When we think about exercise, the first thing that comes to mind are activities involving walking, moving around, or standing. For individuals or the elderly restricted to a wheelchair or some sort of PMA, such as mobility scooters, it is nearly impossible for them to be involved in such exercises. Yet, studies have proven that regular exercise is equally as important for those in a wheelchair in order to live a better, healthy, happy, and active life.
For many seniors, the need to rely on wheelchairs or electric scooters for elderly can lead to feelings of uselessness and depression. Not being able to engage in normal daily activities, such as lifting usual daily household items or moving independently from one location to another without the need for assistance, can be frustrating.
However, with strength training exercises, they can significantly improve wheelchair users’ daily lives. When you feel strong, it, in turn, affects your overall mood. Come discover this complete circuit of 3 easy and effective exercises that will ensure the results your elderly loved one is looking for.
Exercises that strengthen your chest and arms muscles
1. Chest squeeze
Sit up straight and tighten your abdominal muscle. You may hold either a medicine ball, soccer ball, or basketball, squeezing it between your two palms to activate your chest muscles. Then while squeezing the ball, gradually straighten your arm forward, then pull it back towards your chest. Then you repeat.
For starters, you can do without the ball and just squeeze your two palms together, doing the same steps.
Exercises that strengthen your legs muscles
2. Toe taps
Sit up straight and tighten your abdominal muscle with your feet completely on the ground. Raise your toes such that it faces the ceiling, then relax them. Repeat a few times.
If you want to raise its intensity, you may want to raise one leg up till it is pointing straight forward while keeping the other feet completely on the ground. Then raise both toes up, then relax them. You may repeat them a few times while alternating each raised leg.
Exercises that strengthen your abs and core muscles
3. Captain’s chair
For this exercise, you want to sit up straight, grabbing the front edge of your wheelchair with both hands. After which, you slowly raise both feet off the ground while bending both knees towards your chest. Raise your feet as high as you feel comfortable. When you reach the maximum height, squeeze your abdominal muscles and slowly lower your feet towards the ground.
It is crucial to note not to raise your feet past your comfort level. You do not want to overstrain yourself. If you can only raise them a couple of inches off the ground, it is ok.
It is vital that during the exercise, the elderly should take note to sit up straight and engage their abdominal muscles to ensure proper posture and support of the back muscles. For those who are just starting their exercises, starting with minimal reps is good enough, all of which can be increased as they get stronger. To optimise the effectiveness of the exercise, it is recommended to complete this circuit exercise at least twice a week.
It is crucial that we find ways to help our elderly loved ones feel independent and useful. Besides implementing such exercises in their lives, other things we can do is to increase their mobility by getting them PMAs or electric scooters suitable for them. At Falcon Mobility, we are a wheelchair specialist that aims to empower individuals, especially seniors, in being independently mobile. We provide a wide range of quality mobility tools that you can check out here at https://www.falconmobility.com.sg/.