For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While seniors may not be able to participate in vigorous activity, low to moderate intensity movement is still important. For those who limited to chair exercise, you may not consider cardio activity as something you can accomplish, but cardio chair workouts can help raise your heart rate and build muscle without having to stand.
If your mobility is limited because of an illness or injury, you can exercise to maintain good heart and lung health, and possibly lose a little weight, with chair cardio exercises. A seated workout can be much more than mobility movements. Chair exercises can help increase cardio fitness, flexibility and strengthen muscles. Low impact workouts are easy on your joints but still effective for toning and increasing cardio capacity.
Here are a few video workouts to get you started.
In this video, Coach Nicole leads you through a fun and effective aerobic workout that burns calories and blasts fat right from your chair. It’s perfect for all exercise levels.
Here, a gentle, low-impact program for seniors gets the heart rate up and gets the blood moving.
And in this video, trainer Curtis Adams takes seniors through an exciting cardio workout. This program has options for those both standing and seated.
You may not realize it, but these small-range-of-motion exercises are great for toning muscles and getting the heart beating a little faster. If you want a little more challenge to some of these seated workouts, you could add a pair of hand weights – or just hold something with a little weight like a can of soup.
Remember to warm up for at least 5 minutes before starting your cardio exercise. These simple movements get the blood pumping to your muscles and raise your heart rate gradually to help prevent injury. Make sure to check with your physician before starting any exercise program to make sure the exercises are appropriate for you.