Living with limited mobility doesn’t mean cutting yourself off from a healthy lifestyle. The benefits of regular exercise stretch farther than eye can see, with physical fitness linked to lower stress, less anxiety and relief from depression.
The evidence is overwhelming (and growing) for the physical and emotional benefits. You may even be able to chart this yourself if you were previously active before requiring a wheelchair, it’s possible your mood might have dipped beyond your expectations.
Whether you’re a long-term wheelchair user or a recent member of the club, no matter your age, you can benefit from getting active.
Everybody’s circumstances are different, and it’s important to stay informed on what activities can benefit you the most. Your doctor or physio will be able to advise as to the specific limitations you face, but there’s all sorts of help out there.
Groups like Parasport and the English Federation of Disability Sport provide detailed advice for active-minded wheelchair users. Local recreation centres are also likely to host specialist classes, so get in touch if you’re looking for somewhere to start.
Any exercise programme you enter into will have a specific goal, with certain types of activity most suited to helping you smash that goal. These might include:
Of course, all these can be performed in a huge variety of settings to suit your individual preferences. The NHS provides advice on simple chair exercises you can perform on the fly, but you can take it one step further and get into one of a huge range of sports adapted specifically for wheelchairs. Basketball, tennis, even rugby all have an established following within the community.
Adjusting to an active lifestyle is hard enough, with limited mobility it can seem overwhelming at first. Don’t worry, just take it one day at a time and bear the following in mind:
Singlewell is committed to helping those with limited mobility enjoy a full and satisfying quality of life. Do you have any tips or experiences of getting wheelchair active to share? Leave a comment and let us know.
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