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A Simple Guide on How to Exercise With Limited Mobility

exercise for limited mobility

Exercise is key to a long, happy and healthy life.

Case and point:

Moderate to intense physical activity has been found to reduce the risk of early death by 33%.

Clearly, it’s in everyone’s best interest to exercise as much as they can!

That’s all well and good but what about people who struggle with their mobility? Going on a 10k run, or hitting the gym for a hardcore weights session, sounds great. Alas, it just isn’t feasible for everyone. Physical constraints can get in the way.

Thankfully, they don’t have to. Exercise is absolutely possible for people with limited mobility. It’s just about learning how to exercise appropriately. Those benefits to life longevity are available to everyone.

In that endeavor, a few simple tips and tricks can come in handy. Have we piqued your interest?

Keep reading to discover exactly how to exercise when mobility is an issue.

1. Start Slow, Build Up

It’s easy to go overboard when you start exercising.

The same is true for anyone. You feel super motivated to get going and hit the ground running (sometimes literally) as a result. You’re excited and raring to go.

However, that enthusiasm can lead to trouble. Over-exercising from the get-go often leads to injury. Equally, you may ‘peak too soon’ and lose motivation just as quickly as you found it.

Take a slower approach instead. This applies to individual sessions, as well as the overarching bid to get fitter and stronger! Start slow, warm-up, and find your feet. Remember, you might have been sedentary for some time. Lunging into activity can be problematic. Your body simply isn’t used to it.

It’s far better to build up over time. Take the slow and steady approach to sustain your desire and ability to improve your mobility and exercise levels.

2. Exercise Regularly

Want to get fitter, stronger, and healthier?

Well, going flat out one day a week won’t cut it.

You might feel as if you’ve squeezed your weekly exercise into one sitting. However, the primary benefits come from regular exercise. Doing smaller amounts of activity every single day will foster greater benefits. That’s where the life-enhancing magic happens.

You’ll enjoy greater energy levels, keep your weight in check, and benefit from better sleep.

It’s crucial to find a level of activity that suits your mobility. Spend significant amounts of time in one position? Simply getting up for a short walk, or even 5 minutes of activity, can make a difference. Of course, if you can handle something more vigorous, then give it a go.

3. Exercise Correctly

Exercise of any variety for any length of time tends to be better than nothing.

That said, you’ll experience more significant benefits by performing appropriate forms of exercise. After all, moving your body can have detrimental effects when done incorrectly. It’s crucial to find exercises suitable for your individual levels of ability and mobility.

This is where working with a trained professional can help. Someone trained to promote movement in less mobile individuals will know exactly what activity to suggest.

For instance, an elderly person might enjoy, and find advantage in, a fitness class tailored to older people. Before rushing into exercise, consider consulting with a professional (such as a personal trainer or a physio).  

4. Establish a Routine

Exercise is usually easiest when it’s built into a routine.

It’s harder to sustain your levels of motivation without one. You fit exercise in around your other obligations. This approach is a recipe for finding excuses not to do it!  

By contrast, building a routine around regular physical activity helps it become habitual. It’s no longer a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’.

Finding exercises you enjoy will facilitate this. After all, we all prefer to do the things we like. It’s simply how we’re wired! That exercise-laden routine becomes far more likely when you look forward to it.  

5. Try Chair-Based Exercises

Limited mobility sometimes requires a level of creativity to finding appropriate exercises.

Chair-based movements have become a go-to option. Indeed, for some people (such as wheelchair users), chair-based exercises are the only option. Nicely, that’s no bad thing. You can do a huge amount from a seated position to elevate your heart rate and improve strength-levels.

Again, speaking with a professional can help. They’ll have the insight and equipment to show you the ropes. Lower-body mobility problems?

Find a chair that keeps your knees at a right-angle, and squeeze in a workout!

Here’s a useful guide with a selection of top seated exercises to try.

6. Try Water Aerobics

Water also makes exercise more possible for people with mobility issues.  

Indeed, water aerobics have become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s a fantastic way of exercising without the impact on bones and joints that can accompany standard physical activity.

The water makes it easier to balance as well, making any cardiovascular activity more possible.

Water-based exercises may begin just by walking with assistance from a caregiver. Over time, more advanced exercises can become possible. Regardless of the specific activity, older individuals and anyone with physical disabilities stand to gain.

7. Stretch Your Way to Success

Exercising isn’t all about strenuous cardio or intense weights sessions.

In terms of overcoming obstacles from limited mobility, stretching can be vital too. It sounds simple, but the effects of greater flexibility from stretching can be profound.

Inflexibility makes even the simplest movements more difficult. Think about standing up from a chair, picking something from the ground, and reaching to get something from a shelf.

Each requires a level of suppleness. It can make a significant difference in terms of life satisfaction.

Final Thoughts on Exercising with Limited Mobility

There you have it: a simple guide to exercising with limited mobility.

Exercising simply provides a host of physical and mental health benefits. For instance, regular exercise literally helps you live longer! For that reason alone, you can see the importance of building it into your day to day life.

However, mobility issues can make physical activity more difficult. Hopefully, though, this post has proved that it’s by no means impossible. Keep the information in mind and you’ll be on your way to regular physical activity in no time. Want some support with your exercise? Be sure to contact us – Contact Cambridge Fitness today to see how we can help.