Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Upper & Lower Extremity Chair Exercises

Greetings all of my friends! I hope you have had a good breathing day. The humidity has hampered my breathing with a bit more tightness in my chest. But, as usual... we all do learn to cope with this.

Upper Extremity Chair Exercises:
For shoulder strengthening you may now grasp the seat or side arms of the chair and push down and pull up.

Another useful activity are the "Broomstick Exercises".
- Use the full length of an old broomstick, and use it to both mobilize and strengthen your upper extremities, and to develop neck and spine mobilization.

- Holding the broom palms down, bring the broomstick from yourlap up to your chin, and from there extend the broomstick over your head, and then back again.

- Palms down, place the broomstick over your knees, and then with arms extended swing it up and over your head and back down again.

- With the broomstick over your head, rotate the broomstick and your head slowly as far as you can to the right, and then to the left.

- With the broomstick held at chin level, bring the broomstick straight down towards the left hip, and then to the right hip.

- With the broomstick heldat chin level, touch the right end of the broomstick to the left knee, and at the same time look up over your left shoulder. Repeat this exercise touching the left end of the broomstick to the right knee,while looking up over your right shoulder. These neck and spine mobilization exercises may be difficult at first if your neck and spine are stiff. Be gentle.

As your strength improves, light weight dumb-bells may be used. Again, one or two pound weights are more than enough.

Lower Extremity Chair Exercises:

The quadriceps exercises should be done from the chair one leg at a time. Straighten your right leg out, then lift it from the floor until it is straight out, then tense the thigh muscles and hold the tension for five seconds. Relax, andn lower your leg to the floor and rest for five seconds. Repeat the cycle and then do the same for the left leg.

These quadriceps exercises may be too strenuous at first for some. In that case, start out with both feet flat on the floor, and tense both thighs for five seconds, relax for five seconds, and repeat the cycles.

For hip strengthening, sit up straight, knees together, and then lift the right knee up, then swing it outward, put the foot down, then bring it back up, and return to the starting position with the knees touching. Repeat the cycle and do the same for the left leg.

For hip, lower abdominal and lower spine exercise, place your heels directly in front of the chair, and then push your heels into the floor. As you do this, tense your lower abdominal and back muscles. Hold this tension for five seconds, relax for five seconds and repeat the cycle.

If you do these excercises faithfully for about two weeks, you should now be prepared to begin walking training. And if you have been further developing your dyspnea recognition skills and breathing control skills, you will be even better prepared for walking and controlling any dyspnea with increased activity.

With all of these exercises, from the beginning... at your weakest point, through your continuation of becoming stronger... I strongly suggest a coach to help and support you through this regiment of activity.

Stand Tall and Breathe My Friends and Always Remember,

1 2 3... Inhale... 1 2 3 4 Exhale