Wheelchair UserFitness Advice for Wheelchair Users

Below is general advice and a guide only. Should you wish to start an exercise regime and have any pre-existing condition or in any doubt about your health you should always seek the advice of a GP, medical professional.

Read more at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/wheelchair-users-fitness-advice/

Maintaining as active a lifestyle as possible is beneficial to us all. Regular aerobic exercise, ( exercise that raises your heat beat and breaks you into a sweat are important as are muscle strengthening exercises. Whatever your level of physical ability there will always be an activity or sport for you to engage in.

You don’t have to go to a gym or join a competitive team to get the right sort of exercise;  activity can come in many forms and can be carried out in a number of environments. As much as possible try to choose activities that improve muscle strength and and promote a healthy heart. Joining a club can be a great way of meeting people also.

How Long Should you Exercise

As an adult and this includes wheelchair users you are advised on average to complete 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week and muscle strengthening exercise a couple of times at least per week.

That said anything is better than nothing so don’t be disheartened if this just does not seem possible. Do what you can and are currently happy with.

Regular physical activity is good for mental wellbeing also so another good reason to exercise.

As you are well aware using a wheelchair can restrict your ability to carry out cardiovascular activity. Manoeuvring a wheelchair also puts extra pressure on upper body muscles making strains and injury more common in those areas. Staying strong and supple is important.

The kind of activity right for you will depend very much on your level of physical ability alongside what appeals to you. You might want to improve fitness, improve / maintain your general physical strength helping with daily tasks or you might want to improve confidence and your social life by joining a competitive team. Whatever your choice exercise is very important for everyone with or without disability.

Some areas of activity might be

  • Swimming
  • Wheelchair Workouts
  • Rowing Machines
  • Wheelchair Sports

Muscle Strengthening

Focus on muscle groups that are used for pushing motions such as shoulder muscles. Also you can strengthen back muscles by doing such things as pull ups. Gyms that are equipped for wheelchair users are an ideal place to get started. At home resistance bands can also be used to strengthen these areas.