Chair Aerobics

Simply doing chair aerobics is a wonderful way to get moving.

They're easy and energizing.

Chair aerobics can establish a great basis from which to build your fitness.

Fear not, even if you are totally out of shape - or if injury, illness, disability, or weight problems have sidelined you - you'll find that these exercises can

  • exercise the whole body
  • overcome physical limitations
  • boost your mood
  • relieve stress
  • promote self-esteem
  • improve outlook on life

Just remember – regardless of your age, any type of exercise will offer health benefits.

Besides strength and flexibility training while seated (see Sit and be Fit) you can exercise your whole body aerobically, too.

Chair Aerobics Are Cardiovascular Exercises

They raise your heart rate, burn calories and increase endurance.

So, to make sure you are exercising successfully, please consult with your physician and get medical clearance before you start your new routine – especially if you are on medications.

Your new physical activity will be rewarding and life-changing.

Once you are cleared do the following –

Start slow, pace yourself then gradually increase your level of exercise.

Keep it enjoyable.

Try doing chair aerobics daily.

Small victories are motivating and confidence-building. At first, these could be simply boosting your mood or reducing everyday stress. Save achieving fitness goals for later.

Create an exercise habit. It doesn't take long at all to do that.

A good habit is so much easier to stick with.

But don't be disappointed in yourself if you skip some days. It does happen. It's human.

Get right back into it and enjoy.

As I said earlier, chair aerobics raise your heart rate and improve cardiovascular fitness.

They consist of a series of fast-paced repetitive movements while seated. The lighter the resistance the higher should be the number of repetitions.

At a gym setting, you can use a variety of machines for seated exercises. Find a qualified and certified instructor to show you the safe use of these.

The following exercises are for your at-home convenience.

Proper warm-up is essential and will help to loosen up stiff joints.

Chair Marching is a Good Warm-up

While seated, alternately lift the feet off the floor, as if marching. In the beginning, you may want to stay with smaller movements.

To raise your heart rate faster exaggerate your movements further. Marching and lifting the feet higher while also pumping your arms increase the heart rate more than smaller movements.

Shoulder lifts and shoulder circles are loosening up your joints nicely.

Shadow-boxing is a good example of an easy cardio exercise. You can do this with or without weights (dumbbells or resistance bands).

No dumbbells? No problem. Use filled water bottles or soup cans.

Or use resistance bands. I love them and use them all the time.

Wrap them under your chair and start out light and easy.

Lift your arms to shoulder height, clench the fists (palms facing down) and punch straight forward, one hand at a time. Alternate with punching out to the sides while rotating your torso. Avoid locking the elbow joint by not fully extending the arms, as this could lead to injury. Keep your back straight.

Now lift your arms again and bend your elbows to 90 degrees with your palms facing forward. Extend your arms up (and/or push light dumbbells or a resistance band upward) then bring them back to starting position. Repeat as fast or as slow as you desire.

For an additional cardiovascular benefit, while pumping the arms overhead you may want to keep marching your feet in place.

While seated, alternately kick your legs straight out. If you're flexible enough, try kicking your legs higher. Pump your arms for added cardiovascular benefit.

Do biceps curls. With your arms lifted and straight, palms facing up, clench your fists and curl the arms.

Perform fast repetitions (20-30) of chest presses, overhead presses and biceps curls. Maintain the exercises at a steady rhythm as this keeps your heart rate elevated to better benefit your heart muscle.

This chair aerobics workout should take about 10 minutes. You may even break it down to 2 or 3 easy 5-minute sessions per day.

With increasing endurance extend the time (small weekly increases) to 20 – 30 minutes.

You can find some great workout examples on YouTube. This one is about 12 minutes long. Try it. You may like it.

Stop any exercise if you experience discomfort or pain, shortness of breath or dizziness.

Don't exercise muscles or muscle groups that are injured.

Always make sure to stay well hydrated.

And remember, you can easily contact me here with your questions.

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