Over 20 million people over the age of 18 have an extremely hard time walking or climbing stairs, making up 7.1% of non-institutionalized people with disabilities. This means people of all ages may find themselves using wheelchairs to get around. A major worry for many wheelchair users is that they won’t be able to work out once they’re chair bound. But no need to worry. There are many exercises out there at people can do with their limited mobility right from their chair.
Anything you can do involving weights, you can do right from your chair. The weights are used to help build bone mass and muscle, which can help improve your balance. Since you’re restricted to your chair and balance isn’t something you may necessarily be thinking about, all of your weight training will revolve around your arms. This is good, especially if you have a manual wheelchair. You’re going to need strong arms to make sure you can power the wheels.
Typically, cardiovascular exercises involve running, walking, and jogging. Since you’re dealing with limited mobility, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Swimming is actually a really good cardiovascular exercise, and you don’t have to worry about your mobility issue. There are plenty of swimming classes available specifically for people with limited mobility. The instructors are trained to work with people who don’t have great use of their legs, but they won’t cut you any slack. You’ll definitely still be able to get a great workout in.
Flexibility exercises are actually extremely important for people restricted to a wheelchair. People in wheelchairs are subject to muscle atrophy, so it’s super important to make sure you’re doing your daily stretches. You can also try out some yoga poses and movements to help prevent injury, reduce stiffness, and reduce pain.
Limited mobility can be frustrating, but it doesn't mean you have to give up on your active lifestyle. You can still workout, even from a wheelchair. Take a look at the workout suggestions listed above and get ready to hit the gym.