4 Ways to Stay Physically Fit in a Wheelchair

September 4, 2015 | 1:49 pm | By Pants Up Easy

Staying physically fit and healthy tends to be a goal that most people have. If you are a wheelchair user, it may be a bit of a challenge to find ways to stay on top of your fitness game. Luckily, there are several ways that you can stay fit and healthy as a wheelchair user if you know what where to get started. Take a look below for four simple ways to stay physically fit in a wheelchair.

  1. Diet

So much of your overall health and wellness depends on what you put in your body. Maintaining a healthy diet is absolutely key when it comes to staying fit, whether you are a wheelchair user or not. Focus on eating clean and nutritious foods that do not have added fats or sugar and are high in fiber, which will help you stay full longer. Bulk up your vegetable and fruit consumption, and drink plenty of water. Even if you are relatively active, you will still only be burning about half the calories in your chair that you would be if you were able to walk, so it’s important to watch your calorie consumption in order to avoid excessive weight gain.

  1. Exercise

You may think that exercising in your wheelchair is virtually impossible, but the great news is that that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of things you can do while in your chair to maintain your fitness. In order to make a real difference in your health, it’s important that you focus on both aerobic exercise as well as muscle-strengthening exercise. When it comes to aerobic exercise, there are several things that you can try. Anything that raises your heart rate and causes you to break a sweat will to the trick. Many wheelchair users enjoy swimming, using a rowing machine, and wheelchair sprinting. For muscle-strengthening, focus on using resistance bands, or look for a gym that has equipment adapted for wheelchair users.

  1. Wheelchair Sports

If you’ve got a competitive spirit, wheelchair sports may be an excellent option to help you stay fit and healthy. Depending on where you live, there are many groups that you could join. Wheelchair basketball is a very popular sport, and there are many wheelchair users who also enjoy tennis, wheelchair racing, bowling, and more. There are even many people who are branching out into the world of extreme sports, such as skiing, wind surfing, and beyond. No matter where your interests may lie, there is likely someone who has already attempted the sport in a wheelchair. Going online to search for more information about opportunities in your area is a great place to get started.

  1. Stay Active

Maintaining an all-around active lifestyle is another great way to stay physically fit. Get outdoors and enjoy nature – not only is this great for your mood, but it will help motivate you to stay active. There are many things you can do outdoors that will keep you fit. If you have a chair that can handle the terrain, you can hike, fish, garden, go camping, kayak – the opportunities are practically limitless. Don’t let the fact that you are a wheelchair user hold you back from a fun and active life!

By maintaining a healthy lifestyle full of good food and plenty of physical activity, you will be well on your way to staying fit in your wheelchair. Don’t let yourself be discouraged. There are plenty of ways that you can maintain the level of fitness that you desire as a wheelchair user. The tips above are a great place to get started.

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