When you’re faced with a loss of mobility for an extended period of time, it can be difficult readjusting to a new way of life. Spending most of your days sitting and not engaging your muscles can weaken your body and mind, and even lead to depression or injury.
Training your body through exercise has many real and proven benefits. Some examples include an elevated state of mind through the release of endorphins, as well as an increased range of motion (along with greater flexibility and strength).
Here are some ways to stay active while dealing with mobility-limiting injuries or illness.
Seated Strength and Flexibility Training
Being limited to a wheelchair doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good workout: with the wide range of wheelchair parts and equipment available today, it’s quite the opposite. Variations of traditional exercise machines have been made to cater to those who can’t work out in a standard gym environment. From basic training equipment like rollers or peddlers, to complete and fully-featured workout machines, there are many wheelchair accessories for training and exercise available to help you keep in shape.
You Don’t Have to Stand to Dance
If you’re having trouble working up the courage or motivation to engage in physical activity, then it can be difficult to find a routine that you feel comfortable doing. However, something as simple as dancing in your chair can be advantageous in raising your endorphin levels and providing cardiovascular benefit. By moving the parts of your body that are unhindered, you’ll still burn calories and build muscle.
Increasing Your Grip and Coordination
Hand and wrist mobility is very important when trying to live a functional lifestyle. Strength and flexibility training for your hands should not be ignored when considering your workout plan or routine. Simple and easy to do routines that are designed to keep your tendons strong and loose should be performed regularly for the best results.
Resistance Band Movements
Resistance bands are a cheap and easy solution for those who can’t risk working with free weights, and they come in a range of sizes and strengths. Little more than rubber tubes or belts, resistance bands can be utilized in a wide range of exercises that can help restore mobility and build strength from the home. They can even be fitted to your existing wheelchair parts to accommodate those with less mobility.
Low Impact Cardio
Cardiovascular activity is an absolute must to keep your heart healthy and stamina high – both of which can be severely diminished by remaining sedentary. Even if you’re not able to stand or walk for long distances, you can still engage in low impact cardio to improve your health and endurance.
Improving your cardiovascular health requires an elevated heart rate and sometimes some sweat, so it’s important to keep the intensity high enough to achieve that without overdoing it. Whether you require wheelchair accessories to achieve this task or can rely on your own body, using a seated workout routine or video can help you get the most out of any workout.
Your disability doesn’t have to feel like a prison sentence. It’s important to keep an open mind and remain motivated to make the most out of your situation. Guidance from a therapist or physician can help get you along if you’re unsure of where to start, so don’t be afraid to ask. By following these tips, you can begin to regain mobility and/or improve your strength starting today.