If you are wondering how to stay active when confined to a wheelchair, mobility aids and vendors may be able to assist. The truth is, activity is integral for those with physical limitations, as regular conditioning can contribute to pain relief, mood, range of motion, fall prevention, and overall quality of life.
If you are confined to a wheelchair, getting more activity is the benchmark to quality of life. Did you know that mobility aids and vendors may be able to assist? Physical activity is integral for those with physical limitations, as regular conditioning can contribute to pain relief, mood, range of motion, fall reduction, and overall life quality. If regular exercise seems too challenging with current physical limitations, learn more about the benefits that mobility aids offer.
Wondering how to stay active when confined to a wheelchair?
If you are confined to a wheelchair, you may be familiar with feeling bored or restless. It may also be uncomfortable to sit in your chair for hours per day. The right exercise routine can help alleviate discomfort, improve strength, and enhance your flexibility. The benefits of conditioning include better mobility and strength, including your heart and lungs, which can simply make you feel better. Who doesn’t want that? If you experience discomfort or pain when working-out, talk to your providers and mobility experts about your chair, as perhaps it is ill-adjusted or not fitting correctly.
Specially designed workouts for those confined to wheelchairs are becoming more widely found and popular. Since those in wheelchairs maintain upper body strength, this can be used and enhanced with wheelchair specific conditioning. Popular fitness experts have chimed in and expanded on wheelchair exercise options, providing workouts that are both invigorating and recuperative.
What to Do
Ready to get started? Don’t forget to start with warm-up exercises. This is critically important for those that have been sedentary for prolonged periods or for those just starting out with a routine.
- Start by stretching your arms over your head, or have caregivers help stretch your arms by gently pulling.
- Resistance bands are a great way to engage in strength training- without leaving your chair.
- Don’t forget about cardio; raise your heart rate through a wheelchair sport at a nearby rec program or through local rehab clinics. For instance, Wheelchair basketball is a popular sport that will help get you some cardio! Not into team sports? Simply moving around the track in your chair at a rapid pace may help you to work up a sweat.
- Cool Down afterward with some deep breathing and more stretches. This will help you prevent injury, too.
Another prudent measure to take is to hire a professional trainer. These experts can tailor make a workout suited to you, while supporting, spotting, and inspiring you along the way. In fact, a personal trainer is a great investment to preserve mobility and increase range of motion for anyone in a wheelchair, of any age and any fitness level.
When beginning your regimen of wheelchair exercises, stay safe by sticking to a couple of basic strategies:
- Always warm-up and cool down with at least five minutes of stretching.
- Maintain proper posture.
- If using weights, start light and work up slowly.
- Stay hydrated.
- Don’t work out with an empty stomach or right after a full meal. Aim for about an hour after you eat.
- If you feel dizzy or unwell, stop and take a break.
Providers and Practitioners
As always, discuss your intent to begin a fitness regimen with your providers and practitioners first. Make sure that you are not at risk of medical complications or injury before engaging in rigorous conditioning or workouts. Your provider may offer input regarding specific exercises to maintain upper body strength while improving overall health. Also, always work on form and doing the exercise exactly as it is demonstrated; poor form could cause incidental injuries. Don’t over-do; do the exercises as prescribed or recommended for optimal results.
Ready to get moving? If you use a wheelchair, we can help.
Increase your activity and improve your life with a regular physical regimen that enhances body, mind, and mood. Talk to the mobility professionals at Pacific Mobility to learn more about equipment and devices that will enhance accessibility and improve quality of living today.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)