Physical Training For Those With Low Mobility: Part 1Alexander Fox
Our bodies are extremely responsive to external stimuli whether this is growing stronger as a result of regular physical exercise, or even functioning more healthily due to eating a balanced diet. Above all, even the slightest form of physical activity has been proven to prolong life, as well as have a tremendous effect on mental wellbeing, reduce stress and provide focus. The best part of all is that these fantastic benefits are available to all including individuals with physical disabilities and limited mobility. The great thing about exercise is that it is completely adaptable and scalable allowing you to adjust any activity to suit your needs no matter the extent of your physical impairment.
At Affordable mobility, our mission is to make our customers lives easier by providing them with mobility equipment. Part of our commitment to this is improving customer well being from a holistic angle. If you suffer from low mobility and want to start being more physically active then try some of these chair-friendly exercises:
*Note: before attempting these exercises we strongly advise you seek guidance from a doctor or rehabilitation specialist to avoid injury*
Sit upright, arms relaxed by your sides with your hands pointing down towards the floor. Start to stiffen your arms and slowly raise each them up in an outwards motion all the way up until your hands meet at the 12 o’clock position over your head. Each arm should have effectively covered a 180 angle. This is a great movement that can help keep shoulder muscles active whilst also providing a cardiovascular benefit. Over time and depending on your strength you could even start to add resistance by using small weights in each hand.
Another great bodily resistance exercise that can alleviate stiffness in shoulders, pectorals and arms is shadow sparring. Shadow sparing is versatile because you can start at a steady pace and increase the tempo or duration as you wish. Simply sit upright with your forearms at a 45-degree angle facing away from you (the common sparing stance). Slowly extend one arm at a time out in a striking motion before bringing it back to the original sparing stance and repeating with the other arm.
Gel Ball Squeezes
A favourite for maintaining griping power and forearm strength gel balls are used by a variety of athletes across many disciplines. This is a great exercise for functional use and has also been known to prevent arthritis and joint pain. Gel balls are also freely available and can be found for a low price from many sports retailers. Simply hold the gel ball in your hand, try and get your fingers around it as much as possible, and then squeeze. Hold this squeeze for 3-5 seconds and then let go. Repeat this exercise for as many times as you see fit.
Seated Abdominal Twist
Keeping your core active is completely possible if you use a wheelchair. The seated abdominal twist is a compound movement which means that it works multiple chest, core and arm muscles at the same time and is great for keeping up overall fitness and staving off cramps and aches.
To perform a seated abdominal twist sit upright with your abdominal muscles engaged. Hold both arms at a 90-degree angle, with forearms extended out in front of you and elbows at your sides. Rotate your upper torso to the far left and try to point your forearms in this direction as far as is comfortable. Your waist should be twisted which will work the various muscles. Repeat this motion to the right and so on so forth.
Keeping Active With Affordable Mobility
We hope you enjoyed reading the first of our two-part blog series on exercise for those with low mobility. Until our next instalment, why not take look at our range of quality stairlifts. We are always on hand to help so please get in touch on 0800 077 4013
Alexander works for Stairlifts2u and specialises in marketing & market-trend analysis.