Everybody knows the importance of diet and exercise for optimum health but what if you are disabled and cannot do most of the regimens prescribed for a healthier life? Confined to a wheelchair because of a physical disability, it is already hard to do the basic necessities? how much more if you are going to exercise. However, the fact is that exercise is more essential for people that are disabled than those that are living normally. Wheelchair workouts maintain the strength of the muscles, gives energy, lessens everyday stress and aid in reducing fatigue. There is also a constant issue on weight loss if you are disabled.
In general, those that are confined to wheelchairs should put their focus on resistance training, since it improves the strength of the upper body and lessens the chances of being injured. The guidance and clearance of a physical therapist or physician will give you your best options.
A good way to start exercising is with the use of videos. There are various seated exercises presented in video tutorials that you could do right from your home. If you want to do more than the basic stretching and strength training, you can invest in some kind of specialized exercise machine that will allow for the necessary exercise for disabled people.
Because of the demand created by disabled people, the market now has modern strength training machines that were designed for people who are confined to wheelchairs. In addition, a disabled can also find hand cyclers and other kinds of cardio equipment’s that were made specifically for the physically impaired.
If you cannot afford to have specialized equipment though, do not be discouraged. If you have full use of your upper body, you can do exercises that are simple but are beneficial nonetheless. For example, you can lift your arms out in front of you and hold them in position for a few seconds before lowering. You can then lift them out to the sides at shoulder level and then holding them in position for a few seconds again before lowering. You can do both of these exercises for 15 to 20 times. As you gain strength, you can begin using hand weights.
Other wheelchair workouts that can aid in weight loss and fitness include overhead press, bicep curls and shoulder shrug.
If you are a competitive person, you can try doing organized sports instead. There are sports that are suited for people that are confined to wheelchairs. In fact, there are organized events for the disabled where you can participate in such sports as archery, fencing, basketball and many more. If you need training for a particular sport, there are organizations that can help you such as the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability or NCPAD.
Your flexibility is essential in reducing the chances of injury as you exercise. You can improve it by doing stretching exercises that are specifically targeted for the major upper body muscles such as the arms, shoulders, neck and back. It is important that you maintain proper form as you exercise.
As a disabled, you have to strive harder and be more creative in the way you exercise. However, there are people, such as your physical therapist or your doctor, who can help you find the right wheelchair workouts that will keep your active and strong.