The Benefits of Chair Aerobics for Older Adults

Chair aerobics provides a way for older adults to move without putting too much strain on their bodies. Chair exercises are perfect for those with limited mobility or balance issues. The movements increase blood circulation and flexibility. They lubricate the joints and strengthen individual muscles.

The ability to perform daily physical activities increases and dreaded falls decrease. Here’s a look at some chair aerobics seniors can perform sitting in a sturdy, straight-backed chair with feet firmly planted on the ground.

Improve posture

Sit up straight and tighten your belly. Think about bringing your belly button in toward your spine. Hold your neck straight and tuck in your chin. Imagine you have a string pulling up from the top of your head.

Breathe from your belly so your stomach expands as well as your chest. Hold this position and work to build it up because you need it for every other move you do.

Senior woman performing chair aerobics, adult day care center brooklyn nyc

Strengthen shoulders

Shoulder rolls: Sitting tall in your chair, shrug your shoulders up towards your ears. Slowly rotate them to the back, down, to the front and up again.

Switch direction and rotate first to the front and then the back. Repeat 10 times. Performing this movement improves your ability to lift heavy objects.

Increase upper body flexibility

Seated row: Sit on the edge of your chair with your arms out in front of you. Bend your elbows slightly and point thumbs towards the ceiling.

Draw both your elbows as far back as you can while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Repeat this movement 10 times to work your upper back and chest muscles.

Arm press: Here’s another chair aerobics exercise that works your arms, chest and back. Keep your upper arms (shoulder to elbow) parallel to the floor and lower arms (elbow to wrist) perpendicular to it.

Bring your forearms together in front of your face. Return your arms to the starting point, squeezing your shoulder blades together, and repeat 10 times.

With a strong, flexible upper body, you’re able to do many daily activities that could be a problem with weak arms, such as opening a refrigerator door.

Stabilize lower body

Glute squeeze: Squeeze your buttocks muscles together while sitting on your chair. Hold the squeeze for a couple of seconds and release. Repeat ten times. Strengthening your glutes has many benefits in your daily life, including helping you to walk.

Inner thigh squeeze: Sit on the edge of the chair with straight posture. With knees bent, place a ball between your knees. Squeeze the ball by pressing your knees together. Squeeze for 1-2 seconds and release. Repeat 10 times.

Lubricate knee joints

Knee lifts: Slowly lift your right knee towards your chest. Return to starting position. Now lift your left knee and return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

This exercise works the stomach muscles, the muscles that flex the hips, and the quads, which are important for standing and sitting.

Knee extensions: Sit near the edge of the chair with knees bent and hold onto the sides of the chair. Extend your right knee out, pointing toes toward the ceiling. The knee should be slightly bent, not locked.

Go back to the starting position. Switch to the left knee and repeat. Continue alternating 10 times. Knee exercises strengthen the muscles to better support the joints. They can relieve arthritis pain and other problems, like stiffness and swelling.

Chair aerobics improve range of motion

Chair aerobics can make a difference to seniors. Just because they have limited mobility or balance issues doesn’t mean they can’t exercise. It’s even more essential that they enjoy its benefits. It does more than just make them stronger – it improves their self-esteem and state of mind too.