Chair Exercises For Limited Mobility

Chair Exercises For Limited Mobility

Wheelchair exerciseAccidents or genetics can affect not only the way we grow up, but how we interact with the environment when we’re adults. For those of us who are confined to a chair for extended periods of time, being unable to interact with that environment in the way we’d like can be an unbearable burden. Usually, there are options available to those with limited mobility. Sometimes doctors can prescribe the answer in a tiny pill, while other times physical therapy is the answer. Here are some exercises you can do to strengthen your body or lose weight when bound to a chair.

First and foremost, you should start slow and build up to a level of exertion with which you’re comfortable. If you’re unused to exercise, then be extra cautious. Stretch before beginning. Start by holding your arms out and rotating them in a circular motion. Alternatively, mimic the motions used when swimming. If either of these options don’t get your heart pumping, then you can move on to more strenuous arm exercises such as mock boxing (punching the air). You might be surprised how quickly you wear yourself out, even while sitting down. Even though being confined to a chair qualifies as a disability, you don’t have to feel disabled.

If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough cardio, then you can add weighted wristbands to increase the level of stress on your muscles. You may also want to try a resistance band. These elastic bands are used to force your muscles into doing more work while you do different exercises. For example, you might try placing one end of the band around your torso while the other end of the band is on the outside of the opposing arm. Flap your arm as if you were doing half of the chicken dance, and you’ll feel the burn soon enough.

If you have the option, the Nintendo Wii has several fitness games–only some of which can be done from a chair. These are great choices that will work to motivate you while also keeping your interest. The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 also eventually incorporated similar movement-related games into their libraries, but Wii was the first to do it–and the system is the cheapest place to start if you’re new to the idea.

If you have limited mobility but can still use your legs somewhat well, you can do simple lift exercises. Start with a few repetitions of lifting one leg as far up as you can without pain, then repeat with the other. If you can, squeeze both legs toward your chest, plant them back on the ground, and then repeat.

As with any exercise, the key is consistency and patience. Stop if you feel any pain. The goal is to use the muscles that don’t typically get used from a seated position while increasing your heart’s ability to pump blood. You don’t need to hurt yourself to get results!