Are you a wheelchair user who would like to start doing exercise? After all, if you want to remain healthy, it isn’t obvious how to do it while seated. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to keep your body fit:
1. Front Raises (Shoulders)
For one thing, you need to move your arms. An easy way to do this is to pick up an object that adds a bit of weight, such as a Pilates ball or small handheld weights, and lift it over your head. Do this with straight arms, then with bent arms. Then, keep your arms in front of you and bend your elbows to bring the ball towards you.
2. Keep Moving Between Sets
In between exercises, move around in your wheelchair. Find a spot where you can roll for about 35 feet at a time. This will make sure you do not get bored and will add to your exercise routine.
3. Side Twists (Obliques & Core)
Next, still holding the ball in your hands with your arms stretched out in front of you, twist your body from side to side. This means that you will now be facing the side even if you are still sitting perfectly in your chair.
4. Elastic Band Curls (Biceps)
Afterwards, find one of the long elastics used for exercising. Put it under your feet and hold each end in your hands. Pull up and repeat several times.
5. Overhead Raises (Shoulders & Core)
Now, pick up the ball again. Hold it above your head. Bring it as far back as you can without falling backwards. Repeat several times.
6. Overhead Extensions (Triceps)
Grab a stick, such as a branch or a walking stick, and hold it above your head with both hands. Bend your elbows, then straighten your arms. Keep the stick parallel to the ground.
7. Lateral Raises (Shoulders)
Then, put your arms straight down on either side of your wheelchair. Lift them forwards until they are above your head. Repeat. Then, lift them up sideways until they are over your head. Repeat. Next, move them backwards in a circular motion, then forwards. Repeat.
I hope you find that a few of these exercises work for you!
Work Hard, Rest Harder
Of course, your muscles can only grow and get stronger if you rest properly after you finish exercising. Proper nutrition and good night's sleep will do as much for strength gains as your time spent working out!
Make sure you have the right bed to accommodate any mobility issues to ensure you're getting quality sleep every night. Having a proper pressure-relief mattress can also make all the difference between a night spent tossing and turning and deep, restful sleep.
Image credit: Photo credit: flickr.com