Explore your movable options.
Most of us can exercise without full physical mobility. Arthritis, chronic illness, severe weight problem or other ongoing physical or mental disability? Some level of regular exercise is possible when it’s personally suited to you.
Regardless of your age or condition, staying active can help you feel stronger throughout the day. With the guidance of your health care provider, here are 3 key fitness pursuits to consider.
- Cardio strength: If you’re overweight or have arthritic knees, you can still exercise your heart and burn calories with soft workouts. Routine walking may be the best low-impact cardio workout if you keep a brisk pace; be sure to wear good supportive shoes. Or try elliptical and bike exercise. For upper body strengthening, consider body bands.
- Muscle health: Do you use a wheelchair? Focus on upper body strengthening with free-weight workouts; wheel yourself about outside daily. For chronic back pain or a shoulder injury, work your leg and core muscles.
- Stretching: Even with limited movement in your legs or back, you should enjoy better flexibility and comfort through daily stretching. And it may help prevent or delay further muscle atrophy.
Regular exercise can also have a powerful effect on your mental health, especially when coping with long-term physical challenges. During exercise, your body releases endorphins that energize mood and stamina, ease stress, boost your self-confidence and improve your outlook on life.
Maybe you can’t move as well as you want to, but you have the same need to protect your health and future as people without disabilities.