4 Creative Ways To Exercise Even If You’re Restricted From Moving


Our doctors and insurance companies tell us to keep moving. And certainly, we want to. However, when physical limitations, surgery, or injuries keeps us in our chairs, we have to find some creative solutions for exercise.

exercise from a chair

There have been two times in my life when I had to exercise from a chair. One was to work with pulleys after breast cancer and the other after breaking my ankle. It wasn’t always easy but its effects outlasted the inconvenience. If your doctor has prescribed specific exercises to target key elements of your health and healing, be sure to follow through. Otherwise, ask about some of the following exercises that can easily be performed while sitting.

The “scarf dance”

  • Choose a slow piece of music to “dance” to. Hold your scarf in one hand and move it high, low, and back and forth to the beat. Switch to the opposite hand before you feel discomfort. Finish the song if possible.

The seated “tap dance”

  • Sit in a sturdy chair and extend one leg. Gently tap your heel on the floor three times. Then point your toe and return to tap your heel three more times. Switch legs. Alternate each leg for three repetitions each. Use music is you like. Start slowly and work up to a more moderate beat.

The twist

  • This isn’ the one you did on the dance floor but it may bring back pleasant memories. Sit straight with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Put your hands on your hips and twist to the left. Come back to center and repeat three times. Then twist with your right. Try three repetitions for each side. Again, enjoy the song of your choice to spice it up.

Weightlifting Like a Champ– From a Chair

exercise from a chair

As stated earlier, if you have prescribed exercises assigned by a medical professional be sure to do those first. And if you get the go ahead, try including some weights.

Weight-bearing is good for aging bones. When my doctor told me to do more weight-bearing exercises, due to thinning bones, I asked him why my extra pounds hadn’t taken care of that.

Lift and sit

  • Obtain some 1-pound hand weights. Hold one in each hand. Stretch one arm up as high as you can. Bring it down and lift and stretch the other. Try three repetitions with each arm. 
  • Next, hold the weights, one in each hand, with forearms facing up. Curl the weights up to your shoulders without moving your upper arms. Curl three times then rest. Try two more repetitions.

These exercises are simple and will keep your circulation on the move. If you’re joined by a partner, you’ll get the added benefit of laughter. Movement and good times will release happy-hormones which aid in healing and boost overall wellbeing. 

So, pull up a chair and start to exercise. Thus, you’ll prepare for the day when you’re on your feet again.