Fun Activities for Those with Limited Mobility
The fun should not stop because you have limited mobility. There are lots of activities that you can do even if you are in bed. As you become more mobile, in consultation with your physician, you can begin to enjoy safer forms of the activities that you used to you.
Getting involved in activities is not only good for your cardiovascular system; a well chosen activity can improve your flexibility and improve your mood by helping you to reduce tension, anxiety and bond with other people.
Memory Games and Puzzles
Memory jogging card games and puzzles can be used as brain exercise tools to help recollection, concentration and hand-eye coordination. Used in a group setting, these games can also help with socializing, and conversation starters.
You do not need great mobility to engage in a number of these. If you are able to sit up in bed, a word puzzle can be a great way to pass the time and feed your brain at the same time.
Activities to help your Mood
Reading, knitting, playing an instrument either in a group environment or alone can help ease tension and improve your mood.
Before getting involved in any exercise program, it is advisable that you talk with your physician about the suitability of such a routine. Adaptation of my of the exercises suggested here can be made by your physician to fit your situation.
These exercises are also good as a warm-up exercise when you are about and can get involved in more strenuous exercises.
Each of the following exercises should be repeated six to 10 times. Those who are unable to stand should talk to their doctors about accommodations.
- Neck rolls: Tuck chin into chest and roll chin from side to side by trying to touch ear to shoulder. This can be done standing or sitting.
- Shoulder circles: Stand with feet apart. Raise right shoulder toward right ear; lower shoulder back down in a smooth motion. Repeat on the other side.
- Overhead arm swings: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep back straight and knees slightly bent. Swing both arms up overhead, then back down past hips.
- Crossover arm swings: Stand as for overhead arm swings. Swing both arms out to side at about shoulder height and then across chest.
- Side bends: Stand as in overhead arm swings. Rest hands on hips. Lift torso up and bend smoothly to left, then back up straight, then to the right. Try to keep a smooth slow rhythm and spread out while bending to the side. Inhale while returning to the upright position.
Cardiovascular activity can increase your overall energy level and improve blood flow, the function of your heart, lungs, circulation and muscles while having fun at the same time. These have to be individualized. Depending on which areas of your body are mobile, some modifications have to be made to the suggestion to suit the individual.
Some examples are:
- Using a stationary bike or rowing machine – these can be used for either the arms or the legs
- Dancing to your favorite tune or exercise video
- Cardiovascular or endurance physical activity can be difficult for people with limited mobility. Below are some ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness level.
Strength activities challenge your muscles by pulling, pushing or holding muscle contractions.
Strength training is a great way to keep muscles and bones strong and improve balance and posture.
Some examples of these are
- Weight training
- Using resistance training machines
- Pool exercises using the water as resistance
- Bridge exercises
Flexibility activities include activities that help you move your joints and muscles more easily. Improving your flexibility can help you bend down to tie your shoe, brush your hair, get up and down off the floor or tub and reach items from the top shelf in the cupboard. In many cases, flexibility exercises also double up as strengthening exercises. Some of the examples mentioned above can also be used as flexibility exercises.
Make sure that you do stretching exercises slowly and smoothly, with no bouncing or jerking. Stretching should not be painful.
Some examples of these are:
- Tai Chi and yoga exercises
- Exercises using the exercise ball
Usually, your physician would recommend a physical therapist to help you with your exercise routines or at the early stages give you simple instructions on what to do. Activities are great but you can also hurt yourself and make things worse. It is important that you talk with your physician before getting involved in any exercise program.
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