Wheelchair Workouts

Wheelchair Workouts

Whether your wheelchair use is temporary or full-time, exercise should be an important part of your routine. Exercise will improve your mood, maintain muscle tone, and improve health in general. Mood-boosting endorphins can relieve anxiety and stress, help you sleep better, and improve your self-image. Make sure you check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. Here are a few exercises and exercise tips for wheelchair users:

  • Start a routine – if you’re not a fan of exercise, try working out while watching your favorite television shows (or during commercial breaks). Find a friend or family member to exercise with, or ask them to join you until you develop a routine. Soon after starting a routine, you’ll notice that you enjoy exercising and the way it makes you feel.
  • Warm up – this is essential! Just like any other workout, make sure to get your blood pumping and stretch out a little before you start working out. This prevents injury and gets you physically and mentally ready to work out.
  • Strength training – do push-ups by lifting your body off of the seat of your wheelchair for a few seconds, then lowering slowly. Repeat as your strength allows, taking breaks between repetitions. Dumbbells can be used while seated for bicep curls (lots of variations), shoulder presses, upright rows, arm lifts, or front raises.
  • Resistance training – tie a resistance band to a solid, immovable object (a door handle or the arm rest of your wheelchair work well) to use for your exercises. Try arm and leg extensions, rows, shoulder rotations, and pull-downs.
  • See YouTube for a wide variety of videos on how to do all kinds of wheelchair exercises, from yoga and tai chi to aerobics. There are even videos on chair salsa dancing!
  • There are home gym systems designed especially for wheelchair users, and some outdoor gyms offer equipment that is made specifically for athletes in wheelchairs.
  • Cool-down – also essential! Take time to stretch out and cool down after your workout. Reflect on how your workout session went and what you’d like to work on next time. Cooling down after exercising helps prevent injury and stress to muscles, and puts you in a good state of mind to continue your day.

Continue to explore your exercise options to keep your workouts fresh, interesting, and exciting. Pinterest and YouTube are great sources of wheelchair workout ideas and directions. Enjoy your workout!

This post was written by a contributor for Global Lift Corp, specializing in commercial-grade pool lifts. Please visit us at our website.