Tag Archives: Wheelchair fitness

Wheelchair User Outdoor Excersize

A Guide to Wheelchair Fitness

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:

  1. First, lock your wheelchair into place, of course!
  2. Lay your arms on your arm rest.
  3. 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.
  4. You can lift and rest on repeat!

“Do you even lift?” Lifting weights in a wheelchair:

  1. You can use free weights or dumbbells, whichever is easier for you!
  2. 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:

  1. It’s fun, AND it works out your upper body!
  2. 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:

  1. Alright, this one actually involves getting out of your chair and onto a yoga mat.
  2. Cross your legs, grab a weight (dumbbell, Pilates ball, heavy object around the house), and lift it straight above your head.
  3. 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: 

Exercise Machine Invented for Wheelchair Users

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There are many challenges Wheelchairs users must face on a daily basis.  Chief among them are medical conditions which can arise from a lack of physical exercise.  However, one Austin, TX resident has high hopes that his invention will change all that.

For the past 20 years Christopher Standford has spent life in a wheelchair.  A retired Air Force Captain who possesses a degree in bio-medical engineering, Standford knows all too well about the lack of exercise options for those in a wheelchair.

“I can go to a Gold’s Gym — there are 24 exercise platforms they (others) can use, from treadmills to other devices. There’s nothing for wheelchair users. I want them to have some of the fun and activity that a walking person would have,” Stanford explained.

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Hoping to change this, Standford spent years (and money out of his own pocket) working in his garage on a stationary platform that would allow wheelchair users limitless 360 degree action. With the help of 20 odd something engineering students from the University of Texas and Texas State, Standford’s dream was brought one step closer to reality.

“They had some great ideas that I didn’t even think about. They also bring expertise that I don’t have,” he said.

Armed with a ‘smart sensor’, the platform can seamlessly interface with gaming consoles such as the Playstation or Wii, thus making the exercise and entertainment possibilities both enjoyable and limitless.

“I’m looking at ‘exer-tainment,’ I call it. I want people to exercise,” Stanford said.

Thus far, Standford has managed to sell one unit and is more than ready to go commercial with his invention.   However, despite having more interested buyers, Standford knows he would greatly benefit from having business partners or investors aide him in his project.