4 Useful Chair Exercise – Balance, Flexibility, Sitting, Strength

AoD’s Health and Wellbeing Club have re-produced a series of 4 Chair Based Exercises that are available on the NHS Choices Website (www.nhs.uk)

Below you will find a Large Print Microsoft Word and a PDF version of the following Exercises:

  • Balance
  • Flexibility
  • Sitting
  • Strength

These exercises are suitable for all ages, especially good if you are trying to get active and need to start slowly.

Getting Started

  • If you’ve not done much physical activity for a while, you may want to get the all-clear from a GP before starting.
  • For the exercises that require a chair, chose one that is stable, solid and without wheels.
  • You should be able to sit with feet flat on the floor and knees bent at right angles.
  • Avoid chairs with arms as this will restrict your movement.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and keep some water handy.
  • Try to attempt these exercises at least twice a week, this will help to improve muscle strength, balance and co-ordination.
  • Build up slowly and aim to increase the repetitions of each exercise over time.
  • As your fitness improves, why not look for a group session near you?
  • Age UK have lots of ideas. ageuk.org.uk

Things to Consider Before Starting an Exercise Routine

Start Slow / Slowly Increase Your Activity Level 

  • Start with an activity you enjoy
  • Go at your own pace
  • Keep your goals manageable. Accomplishing even the smallest fitness goals will help you gain body confidence and keep you motivated.

Make it Part of Your Daily Life 

  • Plan to exercise at the same time every day and combine a variety of exercises to keep you from getting bored.

Stick with it 

  • It takes about a month for a new activity to become a habit.
  • Write down your reasons for exercising and a list of goals and stick them somewhere visible to keep you motivated.
  • Focus on short-term goals, such as improving your mood and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve.
  • It’s easier to stay motivated if you enjoy what you’re doing, so find ways to make exercise fun.
  • Listen to music or watch a TV show while you exercise, or do it with friends.

Expect Ups and Downs

Don’t be discouraged if you skip a few days or even a few weeks. It happens. Just get started again and slowly build up to your old momentum.

Exercising Safely

Stop if You: Experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or clammy hands.

Listen to Yourself: Listening to your body is the best way to avoid injury. If you continually experience pain after 15 minutes of exercise, for example, limit your workouts to 5 or 10 minutes and instead exercise more frequently.

If You’re Already Injured: Avoid activity involving an injured body part. If you have an upper body injury, exercise your lower body while the injury heals, and vice versa. When exercising after an injury has healed, start back slowly, using lighter weights and less resistance

Getting Yourself Ready: Always Warm Up, Stretch, and Cool Down. Warm up with a few minutes of light activity such as walking, arm swinging, and shoulder rolls, followed by some light stretching. (avoid deep stretches when your muscles are cold). After your exercise routine, cool down with a few more minutes of light activity and deeper stretching.

Hydrate: Drink plenty of water. Your body performs best when it’s properly hydrated.

Feel Comfortable: Wear comfortable clothing, such as supportive footwear and clothes that won’t restrict your movement.

Get More from Your Exercises: Add a mindfulness element into your exercise, by paying attention to your body. Focus on how your body feels as you exercise

  • The rhythm of your breathing
  • Your feet striking the ground
  • Your muscles tightening as you lift stuff

Be Proud of Yourself: Acknowledge your achievement when you make the effort to exercise (however small you think it is). Even if it’s not very successful at first it will get easier the more you practice.

1. Chair Exercises – Balance

2. Chair Exercises – Flexibility

3. Chair Exercises – Sitting

please note that unfortunately the Word Version of the Strength Chair Exercises is too big for the Website

1. Chair Exercises – Balance

2. Chair Exercises – Flexibility

3. Chair Exercises – Sitting

3. Chair Exercises – Strength

Exercise and Fitness Tips

Exercising with Limited Mobility

Paper Copies: if you would prefer paper versions (Hard Copies), of the Exercise Sheets attachments, then contact:

Andrew Farrow – Peer Support Volunteer – 0203 080 0384 – Peer.Support@actionondisability.org.uk