Sit and Be Fit

by Editorial Board on November 6, 2013 · 1 comment

in Health & Wellness,Living with a Disability

Seated exercises are a great option for people who use wheelchairs or who are unable to stand for long periods of time. They’re also ideal for helping elderly people maintain a level of fitness that assists them in feeling independent. Even if you are fit and able to stand, perform these exercises in your office chair or as you watch TV to give your body a boost of energy.

Not all people will be able to perform all of the following exercises. And remember, before you begin any kind of exercise program, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or health professional to ensure you’re not taking any risks. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop the exercises and seek medical assistance immediately.

Stay seated and work specific areas with these easy-to-follow exercises:

Ankles: Lift your left leg up slightly, holding it out in front of you. Slowly circle your ankle around, 5x to the right, then 5x to the left. Repeat with the right ankle.

Shins: With your feet planted on the floor in front of you shoulder-width apart, slowly move your toes up toward your shins. Hold for a few seconds, then place them back down again. Repeat 6-10x. This is a great exercise if you get shin splints from walking.

Calves: Extend your leg straight out in front of you. Keeping your back straight, pull your toes back toward your knee. You should feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 3 seconds, then release. Repeat 4x for each leg.

Hips and bottom: First, squeeze the buttocks muscles tight together. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Next, sit on your left hip, lifting the other one up, and tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold for 2 seconds, then release. Repeat 4x for each hip.

Back: With your back straight and your feet flat on the ground, bring one knee to the chest and hug it there. Hold for 2 seconds, then release. Repeat 4x with each leg.

Spine and neck: Sit up straight with your feet flat on the ground. Take your left arm and grip the left armrest or edge of your chair. Bring your right arm across your body and grip the back of the chair, twisting your torso around. Turn your neck to look as far over your left shoulder as possible. Hold for 3 seconds, then release. Repeat 2x per side.

Shoulders: Sit up straight. With your hands resting on your legs, roll your shoulders forward, first your left, then your right, then both together. Repeat 5x for each shoulder, then roll them backward in the same pattern.

Cool down: Shake out all your limbs, place your hands above your head and stretch up. Hold for two seconds, then release. Try adding a few minutes of deep breathing or meditation afterward to put a calm finish on your exercise time.

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