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Keeping fit and mobile in later life

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As we age, our physical limitations can often prevent us staying as active as we perhaps once were. But having low mobility doesn’t have to mean that exercising and fitness are completely off the table.

Seated exercises offer a great way to stay active and are well suited to those with restricted mobility or who may not be as steady on their feet. Not only do chair exercises have a positive effect on the body physically, they can also provide a boost to mental wellbeing.

It’s not just older people who can benefit from chair exercises, but people of all ages living with conditions that limit movements or cause regular pains. Whether it’s gentle stretches and yoga poses or more rapid activity, there are plenty of ways to keep motivated while staying put in your favourite, comfy seat.

Chair yoga

Yoga has become extremely popular in recent years, as it provides a calmer and gentler way of exercising. While yoga usually involves standing, a form of chair yoga has been developed for those who find it easier to stay seated. Despite this, it still provides an excellent way for people to loosen up, stay flexible and even improve blood circulation.

Regularly doing a session of chair yoga for up to 30 minutes can help someone with restricted mobility to build strength and improve their flexibility, as well as lower their blood pressure. A fun routine of arm stretches and poses will be highly beneficial without causing too much stress or strain on joints or posture.

Seated exercises

For a bit more of an energetic workout, there are plenty of exercises besides yoga that can be done from a seated position. These can include seated rowing (stretching arms forward and pulling them back), hand squeezes and raising your arms overhead. Holding some small hand weights while stretching are also beneficial for keeping up your strength, but don’t overdo it if you can’t manage.

It’s not just your arms that can get a good workout while sitting down. There are a few gentle exercises for your lower body too; just because you’re not standing, doesn’t mean you can’t keep your legs limbered up! You can start slow with a routine of squeezing and relaxing your inner thighs, before moving on to gentle knee lifts. Extending your legs out and rotating your ankles a few times will also encourage flexibility and blood flow.

Exercises don’t always have to be highly energetic, but if you can try to get about 30 minutes of activity each day, it will be hugely beneficial to staying fit and mobile in old age. This doesn’t have to be one 30-minute session, mind. Even doing 5 or 10 minutes at different times in the day can will help you to stay active and may even cause less strain on your body.