The benefits of exercise cannot be stressed highly enough. As obesity increases in the United States, we know that it can lead to injury and myriad other illnesses. If you’ve been sedentary and are now looking to start an exercise routine, you will want to check with your doctor first for help and advice. You may find that he will recommend an exercise program for those with limited mobility and this is especially true if you haven’t exercised for a long period of time or if you are suffering other health issues that don’t allow you to be as mobile as you’d like.
There could be many reasons you have limited mobility and they could range from an existing disability, a breathing condition, diabetes, arthritis, being severely overweight or recovering from an injury.
Those dealing with mobility issues may also find themselves dealing with depression and anxiety. Oftentimes, beginning any kind of exercise routine can help enhance self-esteem, reduce anxiety and improve a persons overall outlook on life in general. There are challenges that come with having limited mobility, but there are also creative ways to overcome and find ways to exercise.
What can you do if you want to exercise, but have limited mobility? Here are a few options to consider:
- Exercising in the water is a great way to increase your cardiovascular strength. Swimming also makes it easier to exercise because of the natural buoyancy the water provides your body.
- Increasing your range of motion with flexibility exercises such as yoga or stretching can help you regain flexibility.
- Lifting light weights and undertaking strength training exercises can help build muscle strength and improve balance. If you have limited mobility in your upper body, you may want to focus on your leg strength. For those with limited mobility in their legs, working on strengthening exercises for the upper body are ideal.
Before you start exercising, ask your doctor for advice on the type of exercises to try, how often you should exercise, if there are activities you should avoid and whether any of the medication you’re taking will impact your workout.
Here are tips for starting a routine:
- Take it slow and build up your activity level as your endurance increases.
- Work exercise into your daily routines. If it becomes a habit that you work out at a specific time of day, it will be easier to stick with it.
- Don’t give up if you don’t think you’re seeing results. It can take a while for the results to be visible.
Exercises to consider for those with limited mobility include:
- Chair workouts. If you can’t get up and move around you can still move your upper body! Do some “chair dancing” exercises by raising your arms and lifting your legs. Turn on some music to make it more enjoyable.
- If you have a chair with wheels and a non-carpeted area in the home, use your legs to move around the room to help build endurance.
- Sit on a balance ball. These are ideal for increasing stability and can also help you work out by moving your arms, wiggling your hips, making figure eights with your waist all while increasing your balance.
- Turn on some music and clean the house! Vacuuming and bending and stretching to dust your furniture is also a great way move and stretch. If you move in time with the music you may also amp up your cardio!
The actual point of any exercise program is to simply get moving! Even if it’s only one area of your body, moving it will help you feel better, raise your spirits and may lead to even more healthful activities!