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How do I stay fit?

Hi,
I've recently gone into a wheelchair, and although I've been disabled my entire life, I have never been confined to a wheelchair and I don't know what I'm doing.
I've spent the past 3 months completely house-bound due to the situation - I don't have a diagnosis and the NHS won't supply a wheelchair without one, so we've spent the last 3 months trying to get the month to buy a wheelchair, and now I'm in it, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do to keep myself fit. 
I don't have great upper-body strength, so I have to work on that, but I also want to know how to keep my weight down and my stomach and legs in some form of shape as I have always been fit in that respect and I don't want to let that go.
Any advice will be appreciated, thanks. 

Replies

  • wittygal1996wittygal1996 Posts: 12Member Listener
    The NHS has some useful information and tips on exercise. Here are some useful links- https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/ Not sure how old you are but they have different exercises for different age brackets. 

    Furthermore I know that many charities and organisations organise exercise sessions for disabled adults and children too. Perhaps you can ask your therapist for advice. Or look online. 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 198Member Chatterbox
    Hi

    Exercise is a good idea. Have you looked into disability sports? I work for a company that provides opportunities to socialise and make friends amongst healthy living activities. As part of that we run exercise sessions for disabled adults in the evenings. Alternatively you can research what’s on in your area. Google disability sports for more information. 

    Start small however. Check with your doctor before you begin exercising. Be realistic about your expectations. Build up gradually over a period of time. 

    http://disabilityhorizons.com/2016/10/top-10-exercises-disabled-people/ 

    The gym is also a good idea. You can do exercises appropriate for your needs there. What do you enjoy doing? Sport should be enjoyable and fun too. Remember that. 



  • Suzanne_HFAut54Suzanne_HFAut54 Posts: 14Member Whisperer
    There's a new app called Iprescribe Exercise that lets you put all your health information and exercise requirements into it then it formulates a 12 week staggered regime for you to follow. Unfortunately at this point its only available to iPhone users . Do a Google search for similar apps.
  • JaneDoe6475JaneDoe6475 Posts: 4Member Listener
    The NHS has some useful information and tips on exercise. Here are some useful links- https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/ Not sure how old you are but they have different exercises for different age brackets. 

    Furthermore I know that many charities and organisations organise exercise sessions for disabled adults and children too. Perhaps you can ask your therapist for advice. Or look online. 
    The link provided only gives me information on exercise if I was able-bodied, and the NHS sites haven't been a great help to me when looking this up myself. I currently don't have a therapist, I am waiting for my referral to go through since they discharged me (again) a couple of months ago. 

    Although looking online has given me an idea already, I'm struggling to find any solid examples. I'd love to know how to keep my leg muscles from wasting away when I can't stand or even ride a bike, and I'm desperate to keep the weight off without having to buy anything, so I'm looking for something similar to sit-ups to do this. 
  • JaneDoe6475JaneDoe6475 Posts: 4Member Listener
    Hi

    Exercise is a good idea. Have you looked into disability sports? I work for a company that provides opportunities to socialise and make friends amongst healthy living activities. As part of that we run exercise sessions for disabled adults in the evenings. Alternatively you can research what’s on in your area. Google disability sports for more information. 

    Start small however. Check with your doctor before you begin exercising. Be realistic about your expectations. Build up gradually over a period of time. 

    http://disabilityhorizons.com/2016/10/top-10-exercises-disabled-people/ 

    The gym is also a good idea. You can do exercises appropriate for your needs there. What do you enjoy doing? Sport should be enjoyable and fun too. Remember that. 



    This is the most useful thing I've seen all evening - I've been researching for a couple of hours and haven't got very far. Thank you so much for sharing this link, I'm new to a wheelchair and have very limited capabilities so I'm not ready for sports yet. I will have a look at gyms though and see what is available for my needs in my area. 

    Thank you so much for this. I will definitely save that link to try in the morning. 
  • JaneDoe6475JaneDoe6475 Posts: 4Member Listener
    There's a new app called Iprescribe Exercise that lets you put all your health information and exercise requirements into it then it formulates a 12 week staggered regime for you to follow. Unfortunately at this point its only available to iPhone users . Do a Google search for similar apps.
    I've had a look at this and it is not useful for wheelchair users at this current moment. 
  • Suzanne_HFAut54Suzanne_HFAut54 Posts: 14Member Whisperer
    I hope you've fed that back to them ! NHS England funds so much without being as inclusive as it should be. My splogiapo for not reading enoghe of your detsils before recommending this. Have you thought about archery. Modern bows have been adapted for wheelchair use and it's delivered indoors as well as outside
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 182Member Chatterbox
    edited September 2018
    Once, researchers showed that the very word  s p o r t  is the thing putting people off exercise.  The sight, or thought,  of the lycra posers makes many women and even men alienated.  That effect is increased dramatically, for older and/ or disabled people .

    Private providers have had to step in, to provide women-only establishments.   But even those are not suited to disability.

    It  must be obvious  no public funding should be squandered on subsidising  anything aimed at the already-fit.   They are merely greedy.   The least healthy are the most needy.

    The most needy require specialist rehab facilities and staff and organised home visits for the bedbound and housebound, for   d a i l y   exercise, for the rest of their lives.

    Those who can get to, or be taken to, a rehab centre will need the specialist set up similar to Stoke Mandeville and the Armed Forces rehab centres.   That includes passive/active machines, gentle vibrating plates to increase the bone density, and to maximise the effectiveness of any minimal muscle movement.   

    Any exercise machines should be a mystery to the steroid-pumped lycra lot, who would be banned for being too fit, and told to go to private gyms or go for a run.

    Any exercise groups or classes should be led and designed for geriatric and injured or disabled people.   Few can scramble up and down from the floor.  The assistants would need to supervise some,  lying on padded benches or tables.  Some beds  would have to be electrically assisted to reach a suitable height. Many would need trainees, volunteers, assistants to enable exercise and to get showered and changed.

    The ethos would be quiet and physio led, with screaming sports based bullies banned from employment and told to go where the lycra lot went. 

    Hydrotherapy is vital.  Individual cubicles are available.  So are underwater bikes, treadmills, balance balls.  Merely walking up and down,  holding onto railings and/or hydrotherapy  assistants, will be beneficial.  Many need the bath-hot water to ease pain, to relax muscles, ease the joints and allow the sinovial fluid to soften, permitting an entirely different range of movement to any land based activity.     

     N.B  Most local authorities have hydrotherapy pools in special needs schools, unused for most of the day and most of the year.  Does  anyone in central or local government, or in the health service, truly believe that, on the day a child leaves school, he achieves a miracle cure and will, for the rest of his life, never again need hydrotherapy?    Also, do those people truly believe "go for a brisk daily walk" is the only sensible health advice for his severely injured uncle, who may never walk again, and for his  osteoporosis stricken arthritic  grandmother, becoming rapidly more frail and housebound through inability to walk far?

    Any music in a rehab exercise centre would be from personal headphones, in order not to distress others , particularly with deafness and certain other conditions.   Headphones might also permit a group instructor to speak personally to certain customers, instead of yelling distressingly and mystifyingly, above the pounding music favoured in conventional gyms.

    Staff are by definition usually in the peak of health, so a) need briefer lengths of time  poolside or in the exercise rooms, than are sensible and standard at colder temperatures, and b) need uniforms which won't add to their overheating.   It is a mistake to permit healthy, well wrapped up, dry staff to set the temperature or alter it by jamming open doors and windows, leaving frail, possibly wet, shivering customers enduring  the resultant chill.

    The warmth would be set for the needs of the customers, many of whom will need to maintain the temperature of an intensive care ward or premature baby unit. Most people can tolerate being warm, but for many, it is critical not to allow their temperature to drop.  It is usually a mistake to have  timed sessions when an entire class is entering and leaving a pool at the same time, all needing the same showers and changing rooms. (A few medical conditions require cold, so they would be separate designated sessions.  Similarly,  a few conditions mean people make a lot of noise, so they too need special sessions so they know they are not distressing the majority,  who either require peace and quiet, or can manage to tolerate it.)

    Effort should be made to site the centres with at least a small eco friendly mini nature reserve to look out at, and possibly a communal mini allotment,  to lift the spirits especially  for those who have been  long housebound and/or with chronic pain, to visit before or after exercise sessions.  A heated conservatory would be a help, as would gentle sounds of nature, birdsong, water. 

     The cafe side of the  centre could easily be enhanced as an opportunity to take computer lessons or any of the activities, games, crafts and hobbies and regular interaction  known to enhance mental, physical and social wellbeing.  A hairdresser and beautician could produce income by renting space to offer services for housebound and other customers.   Disability equipment providers could rent space, with mutual benefit.    Citizens advice, and representatives of local and central government,  among others, should normally be expected to take the opportunity to ensure their services reach those who cannot reach their offices  .   

    With a dedicated medical centre alongside, it would be a cost effective way to monitor all kinds of conditions and deliver footcare,  blood and eye and hearing  tests, dental and medical services, diabetic control, weight loss, diet assistance, and the many other services people need, but cannot readily access, to improve their health, strength,  wellbeing,  and in some cases enable them to take part in society and possibly rejoin the workforce, at least part time.

    A cafe would be  good, and might attract income from any  local health aware general customers,  but it would need to stock organic, and not garlic-in-everything.  Instead,   the sort of things suited to FODMAP, IBS,  and other restricted diet, and often adopted by cancer patients. I.E the exact opposite of chemical and sugar filled fake food.

    Exercise sessions should rarely be in the evening, because it inhibits sleep, and because many older and/or disabled people impose a curfew on themselves, to avoid fear of becoming cold, or of being tired while far from home, or fear of gangs or of rowdy children who might knock them to the ground.

    The  timetable and staffing should ensure that on certain days, no men are in the building.  The managers, and majority of staff, for that reason, should be female. 

    N.B. Discrimination  law permits positive discrimination as an adjustment of service for those who for religious reasons,  or embarrassment, or a history of abuse, cannot reasonably be at ease in a peesonal private therapeutic healing setting, with strange men near them, or looking at them.    

    On the latter point, one way glass is vital.

    Rehab and other health services , like all public services, are intended primarily to benefit users (and, saliently,  'hard to reach' and/or 'excluded potential users of service')  Therefore, every parking opportunity should be for disabled users. It should not be reserved for the staff.


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