If you’ve ever used a manual wheelchair, you know how tiring it can be to move yourself all day, every day. The constant pushing and pulling of the wheels requires a significant amount of upper body strength. But did you know that strength training can help build your muscle endurance to make maneuvering your wheelchair feel easier? Researchers have found that a regular resistance training routine can yield major benefits for wheelchair users like improved mobility, reduced risk of shoulder pain, and an overall boost in quality of life.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 1.5 million people in the United States use a manual wheelchair. As the population continues to age, the number of adults with mobility issues gets greater every year. With more than 864,000 wheelchair users being over the age of 65. There are also other reasons people use a wheelchair, such as a sudden event like a spinal cord injury, stroke, or amputation, or the result of a progressive disease like multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or osteoarthritis. Regardless of why someone is in a wheelchair, they are now forced to rely on their arms to manually wheel themselves to where they need to go. This increases demand in the shoulders and arms which can give manual wheelchair users shoulder pain and dysfunction.
This is why it is important for manual wheelchair users to incorporate strength training into their daily routine. Strength training is not only a way to strengthen muscles and avoid injury, but also the key to greater mobility and independence. This is possible due to targeted exercises that help strengthen your biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles that will enable you to use your wheelchair more frequently. Giving you increased mobility without the fear of getting exhausted and stuck. It will also mean being able to support yourself getting in and out of the wheelchair. Manual wheelchair users can benefit from a variety of fitness options, including cardio training. Which can help increase stamina and increase your cardiovascular system.
The benefits of resistance training for wheelchair users cannot be overstated. Not only does it improve mobility and reduce the risk of shoulder pain, but it also has a significant impact on overall quality of life. As our population continues to age and face mobility challenges, it is crucial for wheelchair users to incorporate strength training into their daily routine. A simple routine with weights or resistance bands can make all the difference.
For more information on how strength training can help wheelchair users, click here.
Article written by William Graves.