Winter Workouts for Wheelchair Users

As winter drags on and temperatures dip to new lows, getting out of your house to exercise can become as painful as diving into a frozen lake for a swim. While there are some polar bears who don’t mind coming out of their houses, chipping the ice off of their disabled vans and heading to their favorite outdoor exercise locales, most people would prefer to stay in the comfort of their warm abode until the tundra thaws.

Needless to say, staying indoors can severely impact your exercise routine and therefore, your overall mood. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get your blood flowing during the winter months without having to brave the arctic wasteland outside of your front door.

According to The National Health Service (NHS), adults between the ages of 19 and 64 should complete at least 150 minutes of exercise per week (the same applies for wheelchair users). The following are just a few ways in which you can meet that goal:

Groove your way to an increased heart rate

Aerobic exercise is all about getting you heart rate up to a healthy level while breaking a sweat and becoming slightly out of breath, according to the NHS. You’d be surprised at the variety of ways in which you can do this right from your wheelchair and without leaving the comfort of your home.

So shake the rust off of your joints and get your heart rate going by taking part in some seated aerobic exercises such as:

  • Chair aerobics
  • Chair boxing
  • Chair salsa
  • Chair bellydancing
  • Chair yoga

Any of these variations of wheelchair exercises can do the trick. Exercise videos for each one of them can be found online for free (you can check YouTube for a variety of exercise video options).

Pump yourself up with resistance training

If you have a set of medicine balls, resistance bands or dumbbells collecting dust somewhere in your house, this is the perfect time for you to take them out and start building your upper body strength.

Resistance bands are cheap and easy to use. Best of all, there is a large and diverse variety of exercises that can be done right at home. Some of which can be seen here.

If you are looking for more of a challenge, you can switch to dumbbells. There are many variations of lifts that can be done by wheelchair users. Look here for a few starter ideas.

You don’t have to brave the elements to hit the gym for your weight training during the winter months, but if you are still intent on making the trip, there are plenty of disabled vans that can help you to get there safe and sound.

In what ways do you stay active during the winter months? Comment below to join the conversation!

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