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How to exercise with limited mobility

How to exercise with limited mobility

Regular exercise has been referred to as the silver bullet for good health. It has myriad benefits for your mental health, flexibility, blood circulation, energy, and ability to avoid falls, among many more. In addition, even if you’ve never been active before, you can still reap the rewards of a regular exercise routine.

If you have limited mobility, whether that’s due to age, disability, injury, or other personal limitations, you might have avoided exercising or thought that it’s not for you. But that’s simply not true. By finding activities that fit your abilities, you’re more than capable of experiencing the benefits.

Before you embark upon a new exercise routine, speak to your doctor or physical therapist. They’ll be able to advise you on what types of activity are suitable and how much your body is ready for. Meeting with a personal trainer for at least one session may also be a good idea, as they’ll be able to put together a routine personalized to your abilities and advise you on correct form to help avoid injury.

 

Endurance exercises for limited mobility

Endurance exercises are ones which raise your heart rate, make you feel warmer, and make you breathe more deeply. They help increase energy and stamina, as well as boost blood flow and circulation.

  • Water aerobics and water jogging

Exercising in a pool is very popular among people with limited mobility. The water supports your weight, reduces pressure on the joints, minimizes pain, and decreases the fear of falling. Try looking out for a water aerobics class at your local leisure centre or trying water jogging on your own.

  • Walking If you’re able to walk, building regular walks into your routine is an easy and accessible way of exercising. Inviting a friend along can make it even more enjoyable, while getting out into nature has its own mental health benefits.
  • Chair aerobics

Chair exercises are a great way to get moving if you’re unable to stand, have problems with your knees or ankles, or are concerned about falling – and seated workouts can be just as challenging as standing ones.

Chair aerobics can be as simple as air punches with or without weights, or exercises with lightweight resistance bands. There are also many exercise videos available online for free – simply search “chair aerobics” on a video platform such as YouTube.

 

Strength exercises for limited mobility

Building muscle and bone strength is important in order to improve balance and prevent falls.

  • Seated exercises

Many traditional upper body exercises can be carried out while seated. Try doing shoulder presses, bicep curls, and tricep extensions using dumbbells, resistance bands, or even soup cans. Aim for two to three sets of 12 repetitions, adding weight as your strength improves.

 Strength exercises that don’t require any equipment other than your chair include “sit to stand” and tricep presses. For sit to stand, begin seated on the edge of your chair, bring your toes under your knees, and stand up then sit down 10 times. For tricep presses, sit on your chair with your hands on the arm rests, then extend your arms and lift yourself out of your chair 10 times.

 

Flexibility exercises for limited mobility

The final type of exercise you should aim to incorporate are stretches to improve flexibility. These enhance your range of motion, help prevent injury, and reduce pain and stiffness.

  • Yoga and Tai Chi Both yoga and tai chi are great for improving flexibility and can be adapted to be practiced from a chair. To ensure you’re doing them correctly, try looking for a local class, an online class, or a private teacher.

These are just a few examples of the many exercises that can be done no matter your level of mobility. Why not give them a try and experience the benefits for yourself!

 

Resources

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Alberta/Pages/active-limited-mobility.aspx

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/chair-exercises-and-limited-mobility-fitness.htm

https://www.weightwatchers.com/ca/en/article/exercising-limited-mobility

https://eldergym.com/vital-exercises-for-those-with-limited-mobility/

https://www.caregiversolutions.ca/health-and-wellness/eight-chair-exercises-for-older-adults-with-limited-mobility/

https://www.lifeline.ca/en/resources/14-exercises-for-seniors-to-improve-strength-and-balance/

 

The information presented in this blog post is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this post as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for professional counseling care. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.

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