Arthritis Chair Aerobics

Wednesday, July 15 2020

Arthritis exercise programs don’t have to be boring. Designed to make exercise fun and your joints happy, Chair Dance’letics is a 45-minute chair workout that blends together arthritis exercises with seated aerobic choreography. PoolFit occasionally posts In-home Workouts.  The next WATER WORKOUT posts on July 27. 

Chair exercise appeals to aquatic fitness participants because it is non-impact, which is exactly why many people choose water exercise as their preferred sport.  PoolFit will strive to include a variety of in-home workouts for aging bodies, including light toning, balance training, floor work, yoga, Pilates and more. 

Whether you are exercising in your pool or in your living room, the simple act of moving is essential for joint health. As the saying goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”   Movement lubricates your joints as it disperses synovial fluid throughout the joint cavity. Over time, a lack of movement and a sedentary lifestyle reduces joint lubrication, causing joints to stiffen and lose range of motion.  Tight or stiff muscles around a joint make the area more prone to injury.  It is important to note that the spine is a joint and one of the areas most prone to injury. 

Exercise is an important strategy for combating the effects of arthritis, but exercising too aggressively increases injury risk and can make symptoms worse.  Water exercise and chair fitness are ideal movement choices because they are low-impact.  As an Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program Leader, I strive to sneak in arthritis exercises in all of my fitness programming, beginner to advanced.  Arthritis exercises tend to be more functional, moving the limbs in spirals, circles and diagonals.  Functional exercise delivers more purposeful benefits.  WATCH me explain.

Chair Dance’letics:  Video-At-A-Glance
This 45-minute workout features 8 segments and blends AEA Arthritis Foundation exercises with seated aerobic choreography.  I am including the class outline that I provide instructors on the Fitmotivation website. These Chair Dance’letic Notes prove that the entire workout is based on AEA Arthritis Foundation (AF) exercises.  All AF exercises are listed in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Segment 1:  Warm-up
The warm-up previews several of the AF exercises used in the aerobic combinations and also serves as a prep for joint mobility.

Segments 2 – 5:  Seated Aerobic Combinations
All four seated aerobic combinations include upper body, lower body and core exercises from the AF program.

Segment 6:  Standing Leg Work
Inspired by barre exercises, this leg segment provides an opportunity to stand up, stretch the legs and recruit lower body muscles in a manner that would be difficult seated in a chair.

Segment 7:  Seated Joint Mobility
All of the major articulations of the body are targeted in this joint tune-up with slower AF exercises designed to promote full range of motion. 

Segment 8:  Seated Stretch
The workout concludes with a seated stretch designed to provide flexibility and relaxation. 

Chair exercise has become an absolute favorite format for me to sub at my local YMCA.  If you know someone who suffers from arthritis and who might be interested in trying an arthritis chair workout at home, please let them know about PoolFit.  The site also includes another arthritis chair workout, ChairFit Sports & Rec

Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.