Through the support of advanced technology and medical research, older adults are leading a much healthier, longer life. Unfortunately, we cannot rely 100% on science. Older adults still need to stay physically active to achieve a much better quality of life. Being wheelchair-bound may limit your mobility but that does not mean you cannot stay fit and active. Here are several exercises for wheelchair-bound older adults that you can try with your friends and family.
Some individuals are easily motivated just by the thought of being able to lose weight and maintain a healthier body image. There are also others who need a little bit more motivation before they will eventually get started. One of the main benefits of exercising is simply because it is good for our health. It can improve not just our physical health, but our mental health too. Exercising can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, depression, and even cancer. Research has shown that older adults with disabilities who are inactive are 50% more likely to contract at least one chronic illness. If this is not motivational enough for you to start exercising, set short-term goals and work your way to accomplishing each one of them.
Once you are motivated to get moving, you need to know exactly what you need to do. There are several types of exercises that you can still perform even when you are bound to a wheelchair. Flexibility and stretching exercises are great at helping you to warm up to get oxygen flowing smoothly to your bloodstream and organs. You can start off with simple arm circles, neck stretches, and forward bends. You can also try wheelchair yoga which helps you maintain great flexibility while sitting down. For a more intense workout, you can try modified Zumba, arm biking, boxing, and even swimming. Some professional coaches specialize in these workouts for the wheelchair-bound. A more intense workout can get the heart to pump more blood, thus causing you to sweat which is essential to detox the body to get rid of toxins. Strength training is another form of exercise that can be done while sitting down. You can lift light weights before slowly increasing the number.
Regardless of how motivated you are, it is critical for you to maintain safety first. The first safety step is to consult your doctor regarding the types of exercises that you wish to try. You need to ensure that your body can take the new exercise regime and will not cause more harm than good. Another important safety step is to stay hydrated. Exercising causes you to perspire and drinking enough liquids before exercising can prevent you from passing out. It is also crucial that you try to exercise with a friend or a family member. This is to ensure that you will receive immediate assistance should the unexpected happen while you are exercising. This is especially important if you are staying on your own. Exercising offers plenty of benefits but your safety always comes first.