Wheelchair exercises improve the wheelchair users’ upper body strength and endurance. Wheelchair exercises also have many other physical benefits as well as emotional benefits. The wheelchair user can choose from a variety of different types of wheelchair exercises.
Depression, insomnia, stress, and anxiety are often improved by the use of wheelchair exercises. The person may also experience a boost in their self image.
Examples of some of the many types of wheelchair exercises are seated aerobics, weight lifting, or competitive sports. There are other types of wheelchair exercises as well.
If the wheelchair user is not in good physical shape, the wheelchair user should slowly build their strength and endurance. Exercising at least 4 to 5 times a week for half an hour to forty-five minutes is a general recommendation for wheelchair exercises.
All exercising should begin with stretching. Soreness and injury can often be prevented if the person takes time to stretch properly. For beginners, deep breathing exercises and stretching can be a good start to an exercise program.
To build upper body strength, the wheelchair user may want to start with light weights or resistance training equipment. As upper body strength increases, the wheelchair user may increase the weight that they use.
While lifting weights increase as upper body strength, it is often not enough to build endurance. The aerobic exercise is typically used to increase a wheelchair user’s endurance. Aerobic video tapes and audiotapes specifically designed for people who must exercise while being seated can guide the wheelchair user through aerobic wheelchair exercises.
Many areas have organized, competitive wheelchair sports. Wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair hockey, and wheelchair rugby are examples of common wheelchair sports.
The wheelchair user may be able to find exercise classes specifically designed for wheelchair users at local gyms. Wheelchair a aerobics and wheelchair yoga are sometimes available. One of the most popular wheelchair exercises that is commonly available at gyms is water aerobics.
The wheelchair users should notify their doctors of their intent to start an exercise program and discuss any risks or limitations. The doctor or local hospital may be able to help the wheelchair user find an exercise group. Some wheelchair users start their own wheelchair sports if no groups are available locally.