Whether you are permanently disabled, or you have suffered from an accident which has caused temporary reduced mobility, staying healthy and active is important. In terms of getting around, wheelchair accessible vehicles and accessible public transport is often the preferred option for those with reduced mobility, whereas many fully-mobile individuals may rave about the importance of walking and running in order to stay fit and healthy. Nevertheless, there are numerous different ways to stay active, and stay healthy when using a wheelchair, or if you simply struggle to move freely. Whatever your range of movement, you are able to maintain good levels of health and fitness with these five methods!
Many wheelchair users may seem confused about how they can engage in yoga, but it is perfectly possible to join a standard yoga class. Yoga is very helpful, particularly for older people, no matter their mobility range, and it can help to accurately improve flexibility, balance and co-ordination. In a wheelchair, yogic breathing and upper body stretching can all be achieved effectively. It is a great strength building exercise, and is often beneficial for those with reduced mobility and chronic health conditions, as each pose can be adapted to ensure optimal posture and breath-work is achieved.
Depending on your condition, health practitioners may even recommend some form of strength training, and may incorporate this as part of your rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Strength training can help to improve overall muscle health and strength, which can, in turn, help to make everyday tasks much easier for you, and for others living in your household. If you are in wheelchair, then you are able to focus on the upper-body when it comes to your strength training. Maintaining your strength can also help aid you in independent tasks and can allow you to enjoy life experiences which you may not have been able to take part in previously. Investing in a set of weights or heading to the local gym are all possible ventures for those with reduced mobility, as long as health and safety procedures are followed appropriately.
Swimming is a gentle yet effective form of exercise which can target numerous areas of the body. It is exceptionally well suited to those with reduced mobility, as the water can help to reduce the weight and pressure on the joints and muscles, as well as reducing any impact that exercise would normally have. Many public swimming pools will have appropriate facilities for those with reduced mobility to enter and exit the pool, such as rigs, ramps and supports.
In a similar way to how swimming can be an effective exercise method, aqua aerobics can also provide an easier form of exercise for the body. Aqua aerobics however, are much more targeted towards exercise, whereas swimming can be enjoyed as a leisure activity while still keeping you healthy. There are numerous classes and ventures for those with reduced mobility to join, and aqua aerobics is becoming an increasingly popular form of exercise.
If you are not in a wheelchair, but you do have reduced mobility, then you may consider gentle, short walks around your local area in order to have some form of exercise integrated as part of your day. Whether this is a trip to the local shop and back (ensuring that your balance is not impacting by any shopping that you may return with), or just a gentle stroll around the local park, the impact gentle walking can have on your overall health can be dramatic. If you can’t walk on your own but don’t need a wheelchair, you should look at 4 wheeled walking aids which can assist you but still allow you to keep or regain mobility.