Gardening can be an exceptionally pleasant experience as you spend time working the soil and tending to plants. It can also be physically demanding and result in aches in pains if your body is not up for the task. The following ChairMaster workout program is designed to get the muscles and joints prepared for the challenges of gardening, such as kneeling, pulling, stooping, lifting, and carrying, so that you can enjoy the rewarding time spent in your garden. Both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities are recommended for gardening exercise.
- Sit upright in the chair—using the backrest or the ChairMaster foam pad for support as needed.
- Place the feet in the pedal straps and check to ensure that the knees are slightly bent at the “down” position of the pedal stroke.
- Place the hands on the armrests or on the lap.
- Start pedaling using smooth, continuous pedal strokes at a resistance that is tolerable.
Perform seated pedaling on the ChairMaster most days of the week, accumulating a total of 150 minutes (for example, 30 minutes of exercise, five days per week). If 30 minutes is too long in the beginning, perform at least 10-minute bouts and work up to 30 minutes.
Aerobic Exercise Summary:
Movement-based exercise that enhances range of motion, strengthens the muscles, and improves balance should be performed two to three non-consecutive days per week. Perform at least one set of the following ChairMaster muscle-strengthening exercises for 10 to 15 repetitions. The number in parentheses matches the exercise number on the “ChairMaster Exercise Guide”. DOWNLOAD PDF
- Fist pumps for the wrist (38)
- Hand rotations and finger press (39)
- Seated hip stretch (42)
- Bent arm rows (7)
- Wrist curls (8)
- Reclining two-arm crunch holding bands (21)
- Standing curls (23)
- Standing lateral arm side lifts (24)
- Knee lift with cuff (31)
- Downward dog with the chair (45)
Smart Gardening Tips
- Ease into the season by starting with short gardening sessions.
- Before you begin gardening, spend a few minutes stretching. Exercises 1, 2, 3, and 10 from the list above are good choices.
- Wear the appropriate protective gear (e.g., supportive shoes, hat, gloves, long sleeves and pants).
- Never ever turn or twist your spine as you lift.
- Break up your day by alternating activities between raking, pruning, and weeding every 20 minutes.
- Give your body a good stretch at the end of your gardening day as well.