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  • Writer's pictureNikita Chand

Daily At – Home Sitting and Standing Exercises for Seniors


Daily At – Home Sitting and Standing Exercises for Seniors


Exercises in older adults helps with building muscle and muscle tone. It also helps supports the ligaments and cartilage that surrounds the joints to keep them strong and lubricated. When we don’t use our muscles, we end up losing our muscles as they atrophy. Losing muscle makes it harder to do activities of daily living as we age, such as going from laying to sitting on our own, standing up, walking, bending over, reaching for items, etc. Doing daily exercises will improve our mood, decrease pain, strengthen our muscles, increase bone density and help us recover faster if we experience injuries such as a fall.


– Perform each of these exercises 10 to 15 reps. Take a 5 to 10 second break and do it again for 2 more sets of 10 to 15 reps, making sure to take a 5 to 10 second break between each set. Total of 3 sets for each exercise.


– Have a sturdy chair, such as a kitchen chair to sit in while doing these exercises.


– Start the exercises with the lower body and work your way up your body.


– Start with no weight, and gradually add weight to some of the exercises (ex. 1lb, 2lb, etc). – It can take between 10 to 25 minutes to perform all of these exericses. Take rest and go at your own pace. – Ideally, a caregiver should instruct and mimic each of these exercises with you if your unable to do it on your own. – Do not overstretch any muscle or joint, if something feels uncomfortable, only stretch as far as you feel comfortable. A little bit of soreness is to be expected, and it was improve with more and more practice as your range of motion improves. – Have water nearby to rehydrate yourself as you perform these exercises, taking small sips. – Take any regularly scheduled pain medication 30 minutes before starting exercise if needed. (ex. Tylenol). This will help encourage you to do the exercises if pain is not a hinderance. However, be mindful that we do not want to overstretch any part of our body that is known to be weaker or injured just because you have taken a pain medication. – If you start to feel lightheaded or experience an increase in pain, stop, reassess and take a longer break as needed.

– Aim to do these exercises everyday. You may feel sore for the next few days when first starting, but know that this means your body is getting use to the exercise and is building muscle, so don’t stop! Exercise # 1 – Foot push and pull While sitting in chair – push feet at the same time as if pushing on a gas pedal, and then pulling feet towards you. Do 10 – 15 reps. 3 sets. Exercise # 2 – Ankle rotation While sitting in chair, do one foot at a time – slowly rotate ankle clockwise for 10 to 15 times. Then, rotate opposite direction for 10 to 15 times. Do 3 sets for each foot. Exercise # 3 – Knee extensions While sitting in a chair, slowly raise one leg at a time from the knee and then bring back down. Do each knee 10 to 15 times for 3 sets. Exercise # 4 – Hip lift While sitting in a chair, slowly raise one bended leg up from the hip and lower down to the ground. Do this to each leg 10 times, for 3 sets. Exercise # 5 – Arm raises While sitting in a chair, raise both arms on your side like a airplane and bring back down to your body. Do this 10 to 15 times, for 3 sets. Exercise # 6 – Bicep curls While sitting in a chair, bend arms upwards from the elbow and squeeze bicep muscle and slowly bring arm back down. Do this 10 to 15 times, for 3 sets.

Exercise # 7 – Wrist rotations While sitting in a chair, slowly rotate wrists in one directions for 10 to 15 times, and then in the opposite direction for 10 to 15 times. Do this for 3 sets.

Exercise # 8 – Shoulder shrug While sitting in a chair, roll shoulders back for 10 to 15 times, and then bring forward and roll forward for 10 to 15 times. Do 3 sets.

Exercise # 9 – Neck rotation While sitting in a chair, gently tilt head to left side of shoulder and hold for 5 seconds, and then to tilt to right side of shoulder and hold for 5 seconds. Do this 10 times on each side for 3 sets. Exercise # 10 – Neck forward and backward While sitting in a chair, gently extend neck backward slowly, and then forward slowly, bringing chin to chest. Do this 10 times for 3 sets.

Exercise # 11 – Sit to stand exercise While sitting in a chair, bring walker or table in front of you. Hold on to walker as you push yourself up through your heels and stand up. Do this 10 times.

Exercise # 12 – Standing marching exercise While standing with walker or table in front of you, march in place. Bring one leg up as high as you can tolerate and do this while alternating leg. Perform exercise for 10 to 15 reps. Take a break and repeat for 3 sets.

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