Stay active even in small living spaces

Inactivity can take a toll on the physical and mental health of seniors, but how do you stay active if space is limited?

Chair exercises can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle even if you require modified exercises due to age or immobility. Chair exercises also have many benefits, including improved flexibility and range of motion, decreased joint pain and stiffness and increased blood circulation.

Before starting, be sure to pick out a good chair with a straight back and comfortable cushion.

Chair yoga is a great option for older adults to stay active while in a seated position. Start by sitting tall at the edge of your seat, with your hands on your waist. Inhale, and take a deep breath in through the nose, then exhale slowly. Repeat 10 times.

Try sun salutation arms for a simple chair yoga move that will help lengthen the spine and release tension in the shoulders and neck. While inhaling, lift your arms up and press your palms overhead. While exhaling, float your arms back down to your sides. Repeat five times.

There are also chair exercises to strengthen your legs while sitting, like toe taps. Start by sitting up straight with your feet flat on the ground. Bend your toes forward the ceiling, then back down to the floor. Repeat 8-10 times to strengthen your calves and muscles running along your shins.

For a midsection workout, try tummy twists. Start by sitting up straight with your feet flat on the ground. Hold your arms at a 90-degree angle with your elbows at your sides and forearms extended in front of you. Rotate your torso to the left, return to the middle, then rotate to the right. Repeat 10 times on each side.

Heritage Woods of Yorkville, an Assisted Lifestyle Community for the Older Adult, 242 Greenbriar Road, Yorkville, IL 60560, 630-882-6502, www.gardant.com/heritagewoodsyorkville