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No Need to Stand


Last summer I began having problems with my shoulder. After exhausting all home remedies, including rest and copious amounts of Ibuprofen, I finally broke down and saw an orthopedic surgeon. His diagnosis was a “frozen shoulder”. Thankfully I don’t need surgery, but nine months of virtual inactivity has not been fun. It’s only when you can no longer do something that you begin to miss it. That’s how it is for me anyway. Being unable to lift weights or play tennis got my gray matter working and now I’m sharing with you a few exercises most everyone can do, especially seniors.


Last week I shared and listed some “life sports” including walking and swimming, but not everyone past age 65 can do these. I also shared some statistics about inactivity and its relation to chronic health problems. Today, I’m disregarding the statistics, I have provided more than enough. This time I went online looking for chair exercises that while not as challenging or invigorating as cycling, swimming or walking still works muscles you might not otherwise regularly use. I found thousands of sites for chair and low impact exercises. These included chair yoga and others for strength, balance, and cardio. One of the best sites I found was: They have an array of seated exercises geared for seniors.


I’ve tried hard to focus on exercises that are somewhat fun and easy yet challenging and will get you moving. I’m listing these exercises merely to prove there are multiple exercises available to anyone regardless of age or fitness level. Just be smart, do what you can and, above all else, HAVE FUN! Here is a list of some simple chair exercises:

  • March in place;
  • Toe raises;
  • Heel raises;
  • Breathe in, breathe out;
  • Bicep curls;
  • Wrist curls;
  • Rotating punch;
  • Hip Abduction;
  • Towel pulls

This list is by no means exhaustive but is intended to give you an idea what exercises can be done by an older adult who has trouble doing much else but still wants to remain active physically. We are all limited, but there is still something we can do and enjoy doing it. On any chair exercise, be sure to use a sturdy chair that does not roll. You can also choose to use light weights, even ankle weights for the leg exercises. Substituting a water bottle or book for a weight will also work.

For the last several weeks I’ve written on physical exercises, ways to stay mobile and retain a degree of independence. Beginning next week, I will explore ways of keeping your mind sharp. Examples include writing, playing board games and pursuing a hobby. I hope you’ll join me.