Fitness Activities For The Wheelchair-Bound


Those who rely on a wheelchair for personal mobility can be as fit and healthy as anyone by putting a little research into activities that are accessible to the wheelchair-bound.

Simply moving independently in a manual wheelchair at a speed of around 2 mph on a flat surface will burn about 240 calories an hour. This is actually significantly more than the amount of calories burned by walking at the same speed. 

Whether wheelchair users want to engage in exercise that improves their cardiovascular health, strength, or flexibility, they can find a wheelchair fitness activity that is both effective and enjoyable. The following are some of the best ways to get each of these three types of exercise in a wheelchair:

Cardiovascular exercise

Cardiovascular exercise raises one's heart rate, burns calories, and improves endurance. While a wheelchair might at first seem like an obstacle to enjoying typical cardiovascular exercises, those in a wheelchair can really participate in just about any cardiovascular exercise by simply making a few adjustments.

Team sports allow the wheelchair-bound to both exercise and socialize with others. Sports leagues arranged for those in wheelchairs can provide opportunities for playing sports like basketball, volleyball, football, and more. 

Even though people who use a wheelchair can't get up and run around a track, they can burn calories and break a sweat by taking laps around a track in a manual wheelchair. They can also get cardiovascular workouts at the gym with equipment like gliders and hand bikes.

Strength training

Building muscle in the arms is especially important for manual wheelchair users who rely on arm strength to get around. The following are some simple strength training exercises that are perfect for the wheelchair-bound:

  • Pushups- Wheelchair pushups are convenient and simple arm exercises for the wheelchair-bound. By simply applying the handbrake, a wheelchair can be secured and the user can attempt to push himself or herself up from the seat. 
  • Free weights- Dumbbells and free weights can be used to work the biceps by doing curls or to work the back by lifting weights up over one's head.
  • Medicine ball activities- The medicine ball is especially useful to the wheelchair-bound for working the arm muscles. Throwing a lightweight medicine ball back and forth with another individual is a simple activity that can work the triceps and the chest muscles. 

Flexibility and relaxation

Yoga is a great activity for the wheelchair-bound who are looking to maintain flexibility in the back and arms. Flexibility exercises help individuals to prevent muscle atrophy, which can be a serious issue for those with mobility issues. When you're looking to buy wheelchairs, be sure to look for those that will be best for your active lifestyle.


21 January 2015

Outstanding In-Home Care

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