Home Care: Senior wheelchair exercises
Elderly folks can get many physically and mentally benefits from doing exercises weekly, including those confined to a wheelchair. After all, limited mobility does not hinder you from achieving goals to stay fit. With a lot of fitness routines that seniors perform have them make use of weights, bands and balls, there are simple ones as well that requires only one thing – you! You can go ahead to modify the routine you use by removing or adding different exercises. The main aim is to make sure you become more active.
Neck rolls: This is exercise requires you to warm up the muscles in your neck by moving your chin down in the direction of your chest slowly and then to your left shoulder. This is done 5 times before you roll your head towards your right shoulder 5 times, too. You do not need to roll your head to the back in order not to put pressure on your spine.
Arm Stretches: In this exercise your stretch your hands forward and make sure your fingers are interlaced. Make sure you are seated straight up while your arms are still extended in your front. Repeat this five to ten times then do it again but on the opposite direction.
Shoulder Lifts: Lift your two shoulders slowly straight in the direction of your ears then release them back down. Repeat this five to ten times.
Knee lifts: While holding onto your wheelchair with your two hands and on each side, lift one knee up slowly as high as it suits you then suspend it there for about 3 seconds. After that, place your foot gently back on the ground by making your knee go back down. Repeat this exercise three to four times before switching to the other way.
Side twists: Twist your body slowly to the right side of your wheelchair and use both hands to hold onto it. Ensure your turn turns with your body. Keep yourself in this position about 5-10 seconds then repeat it on the other side.
Front foot lifts: Here, you raise your feet off the floor while you keep your heels rooted to the ground. This should be repeated 5-10 times for each of your feet.
Leg circles: Lift up your foot and use your leg to make small circles while your foot remains flexed. This should be done for at least 10 seconds and then repeated on the other leg.
Heel lifts: While your toes are planted to the ground, raise your heels from the floor and then place them back down. Do this 5-10 times.
Churn the Butter: Use both hands to make fists and place one above the other. While your hands are in this position, turn your hands like you are churning a big bucket filled with butter slowly in a clockwise motion. Continue “stirring” for 5-10 seconds then repeat this for another 5-10 in the opposite (anti-clockwise) direction.
Swimmer: Use both arms to imitate breast stroke, freestyle/the crawl and backstroke 5-10 times each. You can as well select any other swimming strokes you are familiar with if you do not have any knowledge of these mentioned.
Running man: Lift your feet slightly off the floor and then quickly jog them. To make it more intense, include arm movements like you are actually running. Continue this while seated for 5-10 seconds, then deep breaths slowly and repeat this 3-4 times.
Seated Jumping jacks: Like the conventional jumping jacks, open and close your legs and arms. In trying to modify this, you can just do arms at first then follow it by legs. 3 sets should be done with 5-10 jumping jacks in each set.
Deep breaths: Relax your body by taking 5-10 deep breaths. You do this by breathing in with your nose and exhaling slowly with your mouth.
Note: Exercise and stretching should never be a painful experience so be careful. Make sure you go slow and easy as you progress. Make sure you see your doctor to know if you need to avoid anything and for other counsel.