The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us all, how important fitness is to our health. If we don’t move around, walk, jog, run, and lift some weights, we can become soft, weak, and overweight very easily. But what about those of us that need to use mobility scooters to get around, what are we supposed to do? Where there’s a will there’s always a way.
You can still work out and exercise, even while you cannot physically walk around on your own two feet. These are some of the following techniques and products you should make as part of your daily life.
How To Remain Fit While Needing A Mobility Scooter: Raising the tempo
If you have the function of your legs but cannot walk for very long, you can still use your legs to get a good workout. Buy some weighted shoes, which will help you strengthen your muscles and improve joint movement.
This is a type of fitness equipment, made especially for those that want to focus on the lower half of their legs. You can sit in a chair and do quadricep raises and get similar results as you would by using a machine to do the same in the gym.
Sit up straight and put your hands by your sides. Grip the chair if it helps you to stabilize. Slowly lift your feet up while keeping your legs straight. The weight on your feet will add to the challenge and isolate your quads which will allow you to get a more thorough workout.
Slowly but surely you can add more weight to your shoes and if you need to, tie a chain with a dumbbell or plate attached to it, around your feet to get more weight resistance.
Lower body muscle atrophy
Since we’re no longer using our lower body to carry out weight all day, our muscles can see themselves as more of a burden than needs to be. Over time this can cause muscle atrophy, which means our muscles just become smaller, thinner, and weaker. The great puzzle for those who use mobility scooters is, how do you stop this from happening?
The simple answer is low-weight or tension exercises with high repetition. Hold onto a staircase rail and hang your feet off the edge with your toes still touching the step.
Now perform calf raises with reps between 30-50. Do this 2 or 3 times a day and your lower leg muscles will prevent themselves from atrophying. You can also do windmill movements with your feet. Elevate your legs to a 90-degree angle and then make circular motions with just your feet.
This will give the ligaments and muscles in your feet and ankles, a good shake-up. Activating your muscles on a regular basis is the key to stopping your body from taking muscle mass away from your lower body.
Keep going outdoors
For those who are new to their new lifestyle with a mobility scooter, it can be daunting to go outside. You may not want to go outside alone because you feel vulnerable and for others, it’s a simple practical burden.
With transportable mobility scooters, you can fold up your transport and put it in your car. You can take it with you on any outdoor trip, be it in a field, walking path, park, or public garden. Popular models like the Drive, Adventurer and, Pride Go-Go LX, and the Rascal Ultralite 480, weigh between 13-16kg.
Yet, they can easily take the weight of someone who is 120kg+. Many such models have a range of 10 miles with a maximum speed of 4-5mph. Take this kind of scooter with you when you go for a walk in a park or perhaps on a trip to a countryside village.
The more outdoors you go, the more you will be walking and using your mobility scooter in tandem. It will become a normal part of your life while learning how not to take your health for granted.
The upper body
When we walk and or run, our upper body is also playing a key role in our balance and stability. But when your life has changed and you no longer walk or run as much as you used to, what becomes of your upper body? The same thing as your lower body, muscle atrophy begins to set in.
Let’s put a stop to that right now. There are lots of sitting upper body exercises you’re encouraged to do so your muscles get a fresh supply of oxygen and the brain recognizes your arms are being used.
Buy a simple dumbbell set, the maximum weight need only be around 10kg. Performing shoulder presses in high rep sets, as well as bicep curls, will hit the major muscles in your arms. Perform some forearm curls with your arms resting on your legs.
Don’t discount the sheer importance of stretching as well. Every morning, you should perform a 10-minute stretching routine just for your arms. Stretch everything from your fingers, and wrists, to your triceps and deltoids.
What happens if you decide not to work out anymore? Granted, it’s mentally tough to accept that you no longer have full movement of your body anymore and that you need a mobility scooter to get around.
But the world is not going to end and if you stay sedentary for too long, a range of other and worse health conditions will arise. Studies have shown that not being active can result in type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and heart disease, and adversely affect bone density.
Unhealthy bones lead to complications in your blood and you don’t need to be told what can happen then. Stay positive and make fitness a part of your daily routine. It gives your mind something to focus on and aim for each day while appreciating your body’s needs.
Just because you use a mobility scooter does not mean you can’t live a healthy fitness-oriented life. Keep going outdoors. Go to parks and walking paths, but take your transportable mobility scooter with you. Keep stretching and lifting weights to keep your upper body active.