Embarking on a weight loss journey often conjures up images of intense workout sessions, sweating it out in the gym or pounding the pavement while running. While these activities have value, they may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with health problems or looking to protect their joints from excessive stress. Many of my clients are surprised to learn that there is a gentle yet effective alternative to chair yoga. That’s why I’ve rounded up the seven best chair yoga exercises for weight loss that you can start doing today.
Chair yoga is a modified form of traditional yoga, performed while sitting or using a chair for support. It is accessible to people of all fitness levels and can be particularly effective in supporting weight loss. Here are the seven best chair yoga exercises for weight loss, with step-by-step instructions. Keep reading to learn more, and when you’re done, be sure to check out the Only 5 Yoga Exercises You Need to Shrink Your Belly.
Mountain sitting engages the core muscles and promotes proper posture, which improves overall body awareness and increases calorie expenditure during daily activities. It also helps increase core strength, which can support healthy digestion and metabolism, contributing to weight control.
Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and your spine straight. Place your hands on your thighs, palms facing down. Inhale deeply and lengthen your spine, lifting the top of your head toward the ceiling. Engage your abdominal muscles by pulling your navel toward your spine. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, focusing on your breathing and maintaining good posture.
The forward sitting position engages and stretches the hamstrings and lower back muscles, promoting flexibility and improving circulation, which can aid calorie burning and metabolic function. It also encourages mindfulness and relaxation, reduces stress and contributes to a holistic approach to weight management.
Sit at the edge of the chair with your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart. Inhale deeply and lengthen your spine. Exhale as you rotate your hips and gently lean forward, keeping your back straight. Use your hands to touch your shins, ankles or the floor (if possible). Hold for 5 to 10 breaths while maintaining a gentle stretch.
The twisting position works the abdominal muscles and stimulates digestion, helping to improve the efficiency of the digestive system, which can assist in eliminating toxins and excess waste. Regular practice of seated twists can increase spinal flexibility, promote better posture, and increase awareness of body alignment.
Sit comfortably, spine tall and feet flat on the ground. Take a deep breath, then exhale and twist your upper body to the right, placing your left hand on your right knee. Place your right hand on the backrest of the chair for support. Hold the twist for five to 10 breaths, feeling the gentle stretch along your spine. Repeat on the other side by twisting to the left.
Leg raises in position work your quadriceps and lower body muscles, helping to increase calorie burn and improve overall metabolic activity. The repetitive motion of leg raises can contribute to building lean muscle mass, which helps boost metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day.
Sit tall in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Hold onto the edges of the chair for support. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, lift your right leg straight forward. Hold for a few breaths, then lower your legs. Repeat with left leg. Do 10 to 15 leg raises on each side, gradually increasing the number of repetitions as you progress.
The cat stretch helps mobilize the spine and improve flexibility, facilitating better overall body mobility during exercise and daily activities, ultimately aiding in burning efforts. calories and weight loss. These stretches promote relaxation and reduce stress, which can help prevent emotional eating and support healthy eating habits.
Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your hands on your knees. Inhale as you arch your back, lift your chest, and tilt your pelvis forward. Exhale as you arch your spine, tucking your chin toward your chest. Repeat this fluid movement for 5 to 10 rounds, coordinating your breathing with the movement.
Seated Warrior II targets the core muscles and strengthens the legs, helping to build lean muscle mass and increase total calorie expenditure during exercise, contributing to weight control. Additionally, this pose promotes improved posture and body awareness, which can encourage mindful eating and healthier lifestyle choices that are beneficial for weight loss.
Sit on the edge of the chair with your legs spread apart. Turn your right foot outward and bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle. Keep your left leg straight and heel aligned. Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor. Look over your right fingertips. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths then switch sides.
Seated sun salutations work multiple muscle groups, increase heart rate, and promote calorie burning through fluid movements, making it an effective low-impact cardiovascular exercise. Additionally, it enhances the body’s overall flexibility and may help improve metabolism, supporting weight loss over time.
Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in the center of your heart. Inhale as you raise your arms upward. Exhale as you fold forward, reaching your hands toward the floor or chair. Inhale, lift your chest and look up. Exhale as you return to the starting position. Repeat the sequence three to five times, synchronizing your breathing with your movements.
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