There Are Important Physical And Mental Benefits To Wheelchair Exercises

By Karen Sullivan

Being wheelchair bound is difficult whether it is temporary or permanent. For those who are forced to sit all day, muscles can weaken and begin to atrophy quickly. Unless aggressive measures are taken, individuals may be able to do less and less for themselves. It is possible to create an exercise regime to fit whatever condition has put the person in this situation. Wheelchair exercises can strengthen and tone crucial muscles.

It can be difficult to get motivated to exercise when you are confined to a chair all day. It is important to set goals for yourself and develop concrete plans to achieve them. Some people find family and friends crucial for holding them accountable and giving them regular encouragement. You may find it helpful to set aside a specific time each day to dedicate to exercising.

It may help to remind yourself of the benefits you receive when you make the effort to do some sort of exercising every day. Exercise has some obvious physical benefits that include improving blood circulation, posture, and spinal stability. It tones muscles, increases flexibility, and keeps you from gaining weight. In addition to the physical benefits, exercise reduces stress and generates endorphins, which are powerful anti-depressants.

Before you begin any strength training, you need to warm up for five minutes or so. Push ups are great for strengthening your upper body. You should make certain the brakes are firmly in place before you try to lift yourself up from the seat using the armrests. Overhead stretches using free weights or dumbbells are effective ways to tone and strengthen arms and back muscles.

Resistance bands are great for chair bound individuals. Tying one end to a doorknob, or another object that will not move, makes it possible for people to do leg and arm extensions. The bands are available in a variety of strengths. You can start out with the easier bands and progress to the more difficult.

One way to get great exercise, and interact with other individuals in similar circumstances, is to find a team sport for people in motorized chairs. You can choose from basketball, soccer, football, skiing, golf, table tennis and more. The vigorous exercising these sports require is excellent for your lungs and heart. You will burn calories and increase your energy levels as well.

While exercising is very important for individuals with limited mobility, taking care to prevent common injuries is also important. Injuries to the upper body are the most common ailments wheelchair bound people complain of. They use their upper bodies to maneuver their chairs, get in and out of them, and perform other daily activities. Shoulder strains and carpal tunnel disorders make up the majority of upper body injuries sustained by those in chairs.

It is easy to become depressed and anxious when you are confined to a chair or bed all day and night. Exercising is one way to improve your mental state. A regular exercise routine also tones and strengthens the muscles you need to remain as independent as possible.

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