As we get older, the ability to get up and down from a chair with ease is a critical skill to maintain if we want to maintain our independence, strength, and functionality. In this post, we'll explore why being able to get up and down from a chair is so important, and I'll give you a "test" to try out to assess where you're at!
As we age, maintaining lower body strength and mobility is important for maintaining our independence and our quality of life. The ability to get up and down out of a chair with ease has been correlated with not only muscular strength, balance, and healthy body mechanics, but also longevity! Think of it as an indirect marker of your overall health.
If you can't get up from a chair without using your hands, you're at a high risk for falls. And falls can have very serious consequences. According to the CDC, each year, more than 25 percent of adults 65 or older have a fall. It's the leading cause of injury death.
"If you can't get up from a chair without using your hands, you're at a high risk for falls."
Consistent practice of this mindful Chair Sit-to-Stand routine for just a few minutes each day can gradually strengthen your lower body, improve your balance, and increase your confidence over time.
Try this 5-minute video where I guide you through this Sit-to-Stand yoga practice.
I also use a version of this with some of my yoga therapy clients as an assessment tool to test lower body strength and endurance. It's called the "30-Second Sit-to-Stand Test." This is something you can easily try out yourself if you're curious how your ability compares with other people your age.
Basically, time yourself for 30 seconds and see how many times you can get up and down out of the chair without using your hands.
Here's the link to the official handout from the CDC. You can download it, print it out, and record your results!
After you record your results, continue your regular yoga practice (including the mindful Chair Sit-to-Stand yoga practice above!) and any other exercise you are incorporating. After a month or two, repeat the test to see any improvement or changes in your progress.
If balance, lower-body strength, and maintaining independence through the years is a goal of yours, then I encourage you to reach out. As a yoga therapist, I can work with you (online via Zoom or in-person in Granbury, Texas) to provide a specific plan to reach your goals. Read more about yoga therapy and fill out the inquiry form at the bottom of the page if you're interested.