Exercising when you have limited ability can be difficult and frustrating. More often than not, injury, disability, illness or weight problems tend to get in the way of an active lifestyle. However, there are alternative fitness options available to ensure your loved one continue to exercise.
HelpGuide have provided some great tips to ensure an active lifestyle for your loved one with limited mobility and how to overcome mental and emotional barriers to exercise.
Cardiovascular exercises raise your heart rate and increase your endurance. These can include walking, running, cycling, dancing, tennis, swimming, water aerobics, or “aqua jogging”. Many people with mobility issues find exercising in water especially beneficial as it supports the body and reduces the risk of muscle or joint discomfort. Even if you’re confined to a chair or wheelchair, it’s still possible to perform cardiovascular exercise.
Strength training exercises involve using weights or other resistance to build muscle and bone mass, improve balance, and prevent falls. If you have limited mobility in your legs, your focus will be on upper body strength training. Similarly, if you have a shoulder injury, for example, your focus will be more on strength training your legs and core.
Flexibility exercises help enhance your range of motion, prevent injury, and reduce pain and stiffness. These may include stretching exercises and yoga. Even if you have limited mobility in your legs, for example, you may still benefit from stretches and flexibility exercises to prevent or delay further muscle atrophy.
Overcoming Mental and Emotional barriers to Exercise
- Don’t focus on your mobility or health issue. Instead of worrying about the activities your loved ones can’t enjoy, concentrate on finding activities that they can do.
- The more physical challenges you face, the more creative you’ll need to be to find an exercise routine that works for them.
- Be proud when you make the effort to exercise, even if it’s not very successful at first. It will get easier the more you practice.
An active and healthy lifestyle is very realistic for your loved ones regardless of their mobility issues. By applying these alternative fitness options to their day to day lives, your loved ones will be able to continue their exercise regime in a modified format.
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