Exercise for everybody, regardless of physical limitations

Jan 11th, 2023 | By | Category: Health & Fitness

It’s easy to hibernate when the weather is cold and dreary, but it’s important to stay on top of health and fitness routines. For those who have a disability or suffer the effects of a stroke or other medical condition, it may be hard to find exercises for home that work with physical limitations. Split Second Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides resources for the disabled and geriatric communities, has some health and wellness advice, including exercise tips. For instance:

Set goals and show up.

The biggest challenge of setting up a health and fitness routine is getting started and being committed to it. If you need to start small and just incorporate one workout a day into your weekly schedule or even just one exercise, do it. Keep adding days or exercises until you feel comfortable.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. That’s the length of a TV show, so take a break from the couch to focus on you. Or if you just can’t miss your shows, do your exercises while watching them. Not only will it help you stick to a routine, but it can also take your mind off the exercises you’re doing.

And you don’t need exercise machines or equipment. Find exercises that can be performed sitting, standing, or lying down. Just get started!

Your smartphone really is smart.

Search YouTube and other Internet platforms for exercise videos that break down and demonstrate each move. You can also check out trusted social media accounts for fitness and health tips and tricks.

Stretch daily.

Stretching is important for decreasing muscles stiffness and increasing range of motion. Additional benefits include reducing stress, reducing risk for injury, and decreasing pain in some circumstances.

Recommended exercises.

  • Ankle pumps. This exercise can be performed lying down, sitting in a chair, or standing up.

To do them lying down or sitting, and if you can’t move your feet on your own, get help from a partner or use a strap positioned around the ball of your feet. Point your toes down toward the ground as if pressing on a gas pedal, then lift up toward your body. Three sets of 25 repetitions is recommended. Take 30-second breaks between sets to allow muscles to rest.

To perform the exercise standing up, position yourself next to a sturdy surface to help with balancing, lift your heels off the ground so that you are standing on your toes, then slowly lower your heels back to the ground. Three sets of 25 repetitions is recommended, again with 30-second breaks.

  • Torso pushups. Can be done sitting in a chair either with legs bent, or seated on a firm surface with legs extended.

If you can use your hands, place them on the armrests of the chair or the surface where your body is positioned and push directly down, extending your elbows and pressing your shoulders down. Your torso may rise from your seat. Slowly lower your torso and relax your arms. Three sets of 10 repetitions is recommended.

If you can’t use your hands, position yourself in a chair with your forearms on the armrests, then push down through your elbows and depress your shoulders down. Your torso may or may not raise from your seat. Slowly lower your shoulders and/or torso and relax your arms. Three sets of 10.

  • Prone pressups. An alternative to chair pushups. Lay on your stomach with your hands in the direction of your head. Your elbows should be bent and positioned beside your torso. Push down through your elbows and depress your shoulders down towards the floor. Lift your head and shoulders away from the floor. Slowly lower your shoulders and/or torso and relax your arms. Three sets of 10 repetitions and 30-second breaks between them is recommended.

 

Ankle pumps are an example of exercises that can be done sitting in a chair, as well as lying down or standing.

Source: Split Second Foundation, a non-profit advocate of fitness, exercise, and other assistance for people who have a disability of medical condition.

 

Share