Living in a wheelchair is never easy. You have to make drastic adjustments to your lifestyle because you have to do (almost) everything while being seated. You also have to attend to treatments and medications as prescribed by your doctors just to pave your way towards recovery. The activities which you love doing before can now become a challenge. However, just because you are required to be sat down the majority of the time, doesn’t mean your life is now empty and boring. There are seniors who are in need or more ways to keep them active just as much as there are younger adults. With everything that’s required the moment you use a wheelchair, these can become overwhelming that it can cause depression. You’d feel helpless and isolated because of the restriction of your movement. However, all is not lost. There are still many wheelchair activities which can help you stay active. These activities can become your outlet to have fun and prevent depression in the long run. If you’re using a wheelchair or you know someone who does, consider the tips below:
- Join wheelchair sports: Just because you’re using a wheelchair doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your love for sports. On the contrary, playing sports when you’re in a wheelchair can bring many benefits not only to your health but to your social life, as well. Scout in your area and ask around if there are any organizations or clubs which facilitates sports for the handicapped. Tennis, racing, basketball, and bowling are some of the most common sports you can try even if you’re using a wheelchair. Once you sign up for these, you’ll be able to become physically active and meet people who are going through the same things as you. You’ll feel more comfortable even when you have a disability!
- Go to the gym: For people who don’t have any disability, going to the gym will always be a priority if they want to stay active. This place is full of equipment and experts who can help a person achieve their health goals. This isn’t always true because gyms can also be perfect for people who are using a wheelchair. Nowadays, there are gyms which are handicap-friendly. They’ll have wheelchair-friendly showers, adaptive gym equipment and lifts that can help you get into the pool. Additionally, some personal trainers are more than willing to help you stay active even in a wheelchair.
If you’re leaning towards this option, take time to look around local gyms in your area. As much as possible, choose a gym which is near your residence. And when you finally attend your first day of work at the gym, always ask for help when needed. Some of the gym equipment might look intimidating but is actually very usable. If not a gym, then perhaps you and your family may be more interested in trying programs that are centered around utilizing the great outdoors. You can learn more here about the programs offered by Outdoors for All including snowboarding, cycling, kayaking, hiking, youth and adult camps, and so much more tailored for those with disabilities.
- Consider group fitness classes:If gym equipment doesn’t excite you, group fitness classes might. And it doesn’t matter if you’re using a wheelchair because there are instructors who are familiar with handicaps and their limited mobility. They’ll even provide assistance whenever you join these classes. And since these classes are in groups, knowing that you’re working just as hard as everybody else can become a freeing experience. It can motivate you to do more and encourage a sense of belongingness. By the end of your fitness classes, you’re just an average Joe or plain Jane on a bike, not a person with a disability.
- Do everything at home: The gym and playing sports in teams can be appealing to some but not for all. There’ll always be people who would prefer doing activities on their own. If you see yourself to be one of these people, you should try doing home workouts. Home workouts allow you to do everything just to stay active without the fear of judgment. Plus, you’ll do your routines in the comforts of your own home. You can do yoga, shoulder or leg exercises and even a little bit of dancing. Then you can use your own disability friendly amenities rather than struggling at the gym. You’ve probably had someone like AHM installations install a wet room for you for example, so it makes a lot of sense to make the most of this. As for your references, consider using online videos. The internet is a goldmine for these so make sure you find one which is perfect for your mobility and needs. You can make your home your haven by making sure it is as wheelchair friendly as possible, you can visit the Terry Lifts website to learn more about how a wheelchair lift could be a much better option than a ramp when it comes to accessibility for example.
- A buddy system can help: Staying active on a wheelchair can be easier if you have someone to encourage you. If you have a friend or family member who is always joining fun runs in your area, tag along and run in your wheelchair too. Doing this might be something new but once you’re doing it with a person you’re close to, your mindset might change, and you’ll end up loving this activity. You’ll never know unless you try, right? However, keep in mind that there are limitations on what your body can do so don’t think of your buddy as your competitor. Think of them as an inspiration or motivation.
It’s Easy When You Know How
When someone uses a wheelchair for the first time, being sad about the situation is normal. This kind of lifestyle is new and can even cause inconvenience to some – not everyone will love the idea of going through a ramp every time they go in and out of an establishment. And while there are certain activities prohibited for someone who uses a wheelchair, fortunately, staying active is not one of them. You can still become fit and healthy even when you’re using a wheelchair. You just have to find an avenue suitable for your interests and capabilities. Let this article provide you options and once you come up with a decision, never forget to have fun!
Carol Gibbins believes in the power of writing to be able to touch the hearts and minds of readers, and this is exactly what motivates her to pursue a career as a blogger and contributor for sites such as Disability Friendly. Her penchant to write pieces with a unique and creative flair has allowed her to both entertain and inform her readers on various issues and topics related to healthcare and medicine