I’ve been meaning to do a post on this for quite a while, because I know a lot of you guys deal with restricted movement or some kind of mobility issue. If you’re not able to workout in the traditional sense, there are other alternatives out there to keep you as strong and fit as you’re able to be. Movement, even in small doses can do wonders for your general health as well as your pain level and mood. As always, get clearance from your doctor before beginning any of these workouts to make sure they are safe and appropriate for your condition.
You don’t need to be the second cousin to a pretzel to be able to enjoy the benefits of yoga. There are several different gentle practices that utilize the healing breath and gently stretch and strengthen your muscles through a series of poses you can do with a chair. Yoga is great, because it teaches you how to use your breath and concentration to alleviate tight muscles and move joints past their normal range of motion.
You’ve probably seen these in a Physical Therapist’s office. These rubber tubes or flat bands are great to incorporate into a gentle strength training program. Strength training helps take pressure off nerves and joints that could be giving you pain, as well as promotes bone strength to prevent fractures. You’ll also have killer biceps.
Hand Bikes/Recumbent Bikes/Rowing Machines
Cardio is a bit of a challenge when your mobility is limited, but utilizing things like hand bikes, recumbent bikes, and rowing machines, will help you get your heart rate up. There are different levels of difficulty these machines can be set to based on your fitness and mobility level, as well as some therapeutic adaptive versions can be covered by insurance.
Water allows you to move in a way you wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Many times athletes will take to the pool just to walk or jog to rehab from an injury, because the water lessens the impact on the body, and allows for a greater range of motion. If you can’t find an aquacise class in your area, just walking for thirty minutes in a pool will give you huge benefits.
So don’t let a mobility issue take you out of the game! Find something adaptive that you love to do, and with your physician’s guidance, make it part of a fitness routine that will only help to improve your quality of life.