One of the greatest challenges we face as we grow older is maintaining mobility — and for seniors in wheelchairs, this is even more important. Exercise is a great way to maintain health, prevent injuries and increase stamina.
Here are some useful strength-building exercises from our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey that are easy to do in a wheelchair and go a long way towards helping seniors stay active and mobile:
- Shoulder retractions. Sit up straight and tense your ab muscles to support your back. Hold your arms at 90-degrees in front of you at shoulder level, hands facing the ground. Curve your fingers as if you are gripping something. Push your arms straight out and then bring your arms in by bending your elbows (maintaining shoulder level height) and bringing your fists towards your shoulders.
You’ll feel your shoulder blades and muscles squeezing. Repeat the action and add a resistance band between your hand when you are ready for a stronger exercise.
- Chest squeeze. Sit up straight with your and muscles engaged and hold a medicine ball or therapy ball at chest level. Squeeze the ball to contract your chest muscles, pushing the ball forward at the same time until your arms are nearly fully extended, then bring it back towards your chest. Repeat the action and add a more resistant ball when you are ready for a stronger exercise.
- Top taps. Sit up straight with your ab muscles engaged and your feet flat on the ground. Lift your toes upwards as far as you can and then back to the floor and repeat.
- Tummy twist. Sit up straight with your ab muscles engaged and your feet flat on the ground, holding your arms out at 90-degrees with your forearms extended and your elbows by your side. Rotate your upper torso slowly to the left as far as you can go and then repeat to the right.
- Knee lifts. With your feet flat on the floor, sit upright in the chair and engage your ab muscles. Slowly lift your right knee up towards your chest as far as you can comfortably manage, then lower it back to the starting position. Repeat with your left knee.
A Welcoming Community Spirit at Our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ
Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/5-effective-exercises-to-do-from-your-wheelchair/