Weave seated exercise into everyday life

There are many simple things you can do TOGETHER as you go through daily life to encourage more flexibility, strength, and mobility – all benefits of exercise – even for someone who is very inactive. Exercise on the sly is still exercise. Try ankle circles, or writing your name in the air with your toe, when sitting and waiting – like at the doctor’s office. Explore sitting position to encourage an upright spine – maybe use a wedge cushion – and then introduce looking in different directions, like out the window, behind you, even under the chair. Lift ordinary objects like a potato, a grapefruit, a handbag ( which may be quite heavy!).

For a person eager to get exercise, it’s beneficial to talk about the value of the activity. Research suggests that knowing you are exercising helps you get more out of it – I’m referring to a study of hotel maids. Half the research group were educated on how much good exercise they were getting doing the chores of their jobs, like vacuuming, or changing bedsheets. The other half did the same work, but received no instruction. At the end of the study period, their fitness had not increased as much as those who were thinking about the fitness advantages of their jobs.

If a frail person is against the idea of exercising, just weave the moves into everyday activities and be glad that much is getting done. At a loss for ideas? Look in Chairmasters pages.

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