Page 8 - Scene Magazine 42-02 February 2017
P. 8

To exercise successfully with limited mobility, illness,
or weight problems, start by getting medical clearance.
Exercise is Possible Even With Injuries and
If injury, disability, illness, or weight prob- lems have limited your mobility, it’s even more important to experience the mood-boosting ef- fects of exercise. Exercise can ease depression, relieve stress and anxiety, enhance self-esteem, and improve your whole outlook on life. While there are many challenges that come with having mobility issues, by adopting a creative approach, you can overcome your physical limitations and find enjoyable and effective ways to exercise.
Limited mobility doesn’t mean you
can’t exercise. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that energize your mood, relieve stress, boost your self-esteem, and trigger an overall sense of well-being. If you’re a regular exerciser currently sidelined with an injury, you’ve probably noticed how inactivity has caused your mood and energy levels to sink. This is understandable; exercise has such a powerful effect on mood it can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antide- pressant medication. However, an injury doesn’t mean your mental and emotional health is doomed to decline. While some injuries respond best to total rest, most simply require you to reevaluate your exercise routine with help from your doctor or physical therapist.
The truth is, regardless of your age, current
physical condition (even the person that has become frail with age), and whether you’ve exercised in the past or not, there are plenty of ways to overcome your mobility issues and reap the physical, mental, and emotional rewards of exercise.
It’s important to remember that any type of exercise will offer health benefits. Mobility issues inevitably make some types of exercise easier than others, but no matter your physical situation, you should aim to incorporate three different types of exercise into your routines:
Cardiovascular exercise can raise your heart rate and increase your endurance. These can include walking, running, cycling, dancing,
tennis, swimming, water aerobics, or “aqua- jogging”. Many people with mobility issues find exercising in water especially beneficial as it supports the body and reduces the risk of mus- cle or joint discomfort. Even if you’re confined to a chair or wheelchair, it’s still possible to perform cardiovascular exercise.
Strength training exercises involve using weights or other resistance to build muscle and bone mass, improve balance, and prevent falls. If you have limited mobility in your legs, your focus will be on upper body strength training. Similarly, if you have a shoulder injury, for exam- ple, your focus will be more on strength training your legs and abs.
Flexibility exercises help enhance your range of motion, prevent injury, and reduce pain and stiffness. These may include stretching exercises and yoga. Even if you have limited mobility in your legs, for example, you may still benefit from stretches and flexibility exercises to prevent or delay further muscle atrophy.
Talk to your doctor, physical therapist, or other health care provider about activities suitable for your medical condition or mobility issue. They can help you find a suitable exercise routine. Ask:
• How much exercise can I do each day and
each week?

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