrates this exercise: 


Leg Muscles

Our leg muscles are responsible for most of our daily mobile movements. These legs were made for walking! With age, weight gain/weight loss, injury, and a host of other factors - our leg muscles undergo many changes. Doing regular leg exercises in conjunction with taking regular walks keeps our leg muscles strong in the long run - pardon the pun. 

Chair Squats

‘Sit-to-Stands’ or chair squats are ideally started with the older adults’ full body weight before incorporating extra weights. Extra weights can include tools such as a medicine ball to help to improve strength further.

Tip: Squeeze the muscles in the glutes to ensure that the muscles get toned as you carry out the exercise!

The YouTube video below provides a visual guide for how to do chair squats: 


Working out helps to keep our outer physical health in good shape, as well as the health of our internal organs. Regular exercise keeps our heart and lungs strong and makes it easier to remain independent with physical activities. Exercise is about pushing yourself to make healthy choices, but never to the detriment of your physical limits and capabilities; be careful and carry out what feels suitable. Time to break a sweat, all from sitting in a chair!

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