Taking it sitting down

You may be a super fit gym bunny who is thriving on the extra hours to stream your exercise or you might be rejoicing from getting your daily run ring fenced, but it’s likely that there’ll be someone in your life who won’t be going far or moving much.

At Brave Active, we’re all about empowering people to get moving. During Lockdown, this applies just as much to our older generation as it does to our bright young things.

You may have someone in your life who simply can’t get out of the house and you’re not in a position to take them out. Remember, we’re living in a time when we show love by staying away from our vulnerable loved ones. That doesn’t mean that a phone call has to be a rundown of what you’ve both watched on telly or what’s for tea.

Spend a few minutes taking someone at the other end of the phone through some chair exercises (you can try them out on someone in your home first!)

In-chair exercises

Chair exercises are good for those who find it hard to move about. It’s good to start off with just a few minutes – and, if you’re taking someone through the exercises by phone, you can try a new one every day. Don’t push it and let them set their own goals. If they’re showing symptoms of Covid-19, please don’t try any exercise.

Here’s a quick how-to guide…

Talk your phone companions through these little checks!

Use a strong chair, with armrests if possible. Don’t use an armchair if there is another, harder chair to choose from.

Make sure that your thighs are parallel with the floor.

Move your arms and legs steadily. Start with moving one at a time and try two when you get used to them. Don’t force it, but the more you do the easier it gets.

Start off gently and view the first few minutes and last few as a warm up and cool down. Be gentle and let the body catch up!

You might feel warm or get a little out of breath but make sure that you are always in control of your breathing. If you feel it is too much at any time, stop. 

Remember to keep breathing. Don’t hold your breath – it is easier said than done sometimes.

Don’t lift your arm above your head – This means that you can take care of your heart and don’t make it work too hard.

Let’s go!

Heel digs

Keeping your left leg on the ground, gently lift your right leg and then press the heel of that foot to the floor. Try to pull your right toe back towards your right leg and feel a gentle stretch. Try this five times and then swap legs.

Arm across body

Lift your right hand and place it on your left. Then, return your right hand to the arm of the chair. Reach as far as is comfortable. If you can do this 5 times, great! Swap arms and put your left hand on your right shoulder.  

Double forward arm stretch

Placing your right hand over the other, push both hands out and forward at shoulder height. Give yourself a gentle stretch. Take your arms back to the arm rests and try again, putting your left hand over your right. 

Ready to take the next step?

Arm across body with heel dig

As before, lift your right hand diagonally and touch your left shoulder. At the same time, stretch your left leg out and dig your hell into the ground. Then, bring your leg back in and put your arm back on the armrest. Next, swap over to lift your left hand diagonally and touch your right shoulder. At the same time, stretch your right leg out and dig your hell into the ground. Then, bring your leg back in and put your arm back on the armrest. Look at you go!

These exercises may seem like very simple, but they might make all the difference to someone’s mood and mental outlook.

Why not pick up the phone and give it a go!

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