There is an unfortunate misconception that people who use wheelchairs cannot exercise, or that they don’t even need to exercise. That, of course, isn’t so! Most people, with and without disabilities, ought to engage in wellness activities to maintain optimal health.
In fact, statistics show that people with disabilities are less likely to be of healthy weight and more likely to be obese than people without disabilities. However, options for accessible equipment and/or modifiable exercises are aplenty. Yes, it’s time to kickstart your fitness goals!
Here are some examples of wheelchair exercises:
Arm Bike Machine
The arm bike can provide an excellent cardio workout, especially by engaging the core and upper body. Apart from working the lungs and heart, this exercise option may also contribute to strength development.
Unlike other workout options, the arm bike machine helps one to work on two things at the same time. Furthermore, you only need to be on the machine for about half an hour for a highly beneficial session. According to some fitness enthusiasts, the arm bike is a good starting point for wheelchair users to kickstart exercise goals.
The chest stretch is among the best exercises executed in a seated position. It’s an exceptional way to improve posture. This is important as sitting for long periods can weaken back muscles. Plus, the motion of self-propelling one’s wheelchair tends to mostly utilize the shoulder and chest muscles, so focused stretching is wise.
Overusing these muscles could cause stiffness and soreness, thus leading to injury. So exercising the back and chest muscles can help alleviate this risk of pain.
Ready to really move to the beat? Well, this kind of jazz toe exercise is ideal for anyone with limited mobility that enjoys working out to upbeat music. Oh, and it’s fairly simple and less strenuous too, compared to other exercises. Sit comfortably, and relax while tuning into your favorite tunes to tap your toes.
Nonetheless, wheelchair users should be aware of posture to avoid straining the back muscles. Therefore, maintain an upright posture with feet positioned flat on the surface of the ground. Try tapping one foot at a time, alternate them or work feet concurrently.
This form of exercise is meant to target the chest muscles. You can use a basketball, medicine ball or something similar for this workout. To nail it, maintain an upright posture and focus on squeezing the ball as hard as you can.
Try doing so while in different positions for an all-rounded workout. Be sure not to rush through the exercise to achieve proper intensity.
What are some of your favorite wheelchair exercises?