Getting in shape shouldn’t be a chore. Being adaptive can make it even more challenging to exercise depending on your situation. Contrary to what you think, there are many easy ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday activities or focusing on things you already love to do.
Make time for exercise. If you’re busy, don’t let it stop you. Try and fit more activity into the things you already do every day – whether at home or work:
Choose the stairs. Obviously, this won’t work if you are in a wheelchair, but if not you’ll get a workout and avoid the awkward elevator rides. For a more strenuous workout, go up and down the stairs for 15 minutes.
Park farther away. If you are able, tuck away your handicap placard while running errands, at work or dropping off kids, park as far away as you can to add more activity into your day.
Take activity breaks. Leave your desk occasionally to take a break to enjoy outside while it is still nice outside walk or roll inside around the building. Giving you a break from the stress or rest your eyes from your computer screen. Adding in more physical activity, you will feel more rejuvenated when you get back to your desk.
Do what you love. Maybe you enjoy rollerblading, perfecting your garden or snow skiing with your kids. When you enjoy exercise, you’re more likely to keep it up. You might want to try:
Walking with friends
Trying a new yoga class
Pick up snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
Joining a local recreation basketball or racquetball league
Skating at the skate park
Going swimming at a nearby pool
Participating in a dance class
Biking around a local park with your kids
Set small, realistic, and specific goals. If you decide to pick up jogging or wheelchair racing, start with running/cycling at faster for 30 seconds and walking/cycling slower for two and a half minutes. The next week run/cycle faster for 45 seconds and walk/cycle slower for one minute. Before you know it, you will be running/cycling fast for two-three minutes until you take a short walking/cycle break. And if you have some setback, that’s OK. In the end, you’ll see success if you stay consistent.
Think for the long haul. Doctors recommend exercising for 30 minutes of moderate activity, like gardening or cardio, at least five times a week. If that sounds overwhelming, build on small goals month by month. What else is the key to success? Stay patient and positive until you get there – and you will get there.
Lastly, recruit help from friends. Life changes are much easier with a group of close friends and family supporting you. If you know someone who’s already active, ask them for tips or be brave and join in with them. LionHearts’ group classes are Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:00 and 6:30. We would love to have you join our community of people who love working out and being apart of an awesome adaptive community that supports each other. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you exercise, what‘s most important is finding a way to exercise doing what you love and making it a part of your daily routine.