Staying fit for the less able and gymless

Whatever your level of ability, staying fit can be tricky. However you don’t need to have access to lots of cash and Olympic level facilities to ‘get fit.’ Gym’s aren’t necessarily the most accessible places and certainly machines whether they be resistance(weights) or Cardiovascular (treadmills) aren’t the easiest to navigate if you have to use a chair or sticks to get around. Getting fit is not rocket science  but it takes dedication, consistency and sometimes a little creativity.

Here a few suggestions that I have used with my less able clients in order to help them get fitter whilst not breaking the bank.

  1. Get active as much as you can. Take opportunities to use your body as it was meant to be used. Pushing, pulling, standing, sitting up when you can. Even getting out of bed can be an abdominal exercise. 5 get out of beds = 5 sit ups!
  2. Move fast and as much as possible to train you heart. This will help to keep your heart strong. For example, use household items (e.g. , bottles of water, tinned food) as weights to build an uptempo upper body exercise routine.
  3. Find a safe open stretch of land to time yourself, pushing, walking or running. Then structure your own races and aim to beat your previous times. Beat the clock!
  4. Whatever you movement capabilities, make sure you practice what you can do. Your body remembers movement patterns and with practice these can improve or at least help to keep old patterns active. This is vital for degenerative progressive conditions.
  5. Eat well – The importance of this can not be overestimated if you want to stay in shape whatever your ability. Unhealthy foods can help scupper any attempt at staying fit and certainly losing weight! The better and ‘cleaner’ your diet the more lively and energised you will feel. Then you’ll have more energy for daily life! It’s a self fulfilling prophecy!

I hope these have helped. For more good info on everything for the less abled check out Blue Badge style.

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