Article by Tay Hung Yong, Principal Physiotherapist, Singapore Heart Foundation
Ever felt helpless because you wish to get more active but your arthritic knees do not seem to co-operate with you? Or perhaps due to certain medical conditions, you have to spend a great amount of time on the chair? Then, chair aerobics may be a way to tear down that barrier to exercise!
Chair aerobics is a form of aerobic exercise where the participant stays seated in a chair for the duration of the exercise session. Normally targeted at those with mobility problems, chair aerobics aim to give a complete workout while limiting the stress and strain on joints.
You can choose your own pace when performing chair aerobics. You can also choose how hard you want to work yourself out. A strengthening component can be added to the exercise by using dumbbells, exercise bands and ankle weights. If you are not keen to spend on such accessories, filled-up water bottles can be used as weights too.
A typical aerobic workout consists of a warm-up (at least 5 to 10 minutes), aerobic work (approximately 30 minutes or longer), cool-down (at least 5 to 10 minutes or longer if needed for heart rate recovery) and stretching/relaxation (at least 5 to 10 minutes if time permits). If you find yourself unable to endure longer periods of exercise, you can always shorten the actual workout by half.
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