Fitness for Physically Challenged

So often, we may tend to tailor many of our fitness programs and services to persons we may consider to be normal. Whatever “normal” is…there can be so many definitions.

However, there are still many persons that we must consider, when we provide our fitness information and programming. These persons in this instance would be those who have a physical challenge. A physical challenge can be in so many forms, and these persons still need to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible.

Therefore today in this article we have three tips that persons who have a physical challenge whether temporary for example – broken bone/sprained muscle… or a permanent disability, can use in their exercise routine.

Physically challenged persons can still gain health benefits from remaining active. Some ways to jump start may include:

  • The use of a rowing machine. Now we’ve probably seen one of these in practically every gym around the place, but, what are the benefits? You can use it to 1) Warm Up – 2) Work Out – 3) Warm Down. This is one way to be certain to get your heart rate up. This also lends to strengthening the upper body. It is of course ideal for persons who may have a challenge in the lower extremities. This also lends to strengthening the core and to some extent hips as well. Of course you should vary the resistance in the work-out session.

For Example:

Set the timer for 3 & 1/2 minutes. Row at a light, but steady pace. This can be at a easy to medium difficulty level.
Rest for 30 – 60 seconds.
Set the timer for 2 & 1/2 minutes. Row a little bit faster and this time at a medium/hard difficulty levels.
Rest for 30 seconds.
Set the timer for a minute to a minute and a half. Row this time as hard as you can at the highest difficulty level.
Rest – Cool down.

  • Swimming. Persons with low vision as well as limbs which may be damaged can use swimming as a technique to remain fit. This may call for individuals to partner with someone who can act as a guide, and therefore means that now at least both persons benefit and this is a positive. The guide may act to signal the edge of the pool or any obstacles in the water as persons are swimming along. Furthermore if persons are in lanes then the guide will also work to keep persons in a straight line as they go along. What can also help is persons can count the number for strokes from one designated point to another as a gauge.

Mobility issues are now reduced significantly, as the water presents a good measure of buoyancy, which aids in freedom of movement. This also to some extent levels the playing field across all abilities. This is a great way to keep one’s fitness up as compared to other challenges which may be found in outdoor activities or alternate fitness disciplines.

Chair Based Exercises. These types of exercises are great for persons who have had lower body disabilities or injuries in this region. It is also good for persons such as seniors who may be frail and have a high risk of falling. This type of exercise also helps to enhance your posture, yet lending to good cardiovascular progress.

  • Simple air-punching, with or without hand weights, is an easy cardio exercise from a seated position, and can be fun when playing along with a Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360 video game.
Chest Pull C/o Spark People

Alternatively – if you can – you may employ the use of a resistance band, horizontally across the chest area. Have the hands at a suitable length of the band and then with an outward motion while gripping the band, stretch the resistance band. After having the stretch and increased tension, then go to a relax state. This stretch and relax routine may be done 8 to 10 times per set, for about 5 sets.

To add variation to this format, the stretch and relax routine may then be changed from a horizontal position to about a 45 degree angle. This now means for example, that the left hand may be lower to the floor while the right hand may be higher to the floor. This now means as your stretch the band – the left hand goes towards the floor at about a 45 degree angle while the right hand goes towards the sky at about a 45 degree angle.

Once completed, for another 5 sets, then we can alternate the arms, where the left hand now goes to the sky at a 45 degree angle and the right hand towards the floor at a 45 degree angle.

This resistance band exercise can then continue with the band at the back of the neck as well. Of course to keep things interesting it is always good to include music.

Subscribe for more…