Sit and be fit!

Regular exercise is crucial for leading an active, healthy, independent and happy life. When we think about exercise, the first thing that comes to our mind is going for a walk or the standing routines. However, for many elderly this could be a challenge for various reasons like limited mobility, arthritic pain, loss of balance or a recent surgery. Because of this, most of  the seniors hesitate to exercise and even in those who start there is a  poor compliance. But what if you could be active while still sitting? Chair exercises are a boon for seniors. Chair exercises prove to be vital in giving our body the much needed benefits and at the same time preventing any further injuries.

Now the next question arise, can you get fit from your seat? Yes, indeed, chair based exercises prove to be a great blessing for seniors especially for those with limited mobility, balance issues and joint issues. For an older adult, in a dilemma between preventing the pain and the pain due to exercise, chair exercises are the best solution. Believe it or not, chair exercises are a great way to incorporate low impact movement into your daily routine without any fear of falling or injuring the joints. Just because it is seated does not mean that you won’t sweat! They allow older adults who otherwise would not be able to exercise consistently to improve their strength, cardiovascular fitness, and mobility—without the high risk of injury present during traditional exercise routines. Seated exercises are gentler on the joints and will reduce pain, not add to it.

Strength Training in Sitting

 Benefit of chair exercises:

Chair exercise encompasses far more than just movements. Chair exercises offer all the benefits of standing routine without any risk. It improves the joint range of movement and increases flexibility, strengthens and stabilizes muscles, reduces joint pain and stiffness, improves heart and lung health, boosts your mood and lowers stress levels. Improving the muscle strength and joint flexibility would indirectly contribute to improved balance as well. Thus an overall improvement in health and fitness can be observed.

Improvement in balance, gait speed, grip strength and several other physical measurements has been documented in individuals who engaged in chair based exercise. These findings further prove that it is particularly important for those who are currently inactive, and as such, chair-based exercise can be promoted as a safe and progressive mode of activity for those who may be frail or deconditioned.

How are chair based exercises better than the standing routines?

  • The major benefit of chair exercises is the reduced risk of falling.
  • Chair exercises are equally challenging to the upper body and abdominal muscles compared to standing routine.
  • Chair exercises minimizes load bearing on the joints and hence less pressure on the weak and painful joints.
  • It increases the confidence in those unable to perform free standing exercises.
Cardio-Pulmonary Training in Sitting

When to consider chair-based exercises?

Chair Based exercises are beneficial for those with

  • Poor balance, and a higher risk of falling during exercise
  • Joint pain that makes standing painful and difficult
  • Limited range of motion or poor mobility
  • Recovering from a surgery or an injury
  • Beginning a routine and need to start slow and work up to standing exercises

What type of exercises can be done in sitting?

It is very important to incorporate the three types- cardiovascular, flexibility and strengthening exercises in your routine.

  • Cardiovascular- Getting tired on walking for a distance? Panting while climbing a few stairs. This is a common experience by most of the elderly and the culprit is poor cardiovascular-pulmonary health. Chair aerobics can effectively increase your heart rate and endurance which makes your everyday routines easier.
  • Strengthening- Unable to carry your grocery bag home? Unable to walk for longer distance? The reason could be weakened muscles. You can exercise using dumbbells, Thera bands, weighted cuffs or even isometric exercises in sitting for upper extremity and lower extremity can help you. Core strengthening exercises play a major role in keeping the back pain under control and also improve balance. These exercises can be comfortably done in sitting.
  • Flexibility: Flexibility exercises help enhance your range of motion, prevent injury, and reduce pain and stiffness. These may include stretching exercises.
Flexibility Training in Sitting

How to start Chair Exercises?

Ready to get started with seated exercise? All you need is a chair, a positive attitude and a strong desire to stay healthy!

Pick out a good chair. It should be a sturdy chair with a straight back . Don’t use the rolling chairs. A wooden chair is a good option.

Keeping your body agile remains a cornerstone in healthy and graceful ageing. Now that we know, there is a way to exercise keeping the pains, imbalance and limited mobility at bay, there is no real excuse to offer to miss exercising. Regular physical exercise is the key to staying fit even during old age. Chair exercises allow seniors to easily perform workout routines, despite their weakened physical strength.


Masters in Physiotherapy,
Wellness Coach for Seniors

My Journey with Growing Young

Mrs.Savithri Natarajan,Mumbai

I’m Savithri Natarajan,a retired teacher, living in Mumbai. I have four grand children. I dislike being idle even for a minute. Since the cooking is done by my daughter’s in law, I don’t have much to do around the house. Reading is my passion. Stitching is a very engaging activity I involve myself in for at least three hours everyday. My grandchildren provide me with plenty of diversion each day.

            I’ve been active always. Since I worked as a commissioned NCC officer exercise has always been a part of my days. After four years of working as tutor in English in holy cross college Trichy, I got married and started life anew in Mumbai.

               I started working as a lecturer in a junior college in Mumbai.  Local train travel is a part of all working people In Mumbai, which means climbing 55 stairs ten times (changing trains) everyday and running (literally) to catch trains.  Apart from the house work, college work and taking care of my children, I committed myself to 20 to 30 minutes yoga and half an hour’s walk everyday.

Mrs.Savithri Natarajan,Mumbai

                  After I lost my husband I lost interest in everything. Stopped exercise, stopped taking medicines and even stopped reading.  When I was going through a ‘what is the use of’ mind set andI had lost interest in all activities. The Covid lockdown added to the depression. There seemed to be only darkness even at the end of the tunnel.

         My son and daughter-in-law (who is a close friend of Viji Balaji and Sunandha Sampath ) insisted that I should join their ‘Growing Young’ online fitness program for senior citizens. I had already attended their In-Person classes conducted for senior citizens at Purva Panorama Apartment, Bangalore. That was a totally different league. I was mentally on top of the world. The ladies in the group were all friends and the classes were an occasion to meet all my friends at the same place and the exercises were fun.

           So I was doubtful about online classes. How can one do exercise online? But my children wouldn’t let me sit back. So I joined the classes.

              Sunandha and Viji are wonderful, caring task masters. They know what they are doing. During the online session, they check what we do and call out the corrections. They ensure that we do the exercises in the correct way. Seemingly simple exercises! But before long, I noticed that I was getting more flexible.

                  I am a patient of rheumatoid arthritis. I used it as an excuse to avoid sitting on the floor, squatting and standing for a long time. After several sessions, I noticed that I could stand for longer periods, I could squat and do other things I thought I’ll never be able to do. There is a sense of well being and enthusiasm to exercise. And these classes inspired me to start my exercise routine again.

                 Thanks to these two enthusiastic youngsters I’m back on track. Daily exercise has become a part of my days. And online classes are fun. We focus on ourselves without any distractions. No looking at your neighbour to see how she is doing. The classes are a boon to me. I wish Sunandha and Viji more and more success in their efforts to make senior citizens young. Long live Growing Young Online Fitness  Program For Seniors!

Mrs.Savithri Natarajan<br>
Mrs.Savithri Natarajan

MA MPhil (Eng)
Retired Selection Grade Lecturer

Live better as you age!

Live better as you age!

Exercise is an important part of nearly everyone’s everyday health. This is true for older adults, too. Experts say seniors should aim to be as active as possible. If you are an older adult, exercise can help you live a longer, healthier life.

It is safe for most adults older than 65 years of age to exercise. Even patients who have chronic illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis can exercise safely. In fact, many of these conditions are improved with exercise. If you are not sure if exercise is safe for you or if you are currently inactive, ask your doctor.

Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that result in energy expenditure. Physical activity encompasses exercise, sports, and physical activities performed as part of daily living, occupation, leisure, or active transportation. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive and that has as a final or intermediate objective for improvement or maintenance of physical fitness.

Physical activity is a protective factor for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer  and physical activity is associated with improved mental health, delay in the onset of dementia, and improved quality of life and wellbeing.

You Can Stop the Clock

Despite all the anti-aging products pushed on us, it’s inevitable that we will get older. However, some of the things we lose as we age can actually be prevented by doing following exercises.

Aerobic and Endurance Exercises 

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Sports activities
  • climbing stairs/hills

Strength and Resistance Training

  • Lifting weights
  • Using a resistance band
  • Doing body-weight exercises

Stretching and Flexibility Exercises

  • stretching
  • yoga

Balance Retraining

  • Standing on one foot.
  • Walking heel-to-toe.
  • Balance retraining exercises

How often should I exercise?

According to WHO, Seniors aged 65 and older should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) every week. That averages out to about 30 minutes on most days of the week. Or you should get 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise (such as jogging) each week. You should also do strength training at least 2 days a week. You can work on balance and flexibility every day.

Over -exercising can lead to exhaustion and injury that can take longer to heal for older adults. So, seniors should take precautions to not over exercise which can result in negative outcomes.

Tips to do Exercise

  • Clothing – Wear loose, comfortable clothing and well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Your shoes should have good arch support, and an elevated and cushioned heel to absorb shock. Make sure the shoes are made for the type of physical activity you’ll be using them for. Shoes are specially designed for walking, running, tennis, or dancing, for example.
  • Pace yourself -If you are not already active, begin slowly. Start with exercises that you are already comfortable doing. Starting slowly makes it less likely that you will injure yourself. Starting slowly also helps prevent soreness.
  • Wait to exercise -Exercise is only good for you if you are feeling well. Wait to exercise until you feel better if you have a cold, the flu or another illness. If you miss exercise for more than 2 weeks, be sure to start slowly again
  • Stay Hydrated – Replenish your body’s fluids following a workout by drinking plenty of water.
  • Professional Guidance – Exercise classes in group settings that are supervised by trained professionals are ideal for those with specific limitations. Professionals can offer real-time modifications of each move, and they can develop and/or recommend entire regimens for specific improvements despite one’s unique challenges.
Viji Balaji<br>
Viji Balaji

Masters in Physiotherapy
Co founder,Growing Young
Seniors wellness coach

GET TO KNOW US! Growing Young- Online Fitness Program for Seniors


We all age; what matters most is how we age! Every one aspires to be independent for a lifetime, and to be so we believe that exercise is the best way. It’s an best anti-ageing medicine that can make us to grow young again.

About the Founders

The founders of Growing Young, Sunandha & Viji are both Post Graduate Physiotherapists and have 18+ years of experience each,treating Senior citizens for varied physical ailments.  We saw many seniors  with varying degree  of independence and activity. We understood the strong correlation between physical activity and independence.  However , what lacked was the right guidance to exercise, and thus, we embarked on a new journey- GROWING YOUNG- Fitness Program for Seniors. We strongly believe that “Active ageing is healthy ageing”. We wanted to create a stronger senior community and the magic is regular, systematic exercise program. What started in a small way in 2016, has taken giant strides  over the years with our relentless passion driving us in every possible way. We take pride in saying that we touched upon more than 1000+ seniors and addressed more than 25+ forums.

Viji Balaji & Sunandha Sampathkumar (Co-Founders)

Why do we need a fitness program for seniors?

It is now obvious to a myriad of people that we can stay healthy, improve our lifestyle and live longer if we exercise regularly. However, research says that only ¼ of the geriatric population, meet the exercise recommendations of the WHO . It is at this stage of life, more important than ever to exercise and stay active. People fail to understand, that it is never too late to start exercising even if you have never exercised in your life. By exercising in the right way, our elderly population can combat most of the health problems that is because of ageing. All they need is a little motivation and guidance to exercise and that is what we at Growing Young give them.

Growing Young-Fitness Program:

  • It is comprehensive and  provides holistic wellness to our clients. The program is customized  based on  the current ailments of our clients  and addressing the same effectively.
  • We take an individual assessment to understand their current functional and physical fitness levels before we enroll them in our program. This enables us to provide the right suggestions and guidance to our clients.
  • Each of  our  sessions will be  monitored to ensure that the exercises are done in the right way.
  • All our sessions are different from each other, breaking the monotony and kindling the interest to consistently exercise.
  • The Program includes all kinds of exercises meeting the needs of different regions of the body- bones, joints, muscles, brain, heart, lungs and even the mind.
  • We also send Home Exercise Program videos to our clients to ensure that a routine is followed and exercise becomes a part of their schedule.

Meet our happy clients:

 Ageing is inevitable but physical frailty is not and we have witnessed this in our clients who have been consistently exercising with us.

 All our clients enjoy this journey towards a healthy life with us and have benefitted the most.

How to join Growing Young ?

Attend our free trial class and if you are interested to enroll, you will be evaluated by qualified medical professional who will also guide you further.

Reach us at +91 97399 32220/+91 97312 59988 to BOOK YOUR FREE TRIAL CLASS

More details about Growing Young:

 Visit our website:     

 Facebook Page:


Call @ +91 97312 59988/+91 97399 32220

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. Consider 60 years as a milestone to give wings to your passion,  unleash your creativity and pursue your fitness goals. The world is there waiting for you to conquer! Let’s make the best use of the golden years and give the best!

Viji Balaji & Sunandha
Viji Balaji & Sunandha

Masters of Physiotherapy, Wellness Coach for Seniors

Get Your Balance Right!

couple practicing yoga
Photo by Marcus Aurelius on

Did you know that while standing, staying upright and walking may look a simple act, at the background our body systems have to perform a complex integration to make it into a successful action! The fear of fall is the main reason cited by seniors for limited mobility and independence. Studies have proved that exercises to improve balance can reduce the rate of fall by 36% in our elderly population.

How do we manage to balance?

Balance is all about maintaining our Centre of gravity over the base of support! And to achieve this, we need 3 systems to work together:

  1. Sensory input from the eyes
  2. Sensory input from the ears i.e the vestibular apparatus
  3. Sensory input from the muscles and joints

The input from all these three sources are integrated in our cerebellum and the command is passed to the muscles to stay upright.

Why does balance reduce as we age?

When the sensory input from any of the three systems is affected or there is a decline in the function of the cerebellum or the muscles are weak to respond to the command from the brain, balance gets affected.

However, the most common reason is, NOT CHALLENGING THE SYSTEM ENOUGH! If poor balance is associated only with old age, then all seniors will have balance problem. However, we see many seniors taking up a sport/ dance after they age. If we don’t regularly put ourself in situations where we need to use balance, our sense of balance diminishes with disuse. As we age, there is a drastic reduction in the physical activity, which reduces the challenges that is posed on the system and over a period of time, there is a gradual decline in the balance.

Can we regain the balance?

The answer is YES, improving the upper and lower body strength along with challenging the balance system daily with activities that require the use of all the three systems will improve balance to a great extent.

Some quick tips to do balance activity at home:

  1. Check with the doctor, if there is a more serious balance problem like vertigo, ear infections, chronic dizziness, Meniere’s disease or drug interactions.
  2. Get the advice of a physiotherapist to learn the exercises and do it the right way!
  3. If you are very poorly balanced, ensure that a care giver is always next to you when you exercise.
  4. Always use a sturdy chair for support. Initially hold with two hands, and when comfortable move to single hand support and then with fingers and slowly remove your hand from the chair.
  5. Avoid fast movements.
  6. Be aware of your posture.
  7. As the base of support reduces the challenge also increases. Start with a wider base and slowly reduce the base of support.
  8. Progress the exercises, when the previous exercise becomes comfortable and you are confident of doing it without assistance.
  9. Begin the training with eyes open, and gradually progress with eyes closed as it is more challenging.
  10. If you are under any medications, ask the doctor if there are any side effects which may cause light headedness or decreased balance.

Start slowly and become used to the new experience of stressing the balance system. Our body follows a simple mantra, “Use it or lose it”. Doing balance exercises regularly, has many benefits like, reducing the risk of fall, more independence, involving in activities we love, better reaction time, increased coordination and many more.

Don’t take your balance for granted! Challenge your body and regain the balance and a much deserved independence!

Sunandha Sampathkumar
Sunandha Sampathkumar

Co Founder, Growing Young