The many benefits of exercise are well documented and, if you are at all able, you should get up and move your body. However, some people have difficulty with standard workouts. Fortunately, for those unable to stand and move from their seat for the exercise, options are still available to move your body and gain some of the benefits of exercise.
What kinds of exercises are available for those unable to jog or go to the gym? Three broad categories to work from are:
- Cardiovascular exercises – “This includes any movement that raises your heart rate and increases endurance. If you cannot stand, water exercises can be an option.”
- Strength training exercises – “If you have limited lower body mobility, you can still perform exercises to strengthen your upper body, including your core, back, arms, and shoulders.”
- Flexibility exercises – “These may include stretching exercises, either seated or on the floor, and chair yoga. Tai Chi can also be modified and adapted to be done while seated.”
To maximize the effectiveness of limited mobility exercises, Dr. Mercola recommends the following:
- “A stable armless chair to sit in. Make sure it doesn’t have wheels or slide easily, unless the exercise actually calls for a chair with wheels
- “A resistance band, two Frisbee rings or small (child sized) hula hoops, and hand weights of suitable weight based on your current strength
- “Optional items you may want if and when you’re ready to increase the difficulty of the exercise: an exercise ball, wrist, and/or ankle weights
- “Remember to maintain good posture throughout each exercise, and engage your core by imagining your sternum moving back towards your spine
- “If you are frail and/or have poor balance, be sure to perform any and all exercises with supervision and/or assistance”
The chair is necessary for safety reasons. The resistance bands are useful for exercises simulating weight training without the potential dangers of using free weights. Frisbee rings, hula hoops, hand weights, wrist weights, and ankle weights provide resistance for muscle development. An exercise ball is useful as you becomes more mobile for it’s uses for stretching and balance.
With just a few small items at hand, you can work to build muscle and move your body for cardiovascular health and begin to receive the benefits of exercise now.