The weather is starting to warm up and that means it’s time to get those muscles warmed up, too. Limited mobility doesn’t mean you can’t get the blood flowing. Whether you’re limited to sitting or have the ability to stand, flexibility, strength training, and cardiovascular exercises can be modified to different abilities.
Stretching and Flexibility: Static stretching can be a good way to increase flexibility. While sitting, stretch your arms high above your head and point your palms towards the ceiling. Hold this stretch for fifteen to twenty seconds. Next lift legs, one at a time, until they are straight out in front of you. Point your toes and hold the stretch for fifteen to twenty seconds. You can repeat these stretches two or three times.
Strength Training: Increasing arm strength is an easy way to maintain muscle mass and keep yourself active. While sitting, stretch your arms out from your sides and move them in small circles. You can also perform small arm curls to work those biceps. You can add weights as your strength increases (use a bottle of water or can of soup to add a little resistance if you don’t have weights available).
Cardiovascular Exercises: Being confined to a wheelchair or bed doesn’t mean you can’t get that heart rate up while enjoying a safe and effective cardiovascular workout. One of the best exercises to do is seated dancing, so turn on your favorite jams and get moving! The goal here is to focus on moving in whatever way you can. Whether that’s bouncing up and down, moving your hips, tapping your toes, or waving your arms, any movement will increase your heart rate.
Ultimately, keep moving each day and remember that even small exercises can mean big changes in your overall health. With your doctor’s approval, utilize these exercises daily to increase your strength and flexibility. It’s never too late to spring into action!