Fitness Advice For Wheelchair Users

Staying fit is one of the most important things that people can do in their lives. Being in shape improves our organs, strength and overall health. In addition, it is also very important for our mental health. Wheelchair users benefit greatly from exercising. Being active can help a lot with their day to day activities and routines. Limited mobility does not mean that you can’t have a good workout. Here is some great fitness advice for you, if you are in a wheelchair.

Fitness Equipment

While you can do many quality exercises without any additional equipment, it can’t hurt to get some weights and dumbells. These can really help you build up arm muscle. A good barbell will give you many additional exercise options, but it’s a good idea to get a stand for it as well. It will make working out with the barbell much more accessible. If you have some extra money, there are many great workout machines that are adapted to wheelchair users. Also, get the necessities like a water bottle to constantly hydrate and some stylish hair tie to stop your hair from getting in the way. 

Take it Easy 

Start slowly and take it one step at a time. Different people have different levels of physical readiness and this is perfectly normal. No one expects you to become a professional athlete overnight. It’s especially important to take it easy if you haven’t exercised in a while. Once you find a workout routine that suits you, stick with it. If you are using weights, start with lighter ones, don’t overexert yourself. Go slow in the beginning and you will quickly notice many improvements in your body.

Do Some Research

There are many great websites and forums that could help you to discover your perfect workout routine. Spend some time discussing exercises with other wheelchair users. Watch some videos and try to come up with a routine that you’ll like and follow. Expect to, as time passes, change your routine and add new exercises to it. Not every exercise is appropriate for everyone, it all depends on your body type and motor skills. Stick with what works for you.

Cardiovascular Exercises

Cardio workouts are very useful for staying in shape. You could get a resistance band to help you with this. Tie it under your wheelchair and start doing some quick chest presses or something similar to the other end of the band. Do a couple of repetitions to get your heart going. Another good exercise you could do is just to punch the air in front of you. It is a very simple and effective exercise that doesn’t require any equipment at all. If you notice that it’s too easy for you, do it with some weights. Just remember to adjust everything to your fitness level, don’t overdo it.

Resistance Training

Strength is very important to wheelchair users, so don’t ignore these workouts. You have a large selection of exercises to choose from, including bicep curls, tricep extensions or shoulder presses. Use weights that suit you. Start with smaller ones and gradually build up your muscles. You will be lifting heavies in no time! You can also use a resistance band for muscle building. Attach it to any kind of sturdy furniture or your chair. Try doing exercises with it like shoulder rotations, arm extensions or pull-downs.

Stretching is Important

If you are in a wheelchair, stretching can be very useful to you. It can help greatly reduce pains that occur due to long periods of sitting. Apart from that, stretching will increase your flexibility and motion range. The most effective way to stretch is in a lying position. It is also a great idea to do some Tai Chi or yoga in your chair. These can be very beneficial to your body as well as your mental health.