They say the secret to a long life is good food. Clearly ‘they’ have never shovelled a packet of Hobnobs down in five minutes, solo! The real key to good health is obviously staying as active as possible, but staying active with limited mobility isn’t exactly straightforward.
However, it’s not as hard as many think. There are countless approaches to staying active with limited mobility. Some simply involve slightly adapting your everyday behaviour to mean you do more exercise without even realising it! For example, getting off public transport early to complete the rest of a journey on foot, or in a wheelchair. Other people may choose to set aside specific time for fitness. Either way, the benefits can be significant and more far-reaching than you might think.
What are the benefits of staying active with limited mobility?
Staying active with limited ability is obviously going to improve your fitness level and overall health. Exercise will strengthen your heart and other muscles. In turn, this has a direct impact on mobility because our stamina and strength increases as this happens.
But it’s also about improving mood and self-esteem. When we feel healthy, we tend to feel better about a lot of things. This is because exercise produces endorphins, which are proven to have a positive effect on mental health. When these chemicals are released by our bodies naturally, they do three things — reduce our perception of pain, increase stamina, and trigger a positive feeling in the body. The after-effects of this can include improved concentration, better sleep patterns and a more positive outlook.
Here at Ability Superstore, we’ve waxed lyrical about benefits of adapted cycles, talked a lot about joys of walking, and pointed out best walking aids. But exercise doesn’t necessarily have to mean a hike or pedal-powered machines.
Sweat the small stuff — embrace every opportunity to be active with limited mobility
We might not think of it as exercise, but study after study has shown gardening can be excellent anaerobic exercise if done regularly, despite the fact many of the movements involved are of relatively low intensity and often require small movements. The is a great place to start exploring the many ways in which people with limited mobility can flex their green fingers.
Those living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) develop increasingly significant mobility issues as the disease progresses. The has developed a series of online workouts people can try. These would be minor exercises for most, but can really help maintain levels of mobility, so people can stay active for as long as possible. Many are aerobic exercises, and the workouts can be done by anyone, not just those with MS.
Adaptive exercise equipment can make staying active with limited mobility easier
Buying adaptive exercise equipment doesn’t mean having to dedicate an entire section of your house to a home gym. Unless you really want to, of course!
Our recent blog on National Fitness Day included some tips on the best and , which can be ideal for staying active with mobility issues. are a great idea for building up arm and upper body strength. and help us regain stability following ankle and foot injuries, and develop leg muscles which can be affected by limited mobility disabilities, even in the short term.
Accessible gyms are all about staying active with limited mobility
Using accessible gyms may not be possible for everyone. But for those who are able and willing to use them, accessible gyms are becoming more commonplace in the UK. Many accessible gyms offer all the equipment you would expect in any gym, only in the form of adaptive exercise equipment. There should also be accessible pools and classes available, run by specialised instructors.
How much exercise is enough when staying active with limited mobility?
It’s a complicated question to answer. How much exercise is enough when staying active with limited mobility depends on current levels of fitness, specific mobility problems and disabilities. An activity like a quick walk in the park for one person could be a marathon for someone else.
recommends around 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activities per week and muscle activities on two days. However, you must consult a doctor or other healthcare professional who have an understanding of your needs and history, when you decide what exercises you would like to do, as they will be able to offer advice and guidance.
And remember – staying active with limited mobility is only going to offer a long-term benefit if you are sensible and choose a sustained approach. By doing this, we increase the chances of sticking with our fitness routine for longer.
Happy exercising everyone!