Would you like to get fit while you sit? If you struggle with balance issues or have achy, arthritic joints that make it hard to stand for prolonged periods of time, you will want to find alternative ways to work out safely. This is especially important because being sedentary accelerates muscle atrophy and joint deterioration.

Mobility is essential to your physical and mental health. When your heart rate increases, your body is flooded with oxygen-rich blood that supplies muscles and organs with the nutrients necessary to fully perform their functions. Enhanced circulation also provides a big brain boost that improves mental clarity, decreases depression, and regulates rapid, anxiety-provoking breathing patterns.

You don’t need to be on your feet to experience the bevy of benefits related to exercise. By shifting your sweat session to the comfort and convenience of a sturdy chair, you can still reap the rewards of physical activity.

Powering up your body is as simple as pulling up a chair. You will need a set of light weights to complete this workout. For best results, repeat the entire circuit three times.

Arm circles

  • Sit tall with your shoulders back and gaze forward.
  • Extend your arms out to shoulder height. Moving from your shoulder joint, rotate your arms forward 10 times followed by 10 reps in the reverse direction.

Shoulder press

  • Hold a weight in each hand and keep them tucked close to your shoulders with your palms facing each other.
  • Elevate your right arm straight up toward the ceiling, then lower it back down to shoulder height. Do not lock out your elbow on the extend. Now perform the same movement with your left arm. Continue alternating for 20 total reps (10 on each arm). Remember to exhale on each extension and inhale as you lower your arm and reset. Be sure to keep your neck relaxed throughout this exercise.
Ashley demonstrates a seated shoulder press.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Ashley demonstrates a seated shoulder press.

March in place

  • With your knees bent, lift your right leg off the ground as if you were trying to bring your knee in toward your chest. Lower your right leg and repeat on your left leg. Continue for 20 total counts (10 on each leg). As you perform this marching motion, be sure to stay centered on your seat for stability.
Ashley demonstrates a seated march.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Ashley demonstrates a seated march.

Leg extensions

  • Sit with legs about shoulder-width apart and feet flat on the floor.
  • With your ankle fixed at a 90-degree angle, slowly extend your right leg until it is straight and squeeze the top of the thigh. Hold this quad muscle contraction for five counts, then release and lower your leg back to the floor. Repeat 10 times then switch sides.
Ashley demonstrates seated leg extensions.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Ashley demonstrates seated leg extensions.

Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach in South Jersey. To learn more about her virtual training program, go to ashleyblakefitness.com.