Physical Training For Those With Low Mobility: Part 2 – CardioAlexander Fox
Last month we blogged about the importance of physical activity in terms of the mental and bodily benefits it brings regardless of your physical condition. We also demonstrated that physical activity is completely feasible even for those with lower mobility through a handful of chair-based strength exercises designed to maintain a healthy muscle mass. Having covered a good selection of resistance based tips and tricks in April, part 2 will see us look at a selection of cardiovascular-based exercises.
What Is A “Cardio” Workout?
A cardio (or cardiovascular) workout is an exercise that increases your heart rate to its maximum level. In doing this you will be training your heart and lungs to become more efficient in taking in oxygen and distributing it to your muscles. Your heart is itself a muscle and strengthening it through cardio training allows your heart to pump blood around your body more efficiently. This leads to improved circulation which is vital for those who are experiencing things like cramps or stiffness due to reduced mobility.
Cardio For Wheelchair Users
Most people think of cardio training as running, walking, and bike riding but there are so many ways to get a great refreshing cardio workout without being mobile. We understand the importance of accessible exercise that doesn’t require membership to gyms and clubs so we’ve selected two of the best cardio exercises you can do with minimal effort and in some cases no special kit.
*Note: before attempting these exercises we strongly advise you seek guidance from a doctor or rehabilitation specialist to avoid injury*
This exercise is fantastic at raising the heart rate in short intervals which is guaranteed to get the blood pumping. We’d advise you to find a park or outdoor area where there is a clear path and start at one end. Simply use your arms to spin the wheels and propel yourself forwards as fast as you can for 30 seconds. After this interval has subsided, continue to propel yourself forward but at a lower intensity for the next 30 seconds. Allow yourself to recover then accelerate into another 30 seconds of high-intensity propulsion. This is known as interval training and it is designed to make your cardiovascular system work hard for short periods of time whilst allowing it to recover only for a short while before it has to work hard again.
The number of repetitions and intensity vs slow durations should be tailored to your current fitness level and what you’re comfortable with doing. If you want to start out low then simply adjust the duration of high intensity compared to low intensity and gradually increase it the more you become comfortable.
You may have heard about battle ropes as they have started to gain a real following by those wanting a quick balanced cardio workout without the impact of running. Battle ropes are thick, heavy nylon ropes that are fixed into placement on the ground. Position your wheelchair to face the anchor point and pick up the end of each rope in different hands. Continuously whip the ground with each rope in an alternating fashion to create wave-like shapes on each. This is a highly-functioning form of cardio and will raise your heart rate in seconds. You can even adapt battle ropes to a continuous pace or even intervals. This piece of kit is very accessible and you can pick a setup online for between £30-40.
Keeping Active No Matter What
That concludes our two-part series on physical training for those with low mobility. No matter the extent of your disability there are a whole host of different exercises you can modify and adapt for your own well being. Affordable mobility is committed to making people’s lives easier. To find out about our tailored stairlift services please get in touch on 0800 077 4013.
Alexander works for Stairlifts2u and specialises in marketing & market-trend analysis.