It is important for individuals in wheelchairs, like anyone else, to exercise daily in order to maintain good cardiovascular health and strength. By staying fit to the best of one’s ability, blood clots can be avoided. Exercise is a good stress reliever as well and can stave off depression. Being in a wheelchair does not mean the end of an active life. Taking care of one’s health should always be a top priority. By including a regular routine at a consistent time and some group activities as well, the wheelchair-bound can maintain a healthy weight and attitude.
Workout Routines For Disabled Adults
Warm-up!: If possible, exercise should be included for the wheelchair-bound on a daily basis, or at least five times a week. The routine should always begin with stretching or warm-up exercises in order to avoid injury. A good way to stretch is to raise the arms over the head. Next, pull one arm close to the body with the other arm and repeat on the other side. Another stretch involves sitting up straight, raising the hands to the air, and locking the fingers together while taking a deep breath. It’s essential to avoid injuries to the arms in order to maintain mobility. Once the body feels limber, after at least five minutes of stretching, it’s time to get started with a variety of exercises.
Strength training: Resistance bands provide an effective form of physical activity for those who are in a wheelchair. They are available in a variety of lengths. They can be attached to the wheelchair, a door, or any stationary object to allow the individual to do bicep curl exercises. Strength can be gained when the arms are raised over the head. A band can be pulled across the body to the shoulders. The arms can also be brought out to the sides. A variety of exercises will strengthen different areas of the arms, and tone the upper body as well. However, a person needs to listen to his or her body, gradually increasing repetitions or the level of difficulty. If you feel pain, it is time to ease up. While strained muscles are a nuisance for anyone, for the individual in a wheelchair, it can mean being unable to get around. Hand-held weights can be used as well. Push-ups in the chair are another possibility, using the handles of the chair to lift the body up out of the seat and back down again. The wheelchair should always be in the locked position for any of these exercises. The number of repetitions can be increased as strength builds.
Cardio: Cardiovascular exercise is important as well. The best way to get this type of exercise is through group activities, such as football, basketball, and tennis. The internet and local medical facilities can provide information on where group sports are held for individuals in a wheelchair. Taking a spin around the neighborhood or through the park is another way to get cardiovascular exercise, increasing the distance and speed as fitness levels improve.
Cool down: They say that warming up is as important as cooling down. These exercises are essential in letting your body know that you are about to end your routine. It is important to do another five minutes of stretching the arms at the end of the activity in order to avoid any injuries.
There is definitely no shortage in the number of exercises you can make and mix-up even when you are in a wheelchair. It just takes a little creativity in order to get the work-out we need on a daily basis…
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About the author:
Naomi Esterly is a stay-at-home mom to two rambunctious, yet adorable, little boys and a newborn baby girl. In her spare time, she balances writing freelance for 1800Wheelchair.Com and coaching her community’s little league