A wheelchair exercise program can significantly improve your health and well-being. Sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time can cause annoying restlessness and discomfort. It's important to adhere to a daily fitness program and keep the body toned to always feel your best.
An exercise program will help increase strength, flexibility, improve mobility, strengthen the heart and lungs, and help control weight. Everyone has a unique situation, so consult your healthcare professional to determine what type of program and which exercises are appropriate for you.
Have your provider create a workout plan catered to your specific needs. Then have him or her regularly monitor your progress and make adjustments on a regular basis.
Your wheel chair exercise regime may include the use of resistance training bands and free weights. You will be advised specifically how to use these strength-building aids.
With resistance bands, you wrap them securely around a door, pole, arm of your wheelchair, or other stable object. Then, you pull the bands towards you or away from you to work your muscles. You can use the bands to do arm and leg extensions, shoulder rotations and pull downs.
When strength training with free weights, you will use dumbbells and have a routine comprised of different repetitions and sets designed work different muscle groups.
In addition to your workout plan, you may want to ask your doctor or therapist who if you can also supplement your wheelchair exercise workouts with fitness websites, streaming programs or DVDs designed for keeping fit and exercising while in a sitting position.
Remember to keep a positive attitude. Start slowly and apply discipline to get into a regular exercise and fitness program. Always consult with your provider to ensure you are progressing appropriately. And enjoy the results of your fitness efforts.
Information for this article by Helen Hecker, R.N.
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