Last updated on June 19th, 2020.
Disabled people need to stay fit. Having a disability triggers a lot of physical strain and it may also trigger a lot of emotional wear and tear. If you’re disabled, learning how to do exercises which are appropriate for your type of disability will help you to tone your muscles, burn calories and access feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins, which will elevate your mood and make it easier to handle problems.
We want to help, so we’re going to share information about three types of exercise which are suitable for different forms of disability.
Exercises for People in Wheelchairs
Seated aerobics is a great option for anyone who uses a wheelchair. You may tone muscles in your core, back, arms, shoulders and neck through seated aerobics. There are plenty of instructional videos out there online if you want to learn a series of exercises. However, you should be able to get good results by doing arm lifts with a pair of lightweight dumbbells. Also, perform some dynamic stretches and try out “sitting push-ups”.
To do a sitting push-up, grab both armrests of your wheelchair with both hands. Then, push yourself straight upwards, out of your wheelchair seat. Don’t rely on your legs for support. Go as high as you can, until the arms are straight. Then, lower yourself slowly into a seated position.
Exercises for the Blind or Visually-impaired
We think that exercise machines, such as stationery bikes, are nice, safe choices for people who are blind or visually-impaired. When you’re seated on a stationery bike of the upright or recumbent type, you will be able to work out easily. Look for machines which feature tactile buttons. In general, you’ll need to get on a bike and start to ride before the machine boots up. Then, you may choose a program.
You may not be able to see the flat-screen display, but you should be able to get someone to show you which tactile buttons allow you to set a program and start working out. While flat-screen displays on exercise machines are often not nearly as accessible as they should be, a little practice should allow you to get a great workout.
Exercise Options for Quadriplegics
Quadriplegics are prone to shortening of the chest, wrist, shoulders and hips. They are also prone to tightness of the muscles. Range of motion exercises are recommended for people with quadriplegia. Breathing exercises, such as deep and slow inhales and exhales, are also very beneficial. To do a range of motion exercise, pull your right knee as far as you can in the direction of your chest. Then, hold the position for several seconds. The next step is returning your leg to a starting position. Start with a few repetitions and increase reps as you build strength.