Wellness Wednesdays Chair Exercises You Can Do Anywhere: Get Active & Manage Diabetes at Home

Updated on & Medically Reviewed by Dr Lalitha
Chair Exercises

At a time when the chorus for living a healthy life continues to gather steam, an inactive or sedentary lifestyle can prove to be detrimental for an individual. But, when it comes to a diabetic person, the effects can be catastrophic for their health. A study by the Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome journal about sedentary lifestyle and body composition in type 2 diabetes claims that an inactive lifestyle may account for increases in trunk and body fat percentage while decreasing the appendicular skeletal muscle mass and BMD of the lumbar spine, femoral neck, hip, and total body in patients struggling with diabetes. This thoroughly highlights that movement and mobility are essential to a diabetic's daily lifestyle.

While working out may have its own merits, common regular exercises can prove to be an uphill battle for people with health concerns such as diabetes. This is where chair exercises have emerged as a viable solution for patients struggling with diabetes. Chair exercises can help increase metabolism, decrease insulin resistance, and increase insulin sensitivity. This, in turn, increases the efficiency of a diabetes patient's cells in using the available sugar in their bloodstream and helps regulate the disease at home.

Chair Exercises - Best Alternative for Diabetes Patients or Anyone with Mobility Issues

Physical activity is highly recommended for people with diabetes. Being active makes the patient’s body more sensitive towards insulin which further helps in managing diabetes. Not only this, but physical activity helps in controlling blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of nerve damage and heart disease. People struggling with diabetes can indulge in chair exercises that can help improve posture, muscle strength, body balance, flexibility and blood circulation.

Best Chair Exercises for Diabetes Patients

Adding to the benefits, here’s a look at some of the chair exercises best suited for diabetes patients:

1. Chair Marches

Chair Marches
  • Get yourself a comfortable chair, especially with a straight back and sit comfortably with your whole body leaning backwards.
  • Raise your legs alternatively up and down up to 6 inches as you walk through the stairs.
  • Start with 30 seconds of this workout, with 3 sets and a short rest period.

2. Seated Leg Extension

Seated Leg Extension
  • Sit on the chair with your back straight and raise your leg straight in front of you.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds and then rest your leg.
  • Repeat the same with the other leg.
  • Try doing 2 sets of this exercise of 10-12 repetitions. You may hold the chair's sides to maintain your body balance.

3. Seated Situps

Seated Situps
  • Cross your arms and sit in the middle of your chair.
  • Keep your feet on the floor, perfectly lined with the hips to maintain the balance.
  • Lean back to the chair and return to your initial position.
  • Repeat this step at least 10-12 times.

4. Seated Bicep Curls

Seated Bicep Curls
  • Sit in the middle of the chair while keeping your back straight.
  • Use a dumbbell, food can etc. that is easy to lift with one hand and curl your hand slowly upwards to your chest and then lower down slowly to the initial position.
  • Repeat the same with another arm for at least 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

Important Tips to be Followed Before Beginning the Exercise Schedule

There is little doubt that a variety of chair exercises can help regulate diabetes at home. However, before incorporating the aforementioned exercises into your daily regime, one must seek expert advice and consult a professional to chart the best-suited course for their fight against diabetes. Meanwhile, here are a few precautions for diabetes patients to consider:

  1. It is important to ensure that exercises are not performed beyond an individual’s capabilities. Moderate-intensity workouts can be used to get the body warm.
  2. A person with diabetes should remember not to hold breath while performing any exercise.
  3. An appropriate chair should be used for all the aforementioned exercises. It should be sturdy with strong armrests, thus, providing good support.

Furthermore, diabetic patients can do deep breathing exercises regularly before beginning any workout or simply starting the day. Along with the aforementioned exercises and precautions, dietary plans should also be properly maintained and followed. The meals for diabetic patients should include high-fibre, low carbohydrates and no added sugar.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.

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