Many people with disabilities face significant barriers to physical activity. Fortunately, there are many exercise options available to them that can help them improve their overall health and well-being.
The CDC recommends adults with disabilities get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, as well as muscle-strengthening activities. Adapted gyms and fitness centers are a great place for beginners.
Upper Body Strengthening
It’s important for everyone to keep fit, but it’s especially important for people who have long-term conditions like disability service providers melbourne or illness. A survey found that just 17.2% of adults with a disability or illness take part in regular sport, and 83% of disabled people would like to be more active.
Flexibility and strengthening exercises improve movement and reduce stiffness. They also improve balance, range of motion and prevent muscle contractions.
Upper body strengthening exercises are especially helpful for those who use a wheelchair. They strengthen the core, chest, shoulders, arms, legs, and core muscles.
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Some of these exercises can be done from a seated position using weights, resistance bands, and even soup cans. You can also use equipment like the VitaGlide(r), which combines endurance conditioning with cardiovascular training.
Lower Body Strengthening
Strong leg muscles can reduce the chance of falling and improve balance and stability. Strengthening the lower body also improves cardiovascular health, which is especially important for people with heart disease or diabetes.
You can do a lower body workout by simply walking, or you can incorporate seated exercises and chair-bound activity. For frail seniors who want to stay active and prevent falls, the cardiovascular chair exercise is a great option.
You may need to modify the equipment or resistance levels for strength-training exercises depending on the nature of your injury or disability. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about this, as they can provide safe ways for you to work around your injury and ensure that you are performing lower-body strengthening exercises safely.
Because the core is the foundation for movement, it’s not surprising that a strong one can prevent injuries or promote balance. Plus, it’s a necessary part of keeping your organs healthy.
Core muscles don’t need to be exercised every day like some muscle groups. They can be strengthened daily, instead of being strained every other day. This means that you can do crunches, sit-ups, and planks as well as core exercises such squats or push-ups to activate your core.
Tiffany Chag, C.S.C.S.S.A, a strength coach at Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City, believes that a strong core can improve posture and reduce the tendency for you to slump in chairs or arch your neck when looking at screens.
The core includes the pelvic floor muscles. Therefore, it is important to maintain a strong core for bladder control and prevention of incontinence. Exercises like Kegels and ab crunches help to strengthen those muscles, as well as others that stabilize the spine.
Even if you have limited mobility, there are many aerobic exercises you can perform. These include swimming, elliptical biking, walking, jogging, and water aerobics (aquajogging).
Cardio benefits of exercise include a faster heartbeat and more oxygen to the lungs than at rest. It also increases the VO2 max in your muscles, making it easier to exercise for longer periods of time.
For maximum effect, aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week. This will ensure that you meet the American Heart Association’s recommendations. It’s also a good idea to add two or more days a week of weight-resistance training, which will build muscle strength and endurance.