Some people question how much of a workout chair exercises are. Done correctly and chair exercises can be just as much of a workout as going for a walk or riding a bike. The key is to do them correctly and for long enough.
Sit Straight Against the Back of the Chair
Always start chair exercises by sitting straight up. Do not let your parents slouch or allow the spine to curve forward much. You want their hips and thighs to be flat on the seat and the spine against the back of the chair. This enables a full deep breath that helps ease stress while your parents’ exercise.
Use Resistance to Build Muscle
From a seated position, your parents have the power of using their arms and torso to create resistance. For leg/knee lifts, pushing down with the arms while trying to raise the knee or leg makes the muscles in the thigh work harder.
For upper body exercises, hand weights provide the resistance needed when raising the arms up. If your parents don’t have hand weights, they can use bags of sugar, cookbooks, or other heavier books.
Work Out the Full Body
Chair exercises do not limit your parents to moving just their arms or legs. They could do side twists to stretch out the back and hip muscles. Clenching or tightening stomach muscles, calves, and the gluteal muscles and relaxing them works out those areas, too.
Start by doing head/neck rolls and twists. Move onto the shoulders. Lean forward and sit straight back up to work out the back muscles. Tighten the abs, calves, and glutes to tone them. Leg and knee lifts work the legs. Ankle and foot rolls work out the muscles of the feet. Finish with arm lifts, finger stretches, and wrist motions to work out the hands.
Put on Music
While working out, put on some peppy music that makes your parents want to move to the beat. If the average length of the songs is four minutes, your parents would get the full workout in just eight songs. They can sing along and enjoy themselves while they work out.
Do your dad and mom need someone to cheer them on as they do their daily exercises? If you live too far away or have to be at work, make sure your parents have the support they need at home. Home care aides help with housework and meals, but they also provide companionship.
Home care aides can be the cheerleader your parents need to stay motivated while completing their chair exercises. Caregivers also help them keep track of what muscle group is next. Call to make the arrangements.