Staying fit can be a challenge in the best of times. Add to that a pandemic that drastically limits fitness center availability and mobility issues, and it could feel nearly impossible to stay active.
Luckily, Tallahassee Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor Jennifer Agabiti Hall says that although it may feel impossible, there are many ways to stay active even from the confines of your home.
What is your advice for individuals unable to go to a gym or outdoor fitness gathering? A lot of people think that if you aren’t mobile that exercise is not possible. I taught a Silver Sneakers class for 10 years and the entire class was done seated. With a set of very light weights, a resistance band and a mid-sized bouncy ball, you can work your entire body.
What are your favorite seated exercises?
Firstly, when doing seated exercises, come slightly forward in your chair so that your back is not resting on the chair and you are using your abs to sit up straight. Even just this can be a workout. Add to that bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and leg lifts.
Using a resistance band, while seated wrap the band around your feet and pull back in a rowing motion. This squeezes the back muscles and is good for building back strength. You can also do bicep curls with your feet on the band. For the outer thighs, wrap the band around your feet and then step out to the side.
A small ball can be squeezed between the hands and knees and work your core. Hold the ball between your hands, extend your arms above your head and make a rainbow by moving from right to left.
If standing is an option, try holding on to a chair for stability and marching in place, stepping side to side or doing hamstring curls.
If you would like to see what I’m talking about, you can watch a video I made for Momentum Fitness here. The entire workout can be done seated.
How does your experience as a chiropractor inform your fitness instruction?
I focus on the core and safety for the back and neck. That’s all part of proper form. Make sure you aren’t tensing your neck and shoulders.
In an exercise room there are so many mirrors so people can glance to the side to check their form. You can do the same at home. Sit perpendicular to a full-length mirror to see your posture, remind yourself to drop your shoulders and to keep your knees from extending past your feet.
Any final thoughts?
When starting out, go very, very light with any weight or resistance band. When you use light weights to get the hang of the exercises, the chances of getting hurt are really low.
There are plenty of resources out there: DVDs of senior classes, on-demand workouts, and a ton of 30-minute videos on the Group-X Powered by Momentum Fitness Facebook Group.
Go light and do it right. It’s really hard to relearn it if you don’t.
Hydration is really important, too. I always harp on less coffee and more water. Cut your coffee in half and replace that quantity with water. If you get cramps, drink more water.
Jennifer Agabiti Hall began her career as a chiropractor, founding Cap City Chiro here in Tallahassee, FL. Her love of fitness, people and health naturally led her to group fitness instruction. Jennifer currently teaches at Momentum Fitness and YouFit Health Clubs. To contact Jennifer about her classes, call 850-284-3419 or connect on Facebook here.