Limited mobility refers to impaired ability to move about due to a physical problem such as paralysis, muscular weakness, balance problems or loss of vision. A mobility impairment can have a major impact on an exercise program. This is particularly serious because lack of exercise increases the risk of developing other health problems. However, limited mobility does not mean you cannot exercise. It means you will need to learn new ways to stay physically fit.
Focus on Basics
If you are mobility impaired, the chances are that you haven’t exercised regularly for some time. Start with short, easy workouts. Build up the intensity and duration of your sessions as your fitness level improves. When you are developing an exercise program, be sure to include cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises. Neglecting any aspect of physical fitness can lead to health problems. Build up to a minimum of 150 minutes a week of cardio exercise. Health professionals also recommend two weekly strength training sessions.
Before you begin an exercise program, consult with your doctor. He can help you design workouts that are safe for you. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Stop exercising if you experience pain, and avoid stressing injured parts of body. Always warm up before a workout, and take the time to cool down afterward. This is a good time to do stretching exercises that provide flexibility training.
Select Appropriate Exercises
If you can stand and walk, do so. Building strength in your legs can minimize your mobility limitations. If you are paralyzed, concentrate on upper body “chair exercise.” the key to cardiovascular fitness is to keep some parts of your body moving continuously in order to raises your heart and breathing rates. Movement as simple as rapid “air punching” will suffice. Ask a physical therapist or trainer to show you how to use hand weights or resistance bands for strength training exercises.
Ask for Assistance
People with limited mobility often depend on home care professionals for assistance with daily tasks. Home care providers can help with exercise programs. Even if you can exercise on your own, your mobility impairment may present safety concerns. Having someone present during workouts is insurance against possible injury. You can also arrange transportation to a gym or pool.
Exercise for the Visually Impaired
Even you are otherwise in perfect health, loss of vision means limited mobility. Simple task like crossing the street become challenging. The secret to exercising with vision loss is to utilize the tools and mobility techniques available. Simply having a friend accompany you on walks or runs is often enough. Another option is to jog on a treadmill. If you have even minimal residual vision, you can walk on your own with the aid of a travel cane or service dog.
Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and a host of other health problems. In addition, you will feel better and have more energy when you are physically fit. The main thing is to focus on what you can do, not on the things you can’t do.