A regular exercise routine is beneficial for everyone, including older adults who are wheelchair users. With so many options and channels available for everyone, your disability shouldn’t stop you from getting fit regardless of your physical condition. After all, a healthy exercise routine is much more than just gaining muscles or losing weight; it is about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and attaining mental satisfaction.
So, if you’re looking to get fit and active, here are four ways you can do it.
Exercise DVDs & Channels
There are loads of DVDs, social media channels, and online sources specializing in exercise for seniors in chairs. They are curated by experts that provide fitness routines and diet plans especially for seniors and give valuable lifestyle suggestions that can bring positive results to your physical and mental health.
You can also get together with a bunch of friends and family members or form a club to have fun while you exercise using these DVDs or online videos. It could be a daily, weekly, or monthly activity, keeping you in a routine while making the experience delightful.
Stretching & Low-Impact Exercises
Another important aspect of staying fit is having healthy muscles and joints. Being on the chair shouldn’t stop you from engaging your neck, shoulders, back, and hands. You can do some light stretching exercises with minimal movement to help keep your muscles and joints healthy and moving. It can reduce the chances of aches, ligament tears, strain, and sprains.
Low-impact exercises can also include yoga poses that one can do while seated, certain tai chi movements when sitting down, or perhaps, a leisurely stroll. Low-impact doesn’t necessarily mean less effective; you can engage in less strenuous activities to stay healthy and moving. These can also be useful for people who have severe issues leading to chronic body aches. These exercises won’t put you under stress, instead, they help your body feel better.
Strength training sounds like a term most people associate with gym rats who carry protein shake tumblers in their bags but let us tell you, weight training is for everybody.
These exercises use weights and other types of resistances (resistance bands, waistbands, cuff weights, etc.) to build muscles, bone mass and increase core strength. It also helps improve your balance and motor control. Another amazing advantage to strength training is that you don’t need to avoid it if you lack mobility in a part of your body. If you have an injured shoulder, you can engage your core; if you are on a chair, you could train your upper body; if you have limited mobility waist-down, you could train your upper body and shoulders – strength training is always a possibility.
Aerobic activities are a great way to see quick and visible changes in your body as you get fit as they result in drastic changes. An aerobic activity can be defined as anything that causes your heart rate to increase for a certain period of time. It can include swimming, playing a sport, running, or dancing. It is also the most flexible kind of activity for any individual as you can begin with a slow, easy-paced routine and move onto a more extreme one, increasing the duration or intensity of the activity.
And your chair would not be a hindrance at all; many sports clubs have special facilities for helping you play with ease. For instance, many people, with mobility issues, on chairs find water activities, such as swimming or water aerobics, soothing and fruitful.
While the fitness industry mostly targets the youth or professionals, it also caters to the elderly or people with mobility problems. All you need is enough zeal and strength to begin and find an enjoyable activity to help you feel better, happier, and healthier.
Main Photo by Kampus Production.