Keeping fit isn’t easy when traditional workouts are out of the question.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle however, regular fitness is required. For individuals experiencing limited mobility achieving this comes with a range of challenges, which often results in physical activity being skipped altogether. Understanding which exercises work best for your level of movement is key for reaping the benefits of exercising.
With the Australian Department of Health recommending between 2.5-5 hours of moderate physical activity each week, let’s discuss exercises you can do today to achieve this.
Here are out 7 tips for staying active with limited mobility!
The buoyancy of water permits a greater range of motion due to the virtual elimination of gravitational forces – making this a perfect exercise for those with limited mobility!
Not only can you improve your strength and balance, but the social side of hydrotherapy provides a fun space to create a fitness regime. Water can also help in relieving joint and muscle pain, a large benefit for individuals struggling with mobility. Learn more about hydrotherapy.
Resistance training is an excellent addition for any fitness regime due to its ability to heavily focus on strength.
Resistance band training places a focus on endurance through targeting major muscles in the upper body such as the chest, back, shoulders, arms and core. Key exercises may include the following:
- Bicep curl
- Chest press
- Seated rows
- Band pull-aparts
Performing thorough chest stretches on a regular basis can greatly benefit fitness routines. Improving flexibility, range of motion, circulation and posture are key benefits of chest stretches. Chest stretches may include the following:
- Double arm stretch
- Double arm stretch – Arms behind back
- Elbow stretch with above head or chest
- Stretch using anchor
- Corner stretch for chest
Seated Knee Extensions
Build leg strength through simple exercises such as knee extensions. This may be done through the following:
- Sit in your chair, focusing on having a straight back and arms by your side.
- Extend and straighten your right knee. Focus on squeezing your quadricep muscles, and hold for 3 seconds.
- Switch legs, and repeat.
- Perform on each leg for 10 repeats.
Grip strength and muscle mass are related, meaning people with limited mobility usually experience low muscle mass – and therefore low grip strength.
Here are some simple ways to improve grip strength:
- Grab a rubber stress ball
- Grasp the ball in the palm of your hand, and then slowly squeeze the ball.
- Hold the fully-squeezed position for five seconds and then release.
- Perform at least 10 times per hand.
These exercises commonly use weights to build muscle and improve balance. For those with limited mobility in their legs, strength training for the upper body will be beneficial for functional strength, such as tricep extensions and bench pushups. For strength training utilising the lower body, sit-to-stands and step ups are excellent improving individuals balance and endurance.
Cardiovascular exercises are a great way to raise your heart rate while building your level of endurance. For those with limited mobility, these exercises are still possible! One exercise for this includes chair aerobics, which involves a series of upper body and arm movements!
Access our Complimentary Programs
Did you know we offer four complimentary exercise programs, developed by our exercise physiology Gold Coast team, that you can perform at home, with full step by step pictorial guides and a tracking card that you can download to monitor your progress?
Exercise Program For Women (men can still do these too!).
Exercise Program for Children (choice of two depending on age group)