You don’t need to have full mobility to experience the benefits of exercise. If injury, disability or illness have limited your mobility, there are still plenty of ways you can use exercise to boost your mood, relieve stress, enhance your self-esteem and improve your whole outlook on life. While there are challenges that come with having mobility issues, by adopting a creative approach, you can overcome any physical limitations and find enjoyable ways to get active and improve your health and well-being.
What types of exercise are possible with limited mobility?
Any type of exercise will offer health benefits. Mobility issues inevitably make some types of exercise easier than others, but no matter your physical situation, you should aim to incorporate three different types of exercise into your routines:
* Cardiovascular exercises that raise your heart rate and increase your endurance.
* Strength training exercises involve using weights or other resistance to build muscle and bone mass, improve balance and prevent falls.
* Flexibility exercises help enhance your range of motion, prevent injury and reduce pain and stiffness.
Getting set up for exercise
To exercise successfully with injury, limited mobility or illness start by getting medical advice. Talk to your doctor, physical therapist or other health care provider about activities suitable for your condition. They can help you find an exercise routine, the amount you should do and what type of thing you should avoid.
Starting an exercise routine
Start slowly and gradually increase your activity level. Start with an activity you enjoy, go at your own pace and keep your goals manageable. Accomplishing even the smallest fitness goals will help you keep you motivated. Make exercise part of your daily life. Plan to exercise at the same time every day and combine a variety of exercises to keep you from getting bored. Focus on short-term goals, such as improving your mood and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve.
Staying safe when exercising
Stop exercising if you experience pain or discomfort. Listening to your body is the best way to avoid injury. If you continually experience pain after 15 minutes of exercise, for example, limit your workouts to 5 or 10 minutes and instead exercise more frequently.
Avoid activity involving an injured body part. If you have an upper body injury, exercise your lower body while the injury heals and vice versa. When exercising after an injury has healed, start back slowly, using lighter weights and less resistance
Warm up with a few minutes of light activity such as walking, arm swinging and shoulder rolls, followed by some light stretching. After you exercise, whether it’s cardiovascular, strength training or flexibility exercise, cool down with a few more minutes of light activity and deeper stretching.
Wear appropriate clothing, such as supportive footwear and comfortable clothes that won’t restrict your movement.
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