You don’t need to have full mobility to experience the amazing benefits of an active lifestyle. If a disability, an injury or other health problems have prevented you from traditional exercise, there are still ways to kick-start a healthier lifestyle and stay active.
Exercise can help improve physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, leading to a much better outlook on life. While there can be challenges that come with being in a wheelchair, exercise can be easier than you may think.
Perhaps you have become frail with age and now find exercise difficult. The trick is to adopt a creative approach when it comes to exercising in a wheelchair, to help overcome any physical barriers and to find different and enjoyable ways of being active and healthy, improving your overall well being.
How regular exercise can help
What constitutes as exercise and physical activity can vary. However, a good target to aim for is around 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Regular exercise or physical activity can help in a wide range of areas, such as:
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, exercise has been proven to help improve physical and mental wellness to prolong optimal health.
Types of exercise
It’s important to remember that any type of physical activity or exercise will offer health benefits to you. No matter what your physical condition, you should to incorporate three different types of exercise or activity into your life, if you can. Some popular types are:
These help to improve your heart, circulation and endurance. Some examples you can try are:
Strength training exercises.
Strength training exercises involve using weights or other resistance to strengthen the body’s muscles and bones. This is very important, especially for those in wheelchairs, as unused muscles can become weak and depleted.
If you have limited mobility, you can try:
These types of exercises help to enhance your range of motion, prevent any injuries and reduce any stiffness you may have. Being in a wheelchair can often bring a lot of stiffness to the body, so by integrating flexibility exercises into your life, may help you feel more limber.
You could try:
Sports – team or individual. Sport is an incredibly enjoyable way to keep healthy. If you’re interested, you may want to take part in a disability sport, such as basketball, football, soccer, tennis – and there are many more options, too!
Preparing for exercise
Before you begin exercising regularly, you should seek medical clearance from your doctor or physical therapist, as they can advise you on what activities may be suitable for your medical condition, needs and capabilities.