Exercises for Seniors with Limited Mobility
Living with limited mobility can be incredibly challenging, especially if you were once a very active person who enjoyed sports, exercise, and keeping fit. But regardless of your past health and wellness habits, it’s important to keep your body active and working properly in order to full enjoy your golden years! Thankfully, there are some great exercises you can be doing to keep your fitness levels up, even if you are now limited in your mobility and movement. Keep reading to learn more!
Chair Exercises – Strength-building
Did you know you can work out your upper and lower body, and even your core, while sitting in a chair? It’s true! There are several great chair exercises that you can practice on a daily or weekly basis to keep you fit and healthy, even as you struggle with limited mobility. Some exercises are relatively simple and target key areas of the body. For instance, you can use water bottles or soup cans as weights (or nothing at all to begin with) and, holding one bottle or can in each hand, raise your arms above your head to work your shoulders and upper back. You can also use the makeshift weights to do bicep curls and tricep dips, getting a real upper body workout!
You can even work your lower body while you’re sitting down! Making sure to hold on to the arms of the chair for balance and stability, flex your feet and raise both legs up and down from the knee joint in a slow, deliberate motion. This will work your lower legs and, if you try doing the exercise without holding onto the chair, also help you become a bit more balanced. Once you feel strong enough, try using ankle weights to add a bit of resistance!
Chair Exercises – Cardiovascular
In addition to building strength and muscle through simple chair exercises, you can also improve your cardiovascular health! One fun exercise is to dance in your chair – simply put on some of your favorite tunes and move to the beat! You can get a great workout for your legs, arms, and even your core muscles doing your most creative dance moves.
Another fun chair exercise to get your heart rate going is to get moving on a roller chair – this works great if you have an office chair or other chair with wheels on it in the house. Find some non-carpeted floor and using your legs, arms, or both, propel yourself around the space. You can even put on some music and make a game of it by racing a friend! Just be sure to keep yourself in control and not go too fast!!
Want to get even more ideas for chair exercises? Check out this great video!
Another great option for those with limited mobility is to take part in some low-impact aerobics that will help build your cardiovascular health but won’t put any stress on your bones or joints. Working out in a pool is a fantastic way to get a total body workout – and it’s fun! A good way to ease yourself into this kind of workout is to simply walk laps in the pool – aim to be in water that’s about chest height to reduce stress to almost all of your joints, and move your arms as you walk to help work your upper body. If your legs are a bit weak, try sitting on a foam noodle or other flotation device and use your arms propel yourself forward – you’ll be feeling the burn in no time! If you’d like to focus on your lower body, hold on to a kickboard and kick your way across the pool. Just be sure to keep your legs relatively straight and to kick with your whole leg – this will ensure that you don’t put any unnecessary stress on your knee joints.
Don’t Forget to Stretch!
No matter what type of exercise you choose, don’t forget to stretch! Stretching not only helps you warm up and cool down from exercise, but also allows you to work on your flexibility and maintain healthy joints. Try to stretch every time you exercise, as well as other times during the week to keep your muscles in good shape. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. You’ll feel at peace, energized, and ready for anything that comes your way!
Even if you suffer from limited mobility, you can still lead a healthy and active lifestyle! Try any or all of these exercises to be on your way to a fitter and more energetic you!