Rolling Without Limits

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Wheelchair Aerobics: Get Fit, Have Fun!
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Wheelchair Aerobics: Get Fit, Have Fun!

A UK fitness instructor is about to begin trialing a new aerobics class whilst at the same time raising money for his London Marathon charity race.  There’s nothing remarkable about this except that Kris Saunders-Stowe is has a disability and MS. 

Kris runs ‘Wheely Good Fitness’, a business that offers fitness classes to people with disabilities in Herefordshire where he lives and works.  The new class is aimed at both able bodied people and those in self-propelling wheelchairs.  Kris thinks that seated exercise has a poor image.  It’s seen as being boring and slow, something his new aerobics class most certainly is not!

Why aerobics?

Aerobic exercise pushes up your breathing and heart rate, and this brings more oxygen to your muscles.  Regular aerobic exercise keeps your body weight in check and can help to improve your energy levels and mood.  It’s perfect for those in wheelchairs who are looking for a fun way to incorporate more activity into their schedules.  If you’re thinking of taking up an aerobics class, always check with your doctor before you start.

Set yourself a weekly goal of 150 minutes of fairly moderate aerobics.  If you prefer, you could do 75 minutes of more vigorous aerobics.  Each session can be broken down into segments of 10 to 22 minutes while you build up your fitness levels.  Spread out your exercise sessions over a week to allow your body to recover in between.  On in-between days, do some weight-resistance exercises instead to help build endurance and muscle strength.

Warm up – cool down

Always include a five-minute warm up and cool down in every session, and gradually increase the intensity of your exercise.  This gradually increases the blood flow to your muscles and reduces the risk of injury.  A good way to warm down after exercise is to carry out some gentle stretching exercises.

In conclusion

A moderate amount of aerobic exercise each week is really good for your body, whether you have a disability or are able-bodied.  It’s fun too and can be an enjoyable social event to look forward to.



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