Chair exercises help with strength and flexibility for people of any age

If you are over 70 and wishing you were in better physical shape, the answer to your dilemma is as close as your kitchen! No, it’s not your refrigerator…it’s your chair. Chair exercise is the hot new way for anyone, no matter what your age or physical ability, to find your way back to the strength and stamina you had in your youth.

Chair exercises are a gentle way for seniors to build muscle strength and stay flexible. These simple slow-moving exercises can also improve balance, increase metabolism, relieve pain and improve mental alertness.

Done daily, these gentle exercises will turn tired, flabby muscles into strong vital ones that not only improve balance and movement, but will greatly improve mental acuity. They are easy to learn, don’t require any special equipment and can be done alone or as part of a group.

Heritage of Peachtree Independent & Assisted Living holds chair exercise classes every morning at 9 a.m. Eager residents line up ready to stretch their arms and legs. These residents have made the daily classes a must in their health routine—with results of strong, limber bodies and active minds.
Peggy Biddle, Heritage Activity Director, oversees the Chair Exercise program, helping residents to achieve the maximum benefit of these simple exercises. In addition to the basic exercise program, Heritage also offers a “Pump It Up” expanded exercise program, which provides residents who desire a more intense workout the opportunity to take part in the combination program utilizing a chair for support while engaging in standing exercises.

Exercise your hands, arms and shoulders:
Step 1: Extend both arms in front of you, even with your shoulders, and wiggle your fingers. Do this for 20 seconds and return arms to your sides.
Step 2: Close fists as if in a boxing position, and “box” the air, swinging arms in front of you. Do this for 20 seconds and return arms to your sides.
Step 3: Lift your left hand over your head slowly and hold it there for 10 seconds. Return it to your side. Repeat the same movement with your right hand.
Step 4: Do arm circles by extending arms straight out to your sides. Slowly rotate your arms forward 5 times, then rotate them backwards 5 times. Return arms to your sides.
Step 5: Relax your shoulders, raise your arms and place your fingers on top of your shoulders. Gently rotate your arms forward 5 times, and then backward 5 times. Return arms to your sides.

Exercise Your Legs and Feet:
Step 1: Extend your legs straight out in front and wiggle your toes. Do this for 10 seconds and return to your normal position.
Step 2: Sit up straight with legs in front and feet flat on the floor. Lift the heels of both feet and gently bounce them up and down 15 times.
Step 3: Sit up straight and lift and extend your legs in front. Slowly cross one leg over the other while holding them in the air, and hold this position for 5 seconds. Reverse position and cross the other leg over. Hold for 5 seconds and return feet to the floor. Repeat the entire exercise 5 times.
Step 4: Sit up straight and place feet flat on the floor at a slight angle. Slowly lift your toes up without lifting your heels from the floor. Repeat 10 times.
Step 5: Sit up straight with legs in front and feet flat on the floor. Slowly raise and bend one leg and clasp knee in your hands. Hold for 5 seconds and return foot to the floor. Repeat with the other leg. Do this 5 times with each leg.

Exercise Your Lower Body:
Step 1: Sit up straight in the chair and extend both legs and both arms directly in front of you. Hold that position for 5 seconds and return to your normal position. Repeat 2 to 3 more times.
Step 2: Sit up straight in your chair with feet resting on the floor at a slight angle. Place both hands on your thighs and slowly move forward and then backward while keeping your back as straight as possible. Repeat this 5 times.

Exercise classes are just one way Heritage of Peachtree residents keep themselves fit. The property has a paved walking path for the serious walker or birdwatcher. Relaxation sessions offer residents the opportunity to tune out stress and worry. Massage Therapy sessions provide residents with weekly muscle relaxation and therapy. Weekly Group Discussion meetings uplift and encourage residents, keeping the mind sharp and involved.

The mind and body work together to delay aging. Exercising both will go a long way toward keeping one young and “young-at-heart”. For more information on Heritage of Peachtree programs, call 770-631-3461. Heritage is located at 1967 Highway 54 W., just at the edge of Peachtree City.