Top 3 Health And Wellness Tips For Wheelchair Users
Staying fit and healthy for regular adults and kids is already inherently difficult. This fact is thanks to the wide availability of unhealthy food and the busy lifestyle people now live. All the more does it become increasingly difficult to stay fit and healthy when you’re strapped on a wheelchair. It’s already difficult to move around while in the wheelchair, let alone engage in any form of physical activity.
The truth is that many health problems that arise from wheelchair users because of their lack of movement. Apart from the physical health, there’s also the mental health problems that some may start to have, after regularly feeling as if life changed permanently, and they’re now unable to do all the activities they used to enjoy doing. This is where the need to strive for a healthy and happy lifestyle is necessary.
Here are three health and wellness tips that can help you live a healthy and happy life even as you’re strapped to your wheelchair.
1. Begin Weight Training
Weight training is also referred to as strength training exercises. Especially if you’d rather opt for recommended manual wheelchairs, this means you’ll regularly have to exert strength and effort to push yourself around. If your muscles are weak, doing so can lead to injuries, as your shoulder and chest muscles are consistently doing the work, with your back being neglected.
To avoid those injuries from sprouting, it’s very important to incorporate muscle strengthening exercises to become a part of your exercise routine. Some of the best exercises include:
- Front Raises with Your Shoulders. This allows you to move your arms. This exercise can be as simple as regularly picking something weighted from the floor.
- Do Side Twists or Obliques and Core. Twist your body from side to side while holding the weighted object.
- Do Overhead Raises for Your Shoulders and Core. Pick up a weighted object or a ball from the floor. Then, hold it above your head and bring it as far back as you can, without falling backward. Repeat this several times.
2. Adapt Your Home To Make It Fitting For A Wheelchair User
The health and wellness of a wheelchair user aren’t just dependent on health per se, as it is. You also have to consider the overall quality of life, even at home. One of the most depressing things, especially for those who are still newly adjusting to life on a wheelchair is that now, they can’t move as freely as they used to. Even moving around their own home is difficult.
To ensure overall mental wellness for wheelchair patients at home, make it easier for them to move around the spaces. If you can clear your home from any nuisance that makes it difficult for the wheelchair, then do so. You may also want to consider moving their room to the first floor if you have a multi-level home. Or, if you have the budget for it, you can also have a wheelchair or stairlift installed on your stairs.
Other modifications you can make in your home are to have wider doors and shower rails.
3. Engage In Cardiovascular Exercise
When a person is now dependent on a wheelchair, it’s safe to consider them as living a sedentary lifestyle. With very little movement, it’s not surprising that some may be overweight or start to develop pain in some areas of their body. This is the reason why it’s very important that even when you’re in a wheelchair, you still take the time to engage in the form of cardiovascular exercise.
The aim of doing cardiovascular exercise even in your wheelchair is to increase your heart rate. By doing so, your body will also become warm enough, so you can start to break a sweat. Some of the best activities you can do to have that needed cardiovascular exercise include:
- Engaging in wheelchair sports like basketball;
- Sitting exercises;
- Using a rowing machine that is adapted for wheelchair users.
When you go over the health and wellness tips above, it’s fair enough to say that many of those tips apply even to those who aren’t in wheelchairs. The whole point is that even if you’re living a sedentary lifestyle, be it as a wheelchair user or as an employee stuck sitting behind your desk for a few hours in a day, there are still little and easy but effective wheelchair exercises that you can do. Being in a wheelchair the entire day is already difficult enough. And, if you aren’t careful, your lack of movement may even lead to complications. Rather than put yourself at risk of that situation, take heed from the tips above so you can still live an overall happy and content life, despite being strapped to your wheelchair.