Since the Paralympics are back in full swing in Rio, we thought you might want to feel like a Paralympian yourself! So here’s a few tips on how to work out in a chair! Safety first, though. Talk to your doctor before you try any of these workout tips! Make sure that a loved one or a caregiver is present when exercising, and be sure not to overwork yourself! We don’t want you getting sore or too tired, we just want to get that blood flowing!
Why is exercising in a wheelchair helpful and important? Exercising will result in more flexibility, will strengthen you and your lungs and heart, and provide more mobility overall.
Push-ups in a wheelchair?! How to:
First, lock your wheelchair into place, of course!
Lay your arms on your arm rest.
Now lift! Use your arms and upper body to lift yourself up and off the seat of the chair; stay lifted for as long as you can.
You can lift and rest on repeat!
“Do you even lift?” Lifting weights in a wheelchair:
You can use free weights or dumbbells, whichever is easier for you!
If you don’t have any of those lying around, that’s okay! You don’t even need to rush out to buy them! Just use anything you have around the house that is a little bit heavier, like cans of food or books! Repetition is key!
Ready, set, go! Racing in your wheelchair:
It’s fun, AND it works out your upper body!
You can race other friends in wheelchairs or you can have people run against you! Working out can be FUN!
For those who want tight tummies:
Alright, this one actually involves getting out of your chair and onto a yoga mat.
Cross your legs, grab a weight (dumbbell, Pilates ball, heavy object around the house), and lift it straight above your head.
Slightly rotate your torso back and forth for a period of time or until you’re too sore!
Some more tips on working out:
Turn the TV on and out for half the time of your favorite show! Or the whole time you’re watching your favorite show!
Make a playlist to listen to while your pumping that iron!
Links to workout videos for those working out in a chair:
Image courtesy of Softpedia
Thanks to recent breakthroughs at the Federal Institute For Technology in Lausanne, paralyzed individuals may be some day be able to control their wheelchairs with nothing more than a mere thought.In the past there have been other research teams across the world who have made similar advancements.However, where this chair differs is in the fact that it utilizes a revolutionary, synergetic combination of artificial intelligence and human thought called, “Shared Control”.
Previous attempts into creating wheelchairs governed solely by thought have always been simple enough in theory and even execution.By utilizing electroencephalography (or EEG for short), a user would simply have to think of moving his left hand and the chair would be able to record the brain pattern and then in turn move the chair left.
Unfortunately, José de R. Millán’s, the head of the project, ran into the very same issues that had previously plagued past endeavors to mentally control wheelchairs.The problem lies in the challenge of demanding far too much concentration from the user.According to Millán, “people cannot sustain that level of mental control for long periods of time”.
After long periods of time or cluttered environments, the process can become quite tiresome. In addition the more and more you try to concentrate the more turbulent and hard to decipher the signals become, making it much harder for the computer to process them. However, this is where the innovation of Shared Control comes into play. Rather than thinking the same instruction repeatedly, the user need only think it once and the software will handle the remainder of the process. With Shared Control, a Wheelchair user can near flawlessly navigate the immediate area without hitting anything. This process is further aided with the addition of two small cameras mounted on each side of the chair and onboard image-processing software.
In its current state, the prototype utilizes 16 electrodes which monitor the brains activity and would require training for a few hours a day over the course of about five days in order for the user to get the hang of. However, as of now the chair is still being tolled away at and has not yet been tested on any actual paralyzed patients.
Currently Millán’s team is working hard to develop object recognition capabilities that will make the chair so intuitive that it will be able to automatically “dock” with a table or desk in a manner that doesn’t put the chair a skewed or awkward angle.