Exercise is a great thing for all bodies, disabled or not. It can help relieve symptoms of depression, ease stress and anxiety, improve your outlook on life, and help boost your self-esteem. It works by releasing endorphins that allow you to feel much better, so don’t limit yourself if you have a disability. It may be a little more difficult to find the best exercise regimen for you, but once you do, you can start reaping all the rewards that exercise brings.

If you have a disability that involves a mobility issue, there are a few things you should focus on in your training. Cardio, strength training, and flexibility will help get your heart rate up, improve your range of motion, help prevent injury, and help reduce any pain you may have. The trick is to start slow and work your way up gradually so you don’t overdo it and then want to stop exercising altogether. Just like anyone else starting an exercise regimen, it’s also important to stick with it and expect ups and downs. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is an exercise program.

If you’re limited in what you can do because you’re in a wheelchair, there are wheelchair and indeed chair exercises (great for anyone!) that you can do. These include chair aerobics or something as simple as punching the air. You can also do resistance training with a lightweight resistance band that you place on your chair or a doorknob and pull gently to increase its resistance. There are also therapy pools in most cities that allow you to exercise with the added benefits of water. Shoulder presses, wheelchair sports, bicep curls, and tricep extensions are also great things to try while sitting in your chair. However, while in that chair you want to make sure the brakes are on and your knees are at a 90 degree angle if possible, sit up straight and use those abs for good posture at all times. This will help prevent injury and keep you in great position for those great workouts.

With just a little ingenuity, anyone with a disability can embark on an exercise program and reap the rewards. Don’t forget the rules about proper warm-ups, stretches, and cool-downs, and of course, drink plenty of water at all times. The best advice of all? Have fun!

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