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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, especially for those who experience limited mobility. In addition to a good diet, it is also important to remain as active as possible. This is particularly crucial for those with limited mobility who may remain sedentary. Fortunately, there are many exercises that can be used to stay fit and healthy while sitting. One such exercise is chair yoga. Before you try your hand at the poses below, remember to consult with your doctor and always listen to your body when exercising. To prevent injury, do not push yourself beyond your physical limit.

Cat and Cow Stretch

Used For: Warming up the shoulders and spine

Additional Equipment: None

Duration: 3-4 rounds

Step 1: Sit in the chair with your back straight and your hands on your knees.

Step 2: While inhaling, push out your chest, arch your lower back (cow pose), bring the shoulder blades closer together and lift chin slightly. Avoid lifting shoulders up toward your ears.

Step 3: While exhaling, begin to hunch your upper back (cat pose) and bring your shoulders away from each other while slowly bending your head down.

Side Stretch

Used For: Stretching arms and upper body

Additional Equipment: Resistance band or belt

Duration: 4-5 rounds

Step 1: Sit in the chair with your back straight and hold the resistance band or belt in front of you and slightly wider than your shoulders. The band or belt should be taut.

Step 2: While inhaling, lift your arms straight up so the band or belt is above your head.

Step 3: While exhaling, lean to the left. While inhaling, return to your original position in Step 2. Repeat these steps for your right side while paying attention to your breathing.

Forward Fold

Used For: Increase blood flow to the upper body and head

Additional Equipment: None

Duration: Hold for 4-5 long, deep breaths

Step 1: Sit in the chair with your back straight. While inhaling, lift your arms.

Step 2: While exhaling, lower your upper body toward your legs and your hands/arms toward the floor.

Step 3: Rest your hands on the floor or hold your elbows as you let your head hang.

Seated Twist

Used For: Releases Tension in the Spine

Additional Equipment: None

Duration: Hold for 5 long, deep breaths and release slowly

Step 1: Lift your right leg over the left so you are sitting cross-legged, and let your right arm hang by your side or grip the chair for added stability.

Step 2: While inhaling, lift your left arm and twist your upper body to the right as you exhale. Rest your left palm on your right thigh.

Step 3: While inhaling, straighten your spine. If possible, deepen your twist while exhaling. Look over your right shoulder if the pose becomes uncomfortable for your neck.

Step 4: Repeat steps to twist to the left.

Sources: Do You Yoga

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