Physical activity plays an important role in maintaining health, well-being, and quality of life. It can help control weight, improve mental health, and lower the risk for early death, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. It can also improve mental health by reducing depression and anxiety. For people with disabilities, physical activity can help support daily living activities and independence. Any amount of physical activity that gets your heart beating faster can improve your health. Muscle-strengthening activities, such as adapted yoga or working with resistance bands, provide additional health benefits. Following are some of the exercises recommended .
Sit to stand
This exercise is suitable for conditions where you have some control over your lower body. In this method perch your bottom at the front edge of a seat with your feet flat on the floor, behind your knees. Tilt the upper body forward slightly and attempt to push yourself up with your legs into a fully standing position. Slowly lower yourself back down into the seated position you started in. It’s really good if you have a weakened lower body and need to increase lower body strength and stability.It’s really good if you have a weakened lower body and need to increase lower body strength and stability.
Seated triceps dips
This exercise is suitable for conditions where you have good strength in your upper body. This exercise will strengthen your triceps, chest and the front of your shoulders. Strengthening those parts of the body will be particularly useful if you transfer from a wheelchair.In this method, place your hands on the armrests of your wheelchair or another chair. Make sure they are directly beneath your shoulders. Push yourself up until your arms are fully extended, then slowly lower yourself down until you are fully seated again.
Seated knee raises
This is a great way to strengthen the hip flexors – the muscles around your hip that help it to move – and therefore make transferring, walking and bending easier. This exercise is suitable for conditions where you have some control over your lower body. When seated, raise one knee upwards until your foot is several inches off the ground. Lower slowly and repeat the process. Once you’ve completed a set on one side, repeat this on the other leg.
Sit and walk
For those who need to practice walking, this exercise is ideal. The benefits are two-fold. First, the sit to stand strengthens the legs, and then the short walk serves to improve. This exercise is suitable for conditions where you have some control over your lower body. Start with two chairs spaced a few metres apart, but facing each other. Sitting in one of them, perform the sit to stand exercise, then, once up, walk to the other chair. Turn around, sit down in the second chair, then stand up again and walk back to the first chair.
This exercise is good for when you want to strengthen your abdominal muscles, but you aren’t strong enough to do a normal crunch or a sit up. This exercise is suitable for conditions where you have some control over your abdominal muscles. Start in a seated position on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Gradually lower your upper body backwards until you are laying flat on the floor, facing upwards. Get yourself back into the seated position in any way you can, and repeat the lowering process. Try to roll the spine as you lower down, ensuring that each vertebra touches the mat one by one.