Even while in a wheelchair, you can still exercise. Exercise improves blood and air circulation, flexibility, cardiovascular health, manages weight, boosts energy, and many other benefits.
You will still benefit from exercising, even if you don’t handle a full exercise routine due to health, balance, or mobility challenges. You can do exercises routinely from your wheelchair, thus reducing the risk of falling.
Before beginning your exercise, ensure you are in the right sitting posture. Sit upright, in your power wheelchairs bringing your upper body straight up. More so, take a deep breath to ensure sufficient oxygen supply. Are you now set and ready? Try these four exercises that you can do in your wheelchair.
1. Shoulder Mobilization Exercises
These exercises extend your mobility and help lubricate your joints. Here is how to do the shoulder mobilization exercises:
- Sit upright, bring your shoulders towards the ears, then back down to its original position. Repeat this a few times.
- Move your right shoulder backward and consecutively do the same for the left shoulder. Ensure you relax while your shoulders are facing backward. Repeat a few times.
- Use your entire arm to roll your left shoulder forward, then repeat the process on your left shoulder.
2. Wrist Rolls
Wrist rolls exercises are a great way to lubricate your joints and strengthen your muscles. Here’s how to do wrist rolls:
- Stretch out your arms
- Unfold your palms such that they are flat
- Rotate your wrists such that the palms face forward then downward.
- Repeat the wrist rolls five times
3. Ankle Rolls
Ankle rolls are similar to wrist rolls. The only difference is that they focus on lubricating your ankles and strengthening your leg muscles. Additionally, they improve balance and bone density which reduces the risk of injuries from falling.
Do the ankle rolls this way:
- Slightly lift your right foot. Circularly rotate your foot while at the same time rotating your ankle to the right. Do this five times. Repeat this five times while rotating the ankle to the left.
- Use the same procedure with the left foot.
4. Knee Rolls
Knee rolls are meant to exercise your knees which is vital for body balance and strength. However, it’s different from wrist or ankle rolls, and it’s a bit more strenuous.
Though they are beneficial, it is not advisable for people with knee issues to try this exercise. Consult the doctor first if you have knee issues.
If fit to do knee rolls, here is how to do the exercise:
- While seated in your wheelchair, lift your right knee, then rotate it circularly in the air. Rotate the right leg clockwise using the knee as the starting point.
- For the left leg, do the same but roll in in an anticlockwise way.
- For each knee, do the knee rolls ten times
- Repeat this exercise three times.