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What are the Best Exercises for Disabled People?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The best exercises for disabled people would depend upon what type of disability the person has. For instance, if the person uses a wheelchair, simple arm exercises might help strengthen the muscles of the forearm. Breathing techniques can be beneficial for disabled people. Using equipment such as hand weights or a simple ball can be other forms of exercises for disabled people.

Hand cycling may increase the heart rate while strengthening arm and hand muscles. This specialized equipment is known as an upper body ergometer or hand cycle. This can improve strength in the arms, shoulders, and upper back. It is also a good method of toning.

Exercises for disabled people who are unable to stand for long periods, but have use of their legs, may involve a standard exercise bicycle. This will provide a full cardiovascular workout, while toning and strengthening leg muscles. It is always a good idea to start off at a slow pace. Monitoring heart rate is important as well. Before starting any type of strenuous exercise program, the individual should consult with a physician.

If the physically disabled person has some mobility, swimming is an excellent form of exercise. This will provide muscle strengthening as well as cardio fitness. In addition to swimming, water aerobics may be beneficial to some disabled individuals. A swimming instructor can offer instruction and supervision.

Wheelchair exercises for flexibility and toning can provide activity and fun. Bicep curls are a good starting point. The person will hold a soup can in each hand, bend arms slightly, while tucking elbows in close to the side. He will then lift the cans or hand weights slowly, while holding for a count of five seconds. A set of 10 repetitions should be sufficient.

Other chair exercises for disabled people include the use of resistance bands. A resistance band is made to stretch and, as the name suggests, provide resistance. This will help to strengthen arm muscles. The person simply secures one end of the resistance band to an object such as a door knob. Once the band is firmly secured, the person pulls the band toward himself, then slowly releases.

There are several variations for this type of resistance training. If the individual is able to do so, extension exercises for the feet and legs are another excellent choice. It is helpful to purchase a couple of sets of resistance bands to work on the arms and legs simultaneously.

Some forms of exercises for disabled people may provide stress relief and relaxation benefits as well. Fishing is a good choice. Most any disabled person who has full use of his arms and hands can participate in this activity. It can also provide companionship when enjoyed with a friend.

Not only can fishing provide muscle flexing, it is a good form of mental stimulation as well. It can be conveniently enjoyed from any chair placed along side of a lake. Fishing may also be enjoyed in conjunction with kayaking, depending upon the degree of mobility the person has.

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Discussion Comments

By anon264048 — On Apr 26, 2012

Look at the wheelchair gym. It's wheelchair and power-chair accessible. If you can move your arms, you can use it.

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