Page 11 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - January 2017 - 24-01
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Strength Training Exercise in a Chair or Wheelchair
Many traditional upper body exercises can be done from a seated position using dumbbells, resistant bands, or anything that is weighted and fits in your hand, like soup cans.
Perform exercises such as shoulder presses, bicep curls, and triceps extensions using heavier weights and more resistance than for cardio exercises. Aim for two to three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions for each exercise, adding weight and more exercises as your strength improves.
Resistance bands can be attached to furniture, a doorknob, or your chair. Use these for pull-downs, shoulder rotations, and arm and leg-extensions.
Flexibility Exercise in a Chair or Wheelchair
Most yoga poses can be modified or adapted depending on your physical mobil- ity, weight, age, medical condition, and any injury or disability. Chair yoga is ideal if you have a disability, injury, or a medical condition such arthritis, chronic obstruc- tive pulmonary disease, osteoporosis, or multiple sclerosis.
If you’re in a wheelchair or have limited mobility in your legs, stretching throughout the day can help reduce pain and pressure on your muscles that often accompanies sitting for long periods.
Stretching while lying down or practicing yoga in a chair can also help increase flex- ibility and improve your range of motion.
To ensure these exercises are practiced correctly, it’s best to learn by attending group classes, hiring a private teacher, or at least following video instructions. Always be sure your physician is aware of your exercising desires.
Even if you are frail or chair-bound,
you can still experience the mood-boosting effects of exercise.
Chair-bound adults can improve fitness with strength training, flexibility, and even some cardio activities.
If being chair-bound has prevented
you from trying exercise in the past, take heart knowing that when you become
more physically active, the results will amaze you. Like any exercise program,
a chair-bound fitness routine takes a little creativity and personalization to keep it fun.
Chair-bound exercises are ideal for people with lower body injuries or disabilities, those with weight problems or diabetes,
and frail seniors looking to reduce their
risk of falling. Cardiovascular and flexibility chair exercises can help improve posture and reduce back pain, while any chair exercise can help alleviate body sores caused by sitting in the same position for long periods. They’re also a great way
to squeeze in a workout while you’re watching TV.
• If possible, choose a chair that allows you to keep your knees at 90 degrees when seated. If you’re in a wheelchair, securely apply the brakes or otherwise immobilize the chair.
• Try to sit up tall while exercising and use your abs to maintain good posture.
• If you suffer from high blood pressure,
check your blood pressure before exercising and avoid chair exercises that involve weights.
• Test your blood sugar before
and after exercise if you take diabetes medication that can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Cardiovascular Exercise in a Chair or Wheelchair
Chair aerobics, a series of seated repetitive movements, will raise your heart rate and help you burn calories, as will many strength training exercises when performed at a fast pace with a high number of repetitions. In fact any rapid, repetitive movements offer aerobic benefits and can also help to loosen up stiff joints.
Wrap a lightweight resistance band under your chair (or bed or couch, even) and perform rapid resistance exercises, such as chest presses, for a count of
one second up and two seconds down.
Try several different exercises to start, with 20 to 30 reps per exercise, and gradually increase the number of exercises, reps, and total workout time as your endurance improves.
Simple air-punching, with or without hand weights, is an easy cardio exercise from a seated position, and can be fun when playing along with a Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360 video game.
Many swimming pools and health clubs offer pool-therapy programs with access for wheelchair users. If you have some leg function, try a water aerobics class.
Some gyms offer wheelchair-training machines that make arm-bicycling and rowing possible. For a similar exercise at home, some portable pedal machines can be used with the hands when secured to a table in front of you.
Add competition to your workouts too. Several organizations offer adaptive exercise programs and competitions for sports such as basketball, track and field and more. ting.
Senior Times - January 2017
Page 11
You’ve read about it, seen it on TV, heard about it from friends...
Your loved one has wandered off and you’re scared for them.
When you register a person with the Help Home program they can be identified visually, by phone number, by address, or even by name. With the
emergency contact information provided, authorities can bring them back home without an unnecessary trip to the emergency room. Take the time to
register your loved one today and feel the relief of knowing that you are giving emergency services one more tool to return them to you.
The Help Home program is maintained by the Calhoun County Dispatch Authority. The information is immediately accessible when you call 9-1-1.
To register contact them at (269) 781-9703 or (269) 781-9701 today.
The Help Home program
is a voluntary program
whereby a person with
dementia or their loved one,
can register emergency information with the
Calhoun County Dispatch Authority in order to be returned home quickly and safely if lost.

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