Chair Exercises. Exercise is important, but gym memberships can be intimidating. Working out at home is always an option, but where do you start, and what can you do that might be effective?
Generally, chair exercises can increase your health and be a great introduction to moving to a more healthy lifestyle. They’re accessible, easy to do, and usually don’t require you to purchase any additional equipment to perform.
There are pros and cons to any type of exercise, so stick with us, and we’ll cover them so you can make the best decisions for your health.
Cons To Chair Exercises
Chair Exercises At Work
Due to COVID, many folks are still finding themselves able to work from home. Around my town, many are being recalled back into the office, but even some of those are still maintaining a hybrid work schedule. Chair workouts at the office may be a bit more complicated than doing so from home.
Workouts cause exertion and sweat, which could lead to unpleasant smells, sweaty coworkers, and increased noise depending on the exertion levels reached while exercising. You don’t want to be that person who is yelling out to get that last rep in and startle everyone in the building! Before taking up chair workouts in the office, you may want to also check with your supervisor or HR to ensure that doing so is not against company policy.
If you’re looking for a more advanced workout, chair exercises may not be enough to give you the full workout you would otherwise find in a gym or outdoor setting. Getting your heart rate up while sitting in a chair may be difficult if you’re not able to run or jog. Likewise, if your goal is building muscle, your strength training will be quite limited in a chair that’s not meant to support the kind of weight you would need for a thorough strength program.
Working out in a chair may not be a great idea if your form isn’t correct. Someone who is not conscious of their form while working out can end up having injuries or chronic pain, which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve by staying active. Mindfulness while performing chair (or any) exercise is ideal, and will be essential to get the most return from the effort.
Going to a gym can have great mental health benefits as well as the added physical benefits. Seeing and talking to other like-minded people who are trying to stay in shape can be motivating and fun. Not having that camaraderie can cause someone, especially those who work from home to miss out on the benefits of socializing with others.
Motivation to work out may also be lacking and goes in hand with the above section. When we walk into a gym, our mind registers the equipment and other people intent on working out and we begin to prepare ourselves for the coming workout. Some people may find working out in a chair just doesn’t lend itself to a beneficial workout and may find that the desire to continue just isn’t there.
Everyone on the planet has the same number of hours in a day. Efficiently using that time is something that allows us to be more productive. Someone who is struggling with finding time during the day to exercise may just be in luck if they are able to fit some time in with chair exercises. This multi-tasking may be just the edge we need to stay in shape, enabling us to exercise while working, or even while watching a show.
Another added benefit of chair exercises is that you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year in gym membership fees. Gyms these days just aren’t cheap, and with general inflation of everything from food to fuel, saving that much money can be a no-brainer.
Posture & Pain
In general, working out brings many health improvements, including better posture. In turn, better posture leads to less back pain, which is a common occurrence as millions suffer from back pain each year with 8% of Americans reporting chronic back pain as reported by Georgetown University. Studies also show that proper exercise can reduce low, mid, and upper back pain.
The Mayo Clinic reports that generally, exercise and staying active helps to reduce stress and boost our endorphin levels allowing us to feel better. So why doesn’t everyone exercise? Feeling good enough to get up and get going can often be the biggest hurdle, which is where chair exercises come in.
The surgeon general found that over 60% of Americans do not get enough of the recommended daily activity and 25% are not active at all. Chair exercises can eliminate a lot of the excuses people don’t go to the gym and we’ll be happier in general due to the reduced stress and added endorphin release.
Ease of Accessibility
One of the great things about chair exercises is that almost anyone can participate. From seniors to those who have limited mobility, chair exercises can open the door to the added benefits of regular exercise. Exercises such as leg lifts or even isometric workouts can challenge just about anyone who is looking to improve their health.
Entry Level Fitness
Last, but not least, anyone who wants to start an exercise regimen can use chair exercises to begin with. The biggest requirement for chair exercises is (wait for it), A CHAIR! Most of us have one of these lying around, and some folks even have more than one. Seriously though, the barrier to entry is extremely small. All you need is to make up your mind and find countless chair exercises online to suit your personal needs.
The ultimate decision you’ll need is to decide where you are in your fitness journey, and if chair exercises move you closer to your goals. Nonetheless, chair exercises can be a great way to get more activity for those with a more sedentary lifestyle.