We all are aware of the fact that maintaining a regular healthy physical body has several advantages. Your body is perhaps your only reserve to ensure a one in all healthy life. Exercising has several merits known to improve your bodily functions as well as your mental and emotional balance. The more active your core and muscles become, the healthier your life regiment would be.
Now, imagine a person who uses a wheelchair exercising daily. As difficult as the picture may appear, the prospects it holds for the person are impeccable. The advantages mentioned above remain true for all of us, no matter our impairment. In fact, the benefits of exercising become more eminent for people seeking improvement in their conditions. Using all the working muscles and awakening the core is one of the viable methods to tackle additional health hazards such as cardiovascular disease, press ulcers, muscle atrophy, etc. from arising.
But, again, the situation appears a bit troubling for chair bound as long as the conventional methods of exercising are concerned. The world has changed, and so have the options for a daily workout routine. With opting for the right exercise vigouring the whole body irrespective of the impairment, one can exercise daily and achieve the ideal body they deserve as per the survey abstracts of an American exercise trial for wheelchair users.
Moreover, the advancement in technology has also given us some latest wheelchair options such as a portable electric wheelchair easing the task further.
Therefore, below mentioned are five of the most efficient ways of exercising and providing a wheelchair user’s body with the necessary strain and movement it needs:
Regain Your Flexibility by Stretching Practices
For keeping all the muscles of the human body engaged and functioning, the usual stretch and pull of muscles is essentially needed for all chairbound people. Like a physically abled or fit person, stretching plays a vital role in improving their condition. It manages the proper flow of blood down their arteries, manages the flexibility and relaxation of our moving parts, relieves joint pains, boosts adrenaline, and removes excessive physical as well as mental stress.
A chair user is likely to experience some of the extreme conditions of stiffness and tensions among their joints. Hence, while going through such conditions stretching may be their go-to exercise for keeping the prominent moving body parts such as knees, shoulders, ankles, and pelvic joints to relieve the excessive strain.
Handcycling is Your Best Cardio
Aerobic cardiovascular exercises do not necessarily focus on the lower parts. One can always try using their upper body to gain good health and fight off cardiovascular ailments. When lower aerobic exercises appear difficult, a trying person can give a shot to hand cycling while sitting on a chair. There are stationary handcycles available on the market, making the aerobic exercises fun and thrilling.
People seeking a calm and serene ambiance can choose a location as per their mood and reference and start working out. Handcycling also involves the full engagement of our shoulder joints, making them healthier than before. And what’s more, our cardiac conditions can improve as well.
Weight Training for Gaining Muscle Strength
Chairs only bind a person’s lower body movements and cause trouble while putting weight over the lower parts. The option of toning muscles and gaining arm strength using free weights and cable machines appears viable under such circumstances. Weight training is very important when it comes to staying fit and improving the weakened hand grips.
However, the exercise needs to be limited for a shorter span, as even a little weight is capable of causing excessive strain over the abdominal cavity leading to problems afterward. Use small dumbbells or workout for a shorter period, say 5 minutes or so.
Increase your time limit only if the body agrees, and there’s no pain while lifting the weight. One can also take the help of your gym instructor or anyone available in managing the excessive strain and stress caused by a dumbbell or a cable machine.
Try Wheelchair Sports
Wheelchair sports or adaptive sports is a type of physiotherapy for wheelchair users. The plays are modified and eased up versions of the usual games such as Hockey or Football, a recreational way of physical exercise.
There are several adaptive games associations and leagues organizing such events involving exquisite games such as Wheelchair Football, Wheelchair Tennis, Wheelchair Race, etc. in teams. This is both a mental as well as a physical workout for a chair user playing in teams.
Water Exercises for Extended Motions
The fluidity of water not only makes it flow but those who swim flow along with it, thereby making it one of the most effective ways of exercising. A chair user may not be able to use his lower body while sitting, but the feeling of weightlessness that comes while swimming gives birth to a broader range of body movements in the body.
Keeping this peculiar property in mind, there are several aquatic-therapies designed for people with impairments, allowing them to work out as a whole. Your limbs feel freer while floating and are perhaps the best medium to improve your scope of mobility.
Life in a wheelchair is difficult, and these exercises may sound a bit difficult for those living in it. Doctors usually suggest not stressing the body and take the ailing condition lightly. These exercises, therefore, are designed to meet the workout needs while the person sits on that chair.
The overall success may appear unachievable at first. However, with a little help from the outside and keeping the survivor spirit alive, anyone can overcome the difficulty rather easily. Try from scratch and take up a new regimen, your chair may be a necessity but make sure your life is not bound to it.