How can I stay fit without leaving my chair?

How can I exercise without leaving my chair

Feeling fit isn’t just about sporting a set of sensational abs, nor is it just for people in their twenties.

In fact, if you start exercising later in life, it can be just as beneficial for your health as exercising while young.

The NHS recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous movement.

In addition, health specialists advise us to incorporate exercises that help strength, balance and flexibility into our schedules at least twice a week.

Why workout?

There are many great reasons to move about, not just for losing weight.

For your physical health, you can reduce the chances of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and weight gain.

You can even decrease your blood pressure, improve your strength and minimise the possibility of falling over. With regular moderate exercise, your immune system has more of a fighting chance against colds, flu and coronavirus. You may even find your digestive system gives you fewer complaints.

In terms of your mental health, people who exercise are at a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression and stress.

Not only that but exercising boosts your endorphins, which help you feel elated afterwards.

When starting your exercise routine

If you’re new to exercise, or you haven’t worked out for a long time, you need to take it easy at first. Light exercise is a good place to start, with gentle walking, dusting, cleaning, making a cup of tea or standing up out of your chair.

As you get more confident, you can progress to more prolonged and slightly more intense exercise.

Chair exercises

The good news is that even if you’re not as fast on your feet as you were, you can still do a workout routine from the comfort of your chair.

It’s advisable to use a chair that doesn’t have arms so you can move more freely. A dining chair is ideal.

Chair workouts often include shoulder rolls, gentle twists and posture exercises. Read about our own workouts here.

They may not seem as advanced as your grandchildren’s Insanity workout DVD or their CrossFit classes, but they are effective enough to start to build your muscles and strength.

Start off with a short 10-15 minute burst a few times a week. If you begin doing 30 minutes or an hour, you might find it tiring and not want to continue. Little and often is the best philosophy!

If you find reading workout instructions taxing, then we’ve picked out a few videos from across the web to get you started.

Important note: While these workouts are suitable for seniors, it’s always advisable to check with your GP before you begin any exercise programme.

We hope you have lots of fun implementing these routines. Let us know how you get on.


More Life Health 15 minute chair workout
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10 minute workout with The Body Coach
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8-minute workout segment from The Sunflower Channel
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