Exercise is proven to not only lower the risks of diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular conditions, but it also it has also been shown to improve one’s overall mood and sense of well being through the release of endorphins. It can aid with the relief of pain, fatigue, cramps and stiffness.
Being confined to a wheelchair is in no way a sentence to a sedentary lifestyle. There is an abundance of easy-to-care-for exercise equipment for wheelchair users such as hand cycles, resistive tubing, and free weights. Exercise equipment is readily available to help wheelchair users maintain active, fit, and healthy lives.
Hand cycles are a form of closed chain, low impact aerobic machinery that strengthen and improve cardiovascular functioning while toning the muscles of the arms. Various models exist including with or without attached seats. The specific model will depend on the mobility of the user. Hand cycles can be placed on a table and used to exercise the arms. Sit on a comfortable wheelchair cushion as you exercise your upper body. The ergonomically designed handles adjust to greater or lesser amounts of resistance. These are the perfect table mounted hand bikes for the disabled. Simple lower end inexpensive hand cycles can costs from $60 to $100. Higher end machines can range anywhere from $300 to $5,000 depending on the accessories and capabilities. Check out below for some affordable and inexpensive hand cycles.
- Pedal Exercisers – Affordable low impact pedal exercisers that can be used for toning the legs and arm muscles. Great for someone who is currently in a wheelchair but is rehabilitating.
- Mini Cycle Exercisers for Arms or Legs – Uses adjustable magnetic resistance to provide a smooth pedal motion in both the forward and reverse directions. Excellent reviews.
- Motion Pulley Set – Motion pulley set for shoulder therapy that is easy to install and remove from a door. Practice extending your shoulders and arms over your head.
- Hand Cycle Exerciser – Made of sturdy heavy duty steel and has an easy to adjust control knob for resistance. Inexpensive hand cycle.
- Neoprene Free Weights – Pick from a wide range of weights from 1lb to 15lb. Does not chip or damage floors and will not roll due to its hex shape.
- Resistance Tubing – These are affordable exercise equipment that comes in varying degrees of tension. Great resistance training that can be used anywhere.
- Hand Cycles – Adjust the workouts to your preference from light to rigorous. A built in computer monitors your reps, distance, time and calories.
- Exercise Hand Or Feet Cycles – Increase blood circulation and strengthen your muscles on a machine that is easy on your joints. Simply move the pedals or straps in a circular motion with your limbs and get a great workout. Perfect for use in physical therapy, someone with MS, or someone who needs a pain free joint exercise. Get the blood flowing at an affordable price.
Resistive tubing is an extremely inexpensive, yet versatile piece of equipment that is both portable and easy to use. Tubes can be looped around one’s own body, a doorknob, a table leg, or a wheelchair for a variety of full body exercises. Resistance tubes are useful in muscle toning and conditioning. Many fitness instructors and physical therapist recommend the use of these resistance tubes if you are rehabilitating or want to build muscle endurance. Tubes typically range from $2 to $20 for varying styles and resistances. A set of tubes including different shapes and sizes would be a more economical and useful purchase.
Free weights are likewise one of the most versatile types of equipment used for muscle strengthening and toning. They can be used for upper and lower body toning exercises. Weights coated in vinyl or neoprene are often more comfortable than purely metal weights. They can be purchased individually or in sets with costs ranging from $5 for a single dumbbell to $150 for large sets with adjustable weights. Kettlebells, medicine balls, sandbags, and body bars are all useful free weight equipment to have in any collection.
Any reasonable amount of movement is good for the body and your health. Spend this exercise time to practice your wheelchair transfer techniques as well. Being in great physical shape will allow you to overcome the limitations and challenges, a wheelchair user might encounter in their daily lives. No longer will you see obstacles the same way.