Exercises Everyone Can Try
Certain conditions or disabilities can make it difficult for some of us to go to the gym, take exercise classes or even go for walks. If traditional exercise isn’t an option for you or someone you are caring for, there are still plenty of ways you can get moving. Even the smallest amounts of exercise can be a boost to your health.
How will exercise help you? Not only does it improve your physical health, it also improves how you feel, too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, improves mood and supports general feelings of well-being. Also, if you use a wheelchair or scooter, exercising will help you preform daily activities and strengthen muscles that you don’t normally use.
How to Get Started
First things first: Check with your doctor to make sure any activities you want to do are OK for you. Your doctor may also have some suggestions.
If you aren’t usually active, aim to get about 30 minutes of activity a day. You don’t have to get it in all at once either. You can break your 30 minutes into 10-minute chunks — whatever works for you. Also, exercise doesn’t mean having to go to the gym. You can get your daily exercise right at home. No matter what you choose, it helps to have a goal in mind before you start. Your goal will help keep you motivated.
Note: Don’t forget you have a SilverSneakers® membership as part of your BlueMedicare health plan. Click here for more details on how to use it.
Here are some exercises you can try:
- Sitting exercises: Find a stable chair that you can sit in with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent at a right angle. Try some of these exercises out:
- Arm Raises: Sit with your arms hanging down by your side. Then raise them out to the side of your body with your palms facing forward. Lift your arms up to the sky as far as you can and then bring them back down. Repeat.
- Upper Body Twist: Sit and cross your arms over your chest. Slowly twist without moving your hips. Twist to one side and then the other. Repeat.
- Wheelchair workout: Check out these wheelchair exercises.
- Swimming: Whether at home or in a community pool, swimming is a low-impact exercise that will allow you to use any part of your body without putting too much pressure on your muscles. Because of the resistance water creates, it’s great for heart heath, muscle endurance and strength training. Most public pools also have lifts to help people with disabilities get into the pool. Tip: YMCA locations are included in your SilverSneakers membership, and many of their locations have pools.
- Wheelchair racing: Find a track near you and give this popular sport a try. Wheelchair racing can help build your endurance and strengthen your muscles.
- Rowing Machine: Many gyms and physical therapy centers have special exercise equipment for wheelchair users or people with limited mobility.
- Wheelchair sports: Try finding a basketball, netball or badminton team in your area. This is a great way to get active while connecting with people near you.
- Gym equipment: Many gyms and physical therapy centers have exercise equipment that is just for wheelchair users or people with limited mobility.
- Resistance bands: These can be used anywhere, even in your home. They come in different sizes, strengths and types so you can pick the right resistance for you and build your strength. Check out the SilverSneakers’ Beginners Guide to Exercise Bands (you don’t have to be a senior to follow along).
Filed under: Medicare