Keeping Older Adults Active: 5 Easy Chair Exercises

chair exercises

Exercise is essential for everyone, and it’s vital for older people to stay fit and active. However, with age, your loved one may experience chronic joint pain or worry about falls, and these issues can make workouts more challenging. Chair exercises are an excellent option for people with limited mobility, which can decline with age and conditions like Parkinson’s and ALS.

Benefits of a Seated Exercise Routine

Chair exercises can be beneficial for wheelchair users, people experiencing cognitive decline, heart attack and stroke survivors, and anyone else with reduced mobility.

Older adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity per week, with muscle-strengthening resistance exercises at least two days per week. However, if your loved one lives a primarily sedentary lifestyle, any amount of movement will enhance their quality of life, reduce their risk of depression, and allow them to enjoy more independence as they get older.

Seated exercises can improve strength, posture, flexibility, balance, and range of motion without putting excess stress on the body. They also increase circulation and relieve joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness.

What Are the Best Chair Exercises for Older Adults? 

A chair-based fitness plan should include cardio, strength training, and moves that focus on building balance and mobility. To start, get a doctor’s approval and a sturdy chair without wheels. Then, your loved one can try these five easy chair exercises.

1. Marches

This exercise is an outstanding cardio warmup move that elevates the heart rate and core body temperature. If your loved one wants more of a challenge, they can use ankle weights as they alternate lifting their legs as high as they can.

2. Jumping Jacks 

A seated jumping jack removes the plyometric aspect of jumping, but is still a full-body exercise. Modifying this traditional aerobic move to a chair exercise supports bone and heart health, mobility, and coordination.

3. Biceps Curls

Seated biceps curls strengthen the upper arms, making it easier to pick up and carry things like grandchildren and groceries. While most people use hand weights for this exercise, your loved one can use soup cans if they do not have dumbbells.

4. Shoulder Press

A seated shoulder press builds upper-body strength and supports the musculoskeletal system. This exercise works the deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and core.

5. Seated Forward Bend

Any workout should include stretches for flexibility. A seated forward bend stretches the hips and hamstrings, while preventing low back pain and improving posture. Remember to stay in a pain-free range of motion rather than pushing through discomfort.

Allowing Your Loved One to Age in Place

A plan for healthy aging in place must account for daily movement that promotes an active lifestyle. At Legacy Homecare LA, we specialize in providing older adults with the attention and compassion they need, while monitoring them for risk factors. Having a highly trained Care Companion as part of your loved one’s health team can give you peace of mind that they are always in good hands.  

Remaining in familiar surroundings gives older adults much-needed stability and comfort. We bring our expertise into your loved one’s home to support them as they age and educate them on the importance of fitness and nutrition. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your family.

Need more information?

Help your loved one thrive with homecare services you can depend on

Our companion care goes far beyond any condition. We’re committed to the person behind it.

More articles...

A caregiver from Legacy Homecare LA is assisting a person with Parkinson's disease during mealtime, focusing on managing dysphagia. The image highlights the importance of specialized caregiving for individuals with Parkinson's, particularly in dealing with swallowing difficulties and promoting proper nutrition.
All Resources

Dealing with Dysphagia: Mealtime Tips for Parkinson’s Care

Welcome to Legacy Homecare LA, your trusted provider of ...
A caregiver and their client, a person with dementia, are sitting together and reading a book. The image illustrates the therapeutic benefits of storytelling for individuals with dementia, promoting engagement and connection through shared narratives.
Alzheimer's Resources

The Benefits of Storytelling in Dementia Care

Welcome to Legacy Homecare LA, your trusted partner in ...
A caregiver and their client, a person with dementia, are seen tending to a plant in a garden. The image illustrates the therapeutic benefits of gardening for individuals with dementia, promoting relaxation and sensory stimulation.
Companionship Caregivers

Gardening Together: Growing More Than Just Plants

The Power of Gardening Gardening has been shown to ...
A caregiver is seen reading a book to their loved one with Parkinson's, focusing on dealing with dysphagia. The image illustrates the therapeutic benefits of storytelling in Parkinson's caregiving, fostering communication and emotional connection between the caregiver and patient.
Companionship Caregivers

The Importance of Advocacy in Companionship Care

What is Advocacy in Companionship Care? Advocacy in companionship ...