Exercise is a great thing for every body, disabled or not. It can help ease symptoms of depression, relieve stress and anxiety, improve your outlook on life and help boost your self esteem. It works by releasing endorphins that allow you to feel so much better, so don’t limit yourself if you happen to have a disability. It may be a bit harder to find the best work out regimen for you, but once you do you can start reaping all the rewards that exercise brings.
If you have a disability that involves a mobility issue there are a few things you should focus on in your workout. Cardio, strength training and flexibility will help raise your heart rate, enhance your range of motion, help to prevent an injury and help to reduce any pain you may be having. The trick is to start slowly and move on gradually so you don’t over do it and then want to stop exercising all together. Like anyone else starting an exercise regimen it’s also important to stick with it and to expect highs and lows. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is an exercise program.
If you are limited with what you can do because you are in a wheelchair, there are wheelchair and indeed chair exercises (great for anyone!) that you can do. These include chair aerobics or something as simple as air punching. You can also do resistance training with a light resistance band that you attach either to your chair or a door knob and gently pull to build up your resistance. There are also therapy pools in most towns that allow you to get your exercise with the added benefits of water. Shoulder presses, wheelchair sports, bicep curls and triceps extensions are also all great thing to try while you are sitting in your chair. While in that chair though, you want to make sure the brakes are on and that your knees are at a 90 degree angle if at all possible, sit up tall and use those abs for good posture at all times. This will help prevent an injury and keep you in a great position for those great workouts
With just a little bit of ingenuity, anyone with a disability can take on an exercise program and reap the rewards of it. Don’t forget the rules about proper warm ups, stretches and cool downs and of course, drink plenty of water throughout. The best tip of all? Have fun!