Exercises you can do while Sitting
A lot of people today have started living a sedentary lifestyle, which requires sitting at a desk or computer for long hours every day at a stretch without a lot of physical movement. If you are reading this article, chances are that you remain inactive most of the day such as by sitting in your car or bus while commuting to an eight-hour-a-day desk job, coming home and unwinding in front of the television in the evening before heading to bed for the next day. Whether you are living such a lifestyle by choice or by circumstance, due to an illness which prevents you to move around a lot, such as multiple sclerosis, you can still take care of your heart by doing simple exercises. These exercises can be done at the desk or in front of your computer and can help keep your heart healthy. They will also improve blood circulation through the body and maintain muscle strength.
When performing these sitting exercises, make sure you maintain good posture and keep your back straight. Avoid slumping your back or jerking or bouncing while exercising. It is also not advised to hold your breath during these exercises. So make sure you take deep breaths while exercising. Most of the desk exercises can be easily done at work or at home.
Ankle Pumping – This exercise is done while sitting on the floor with your legs and feet straight in front of you. With your heels on the floor at all times, lift your toes up towards your body as far as you can. Hold for a few seconds before returning back to the normal position. Repeat for a couple of times. You can do one foot at a time or both feet together.
Knee Straightening – In the same sitting position, raise your foot to extend your leg in front of you and straighten your knee. Again hold for five seconds before lowering the leg. Repeat for a couple of times, one leg at a time.
Next we share some exercises which you can do while sitting on a chair. Make sure you choose a sturdy chair with a straight back. Don’t do these exercises while on the couch or on the bed.
Hip Bending – Bend one leg at the knee and as you lower this knee, raise the other knee, alternating each leg. It will look like a march while sitting. Sit on a chair to do this exercise.
Overhead reaching – Raise your arm straight over your head with the palm facing towards the ceiling. Keep your elbow straight. Keep it there for a few seconds before lowering the arm to your side. Repeat the same with the other arm.
Shoulder touching – To do this exercise, you can sit on a chair with a flat back if you want. Sit with your arms at your sides and your palms facing up. Raise the arms below the elbow bend till your hands touch your shoulders. Do not lift your arms. Just bend them at the elbow. Hold them there for a few seconds before lowering your hands and arms back to your sides.
Arm Lifts – Sit on a chair with your arms by your sides, fingers pointing towards the floor. Raise and extend one arm out to your side, the right arm towards your right, and the left arm towards your left, one at a time. This should be similar to jumping jacks, the only difference being that you are not jumping. Keep your palms facing down at all times and your arms straight, without bending. Slowly, lower the raised arm to your side and repeat with the other arm.
Shoulder Shrugs – With your back straight, move your shoulders up and forward in slow and smooth circular motion. Release the shoulders down and back to relax them. If raising both shoulders together is painful, you can do one shoulder at a time.
These sitting exercises can not only help young people who have to spend a lot of their time in front of the computer, but they can also be helpful for old people who cannot exercise a lot. The exercises also help in mobility and improve coordination in patients suffering from diseases like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis. Exercising regularly can keep their heart healthy at the same time. Try these chair exercises while sitting in front of the TV or while at the desk in office. They are also great for seniors and elderly people.
Try these exercises at home and let us know how you feel in the comments below. If you have tried any other sitting exercises, share them with our readers. If you feel that your body is stiff while doing these exercises, contact us for physiotherapy services.
If you are not sure how exercise can help with MS, check out these 10 exercise tips for MS patients by Dr. Monica Marta we shared on our blog earlier.