If you use a wheelchair, you most likely rely on mobility aids and ramps. Because moving around is more complicated, it may be easy to overlook physical fitness. But getting enough exercise will bring you important health benefits. Here are five tips to make sure you get active the right way:
- Talk to Your Doctor
Before starting any exercise plan, be sure to talk to your doctor about how to stay safe while you work out. Your physician will check out your general health, review any current medications, and give you the green light to get active.
- Relax with Yoga
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that involves special breathing and stretching techniques designed to strengthen your core and help you relax. Yoga is generally considered safe for wheelchair users and has the added benefit of requiring no special equipment. You may also want to consider relaxing with tai chi—the Chinese tradition is an especially gentle way to fight stress while increasing flexibility and balance.
- Try New Things
For wheelchair users, exercise sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Chair aerobics and rowing are two fun options for getting fit from your chair. If your doctor approves, try out water exercises like swimming or aerobics.
- Build Stronger Muscles
If you want to strengthen your arms without making a huge financial investment, resistance training requires only a rubber resistance band. Available at most sporting goods stores, these large bands are wrapped and pulled in a range of exercises designed to strengthen your upper body, legs, and core.
- Make Good Judgments
Any fitness plan is safer and more effective if you ask a professional to show you correct exercise techniques before you jump in. Be sure to stretch before and after activities, and plan to start slowly as you gradually build your strength. Stop immediately if you feel extremely fatigued or dizzy.
Exercise programs improve physical fitness and increase independence for wheelchair users. If you live in Morris or Somerset County and want to hear more about your options for increasing your mobility with tools like wheelchair lifts and ramps, call the NJ offices of Williams Lift Company at 908-322-7070.