Bad news for gyms, sports clubs and swimming pools: they have to close until at least the 10th of February because of the coronavirus. But how can you make sure that until then, you stay fit physically as well as mentally? We’ll give you a few tips on how to keep moving as a wheelchair user in Covid times.
Sports may not be for all wheelchair users. But if you do practice sports a few times a week, temporarily not being able to do so is a big setback. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape at home during this time.
Follow online workouts
Even though gyms and physiotherapy practices are closed, many of them now offer a daily online workout. You can simply do these workouts in your living room, without any equipment. If you do want a little more challenge and make the exercises harder, use weights in the form of a water bottle, a carton of milk or a backpack. Anything you can hold with your hands and lift will do.
We really understand the temptation of binge-watching Netflix during these weeks. But it is much more important to keep moving, especially now. The guideline is to do some kind of exercise at least 30 minutes per day. For example, you can do chores for which you normally don’t have the time. Think of a big spring cleaning or clearing out your closet. Or make sure your garden is ready for spring. There is enough to keep you moving in Covid times, even as a wheelchair user.
Act like you would at work
Normally, you would probably be at work right now. At work, you get the necessary level of exercise by getting a cup of coffee or grabbing something from the printer for example. Now that you are at home, you can do the same. Go take a breath of fresh air during your lunch break or run an errand. Think about the daily routine you would have at work, and act accordingly. A comfortable wheelchair in which you can get into several positions and in which you have all the freedom and possibilities to sit and to ride, is crucial.
Stay mentally fit
By spending your time in a useful way, you stay in shape mentally too. Think of the extra time you have now as a bonus, and especially as a positive thing. At least now you have the opportunity to do things you normally wouldn’t get around to. This creates more space in your mind, which also keeps you mentally fit.
Strengthen your bones and muscles
If you do not get much exercise, your muscles will weaken. It is important to make sure you maintain your muscular strength. Surely you have heard of ‘Nederland in Beweging’ on NPO1? This TV show is perfect for keeping your bones and muscles in good shape. You can also do breathing exercises. Take a calm and deep breath. Hold your breath for a few seconds and breathe out calmly. Do this five times.
There you have it: as a wheelchair user, there is plenty you can do to keep moving, even in Covid times. We would love to know what your favourite wheelchair exercise is. Let us know in a reaction below!