How to stay fit in a wheelchair
A recent study involving people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) has revealed that staying fit is even more important for them than for able-bodied people. The results of the project have enabled the researchers to lay down exercise guidelines that will help people with SCI to learn how to stay fit in a wheelchair. Doing so, willimprove both their physical and mental health and help to prevent the development of secondary conditions.
Recommendations as to how to stay fit in a wheelchair
For general cardiorespiratory fitness and to improve muscle strength, the study recommends that adults with CSI should engage in twenty minutes of aerobic activity of moderate to vigorous intensity, twice a week.Additionally, two sessions per week that include three sets of moderate to vigorous strength-training exercises aimed at each major group of muscles that the person has functioning.
For cardiometabolic health,the study recommends at least three sessions of moderate to intense aerobicactivity lasting thirty-minuteseach one.
Being in a wheelchair is, naturally, a sedentary lifestyle, which implies multiple health hazards, so wheelchair users need to try extra hard to get enough aerobic activity from their chair.
What is aerobic activity?
The word aerobic means “with oxygen” and this type of exercise is also known as cardio. It involves exercising hard enough and long enough to raise both your heart and breathing rate.It makes your heart pump oxygenated blood to your muscles and organs.Performing aerobic exercise can lower your risk of developing cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and depression. It also burns up calories to keep you at a healthy weight, and encourages movement of the whole body, so reducing the risk of pressure sores.
Building up your muscle strength will make transfers easier and give you greater pushing capacity to make your day to day life easier and more enjoyable.
Before commencing any fitness programme, you should check with your doctor. He will make sure that you do not have an underlying condition that would make some types of exercise unsuitable. He can also advise on the best way to exercise depending on where your spinal lesion is located.
Three ways to get aerobic exercise in a wheelchair
- Invictus Active Trainer
The Invictus Active Trainer is a roller trainer that you can use in the comfort and security of your own home. It is easy to set up and use, and studies have shown that it is an excellent way to burn calories, increase muscle strength and get a real aerobic workout. You can increase the resistance of the rollers to increase your workout as your physical condition improves. You can enjoy a free, no-obligation, seven-day home trial of the Smart Plus Invictus ActiveTrainer, just click here.
- Workout DVD
The Wheel-Spin DVD is the perfect complement to your trainer. A professionally designed exercise program that will show you exactly how to stay fit a wheelchair by doing a fun and effective aerobic workout routine.
- The FreeWheel
The FreeWheel attachment turns your wheelchair into an all-terrain vehicle. It will allow you to pass over all kinds of difficult terrains like grass, gravel, sand, or even snow, with ease. That means, that you can get out and about to all kinds of places, so getting more exercise and having more fun.
- Online Videos
Great videos to follow – Click here