If you are elderly and wheelchair-bound, you do not have to settle for a sedentary life. Staying active, healthy and fit through exercise has a number of benefits.
Fitness for aging wheelchair users tends to result in:
- Lower body fat, higher self-esteem and less chance of developing diabetes
- More muscle strength and stamina
- Better circulation and breathing
- Better immune system function
- Less chance of developing pressure sores and urinary tract infections
Through flexibility and resistance exercises, strength training and endurance movements, chair-bound seniors can reap the physical, mental and emotional rewards of exercise. If being chair-bound has been discouraging you from attempting to exercise in the past, take heart – all that’s required to achieve physical fitness is an appropriate routine that includes the following types of exercises:
- Flexibility training: Combining slow stretching, bending and twisting motions helps you limber up, while improving your range of motion. These exercises can be accomplished from your wheelchair or while lying down. Chair-yoga classes are a good option.
- Endurance movements: There are many pool-therapy programs in Arizona specifically designed for senior wheelchair users. There are also training machines adaptable for people who are wheelchair-bound that make arm bicycling and rowing possible. Repetitive movement exercises such as sitting push-ups and leg lifts will also help you raise your heart rate.
- Strength training: Light, repetitive sets of lifting exercises using dumbbells or free weights. If you do not have specialized weights, try using soup cans or water bottles.
- Resistance exercises: Resistance bands are designed to exercise your muscles through stretching and pulling. Shaped like large rubber bands, they attach to a doorknob, any sturdy piece of furniture or even your wheelchair.
Check with your doctor or physical therapist for recommendations of exercise programs specifically designed to address fitness for aging wheelchair users.
Power Mobility & Lifts can help you find answers to your mobility equipment and fitness questions. Headquartered in Phoenix, we are the leading provider of mobility equipment in the Valley of the Sun region. We help clients throughout Arizona, and we are just a phone call away. For more information, contact our qualified staff.
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