Previously published on Factoidz.com
Physical activity is essential for good health. Most people feel they should get more exercise; this goes for disabled people also. Disabled people often don’t get enough exercise, especially if they have trouble walking, or are wheelchair bound or bed bound. The type of exercise one can do depends on his/her physical ability.
Once you decide to get more exercise, it is important that you start out at a comfortable pace. There is no need to run right out and buy a membership at a gym. If you have a swimming pool or if there is a pool near you, you might want to take advantage of it. Swimming is a great way to exercise. Swimming and water aerobics is less stressful on your joints than other forms of exercise.
If you have a treadmill; you might want to start using it for something other than a clothes rack. You can warm up your muscles for a few minutes before you get onto the treadmill. Once on the treadmill, you should start out slow, and then increase your speed according to your comfort level. You should be able to breathe and walk at the same time. If you get to where you cannot talk while you are walking, you should stop and catch your breath.
Exercising with a stair stepper is great aerobic exercise. It’s fun to use a stepper while listening to music. However, if you don’t have one, you don’t need to go out and buy one. If you have stairs in your home, and you are able to climb them, it would be a good thing to climb your stairs twice a day. If you climb stairs, it is best to use the railing to hold on to for balance. It may not be safe to climb stairs that don’t have a hand railing.
I’m on oxygen at home, so it is sometimes rather difficult to get outside and walk. I don’t have a treadmill, but I received a health and fitness mini-cycle. It’s not a whole bike, it’s just the peddles. I sit on the end of my bed and watch TV while I peddle. I can set the resistance to give my legs a workout. When I use the peddle machine, I put my whole body into it. I like to work up a good sweat; it feels like I am getting a good workout. Since I can’t walk regularly, the bicycle peddle machine has been a great way for me to get more exercise. The good thing about those portable bicycle peddle machines is that you can use them to exercise your arms also. I exercise my arms and my legs.
There are many ways that disabled people can get more exercise. If you can walk, you can take a walk around your neighborhood. It’s always nice if you walk with someone. Always carry a phone with you when you go out walking by yourself to call for help, if you need to. When I walked, my family always reminded me to put my cell phone in my pocket.
If you are wheelchair bound, you can get exercise by wheeling yourself outside. It’s important to stay on level ground though. A few years ago I had a wheelchair accident, when I was outside and trying to ride down a hill to visit a friend. The chair got away from me and when I tried to stop myself, I put my feet down and I was thrown and hurt.
We who are disabled are more at risk for obesity, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease if we don’t get enough regular exercise. Even if you can’t exercise a long time each day, 30 minutes a day can make a big difference in your overall health. Since I have been sick, I have become deconditioned; the exercise bike has benefited me greatly.
Ask your doctor what you can do to get more exercise. Before starting any exercise program, it is important to talk to your doctor about what type of exercise might be best for you. When you start an exercise program, it is important that you are consistent with it. Consistency in exercise increases your mobility and your strength. Regular exercise also helps to reduce chronic pain caused by arthritis and years of immobility.