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How To Adapt Your Fitness Routine When Coping With A Disability

Qualen Bradley, a double below-the-knee amputee from Atlanta wearing bib No. 23273, leads a group of wounded warrior and wheelchair competitors early in the 37th running of the Army Ten-Miler on Oct. 9 in Arlington, Va. Bradley, who completed the run in 1 hour, 50 minutes and 37 seconds, is followed by Anthony Perry (27797) of Fort Sam Houston, Texas, among others in the field of 30,000 registered runners. U.S. Army photo by Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public Affairs

Coping with a disability is never easy, and even less so when you’re a fitness fanatic. As a result, it can be disheartening to drop the fitness routine altogether, but we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to! Instead, there are multiple ways to adapt your fitness routine to correspond with your capabilities, with numerous exercises even compatible with high quality mobility scooters! So, if you’re eager to shed the pounds and pump the iron again, this is our advice.

Look For A Personal Trainer

When you have a disability, you suddenly come to realise that many things that you used to manage, you can’t manage anymore, but you don’t have to face your new journey alone. Instead, it’s always a good idea to invest in a personal trainer to help you to adapt your fitness routine and get you back into shape despite your disability. Personal trainers are there to motivate you every step of the way, and will be able to offer you fun and exciting exercises that you’ll be able to manage thanks to their expertise. Plus, with a personal trainer, you’re able to book sessions that work for your time schedule, so they’re definitely worth a try.

Begin Utilising Wheelchair Workouts

There have been several wheelchair workouts invented over the years, all designed to help those who are suffering from a disability and are confined to a wheelchair. As you’d expect, the spectrum of wheelchair workouts is vast, varying in intensity in order to meet the needs of every individual. As a result, it’s paramount that you only take on what you can manage, and slowly build up your strength and incorporate different tasks into your fitness routine when you feel comfortable enough doing so.

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Do A Larger Amount Of Low Intensity Workouts

Beforehand, your fitness routine may have consisted of high intensity workouts in order to get the heart pumping, and while it’s still important to raise your heart rate while coping with a disability, you’ll want to do so in a less intense way. Usually, the best way to do this is to break your fitness routine down into small sections, causing you to do a larger amount of low intensity workouts. This way, once you’d added all the sessions up, it’s likely that you’ll equate to the shorter bursts of high intensity that you used to be capable of! As long as you meet the recommended requirement of 150 minutes a week, you’re on the right track!

Pay Special Attention To Certain Muscle Groups

Muscle-strengthening exercises are undeniably important when coping with a disability, especially for people who spend a lot of time in a wheelchair, as certain muscle groups won’t be used as much as before. Having to push yourself in a wheelchair can mean that the chest and shoulder muscles can become tight and put at a higher risk of injury. On the contrary, back muscles will be worked much less, and thus will become weaker. As a result, you’ll want to ensure you adapt your fitness routine to match your lifestyle, so in the above example, it would be wise to engage in some back exercises, while also ensuring that your chest and shoulders aren’t overworked.

After following the above tips, you’re bound to have a new fitness routine that you’re happy with, allowing you to get back in shape despite your limited mobility. With endless different exercises out there available for individuals suffering from a disability, there’s truly something for everyone.

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