wheelchair stretching
Health & Fitness

Inclusive Health and Wellness Tips for Every Body

It’s easy to hibernate when the weather is cold and dreary, but it’s important to stay on top of health and fitness routines. For those who have a disability, suffered from a stroke or other medical condition, it may be hard to find exercises that work with physical limitations that can be done at home.

Split Second Foundation, a non-profit that provides resources, including inclusive gyms for the disabled and geriatric communities, shares tips inclusive health and wellness tips as well as a few exercises that can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Set goals and show up. The biggest challenge of setting up a health and fitness routine is getting started and being committed to achieving your fitness or recovery goals. If you need to start small and just incorporate one workout day into your weekly schedule or even just one exercise, do it. You can use that as your launchpad and keep adding days or exercises to your routine until you get to a place you feel comfortable. It’s also important to commit to your health and fitness routine and stick with the plan you create for yourself.

Commit to 30-60 minute workouts. Everyone should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. That’s the length of a TV show, so take a break from the couch to focus on you. Or if you just can’t miss your shows, do your exercises while watching your shows. Not only will it help you stick to the 30 minutes of exercise per day, but it can also take your mind off the exercises you are doing.

You don’t need machines or equipment. One of the biggest misconceptions about working out is that you need to have access to a ton of equipment or space. You don’t need a special area or the ability to get into certain positions to exercise. You can find exercise that can be performed sitting, standing, or lying down. Just get started!

Your smartphone really is smart. The internet really is a treasure trove for health and fitness goodies. Search YouTube and other platforms for exercise videos that break down each move and demonstrate how to properly execute them. You can also check out trusted social media accounts for fitness and health tips and tricks.

Don’t forget to stretch daily. Stretching is important for decreasing muscles stiffness and increasing range of motion. Additional benefits to stretching includes reducing stress, reducing risk for injury abs decreasing pain in some circumstances.

Recommended Exercises:

  1. Ankle Pumps. This exercise can be performed lying down, sitting in a chair, or standing up. If you don’t have the ability to move your feet on your own, you can get help from a partner or use a strap positioned around the ball of your feet.

To perform ankle pumps sitting or lying down: point your toes down towards the ground as if pressing on a gas pedal then lift your toes in the opposite direction up towards your body. Repeat 25 times. Three sets of 25 repetitions is recommended. Take 30 second breaks between each set to allow muscles to rest.To perform ankle pumps standing: position yourself next to a sturdy surface to help with balancing, lift your heels off the ground so that you are standing on your toes. Then slowly lower your heels back to the ground. Three sets of 25 repetitions is recommended taking 30 seconds rest breaks between each set.

  1. Torso Push Ups. This exercise should be done sitting up in a chair either with legs bent or seated on a firm surface with your legs extended.

If you can use your hands, place them on the armrests of your chair or on the surface where your body is positioned and push directly down, extending your elbows and pressing your shoulders down towards the floor. Your torso may rise from your seat. Slowly lower your torso and relax your arms. Repeat 10 times. Three sets of 10 repetitions is recommended.If you cannot use your hands, position yourself in a chair with armrests. Place your forearms on the armrests, then push down through your elbows and depress your shoulders down towards the floor. Your torso may or may not raise from your seat. Slowly lower your shoulders and/or torso and relax your arms. Repeat 10 times. Three sets of 10 repetition is recommended.

  1. Prone Press Ups. An alternative to this chair push-up is called a prone press up. To do such, position yourself lying on your stomach with your hands in the direction of your head. Your elbows should be bent and positioned on either side of your torso. Push down through your elbows and depress your shoulders down towards the floor. Lift your head and shoulders away from the surface you are lying on. Slowly lower your shoulders and/or torso and relax your arms. Three sets of 10 repetitions is recommended, taking 30 second breaks between each set to allow the muscles to rest.

About Split Second Foundation 20.6 million Americans live with some form of ambulatory disability, requiring a mobility device. Many of these people face an isolated world with few social interactions, health complications, a higher risk of suicide, a shorter life expectancy and few places to turn to for assistance. Split Second Foundation, a Louisiana-based non-profit 501(c)(3), helps provide support, recovery tools and tactics, ongoing fitness exercise, education, and answers to people living with a disability or medical condition.

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