The responsibility of caring for a handicapped family member is never an easy one. But I confess that I never thought about the issue of staying active and fit when handicapped. Here is some great advice if, God forbid, this ever occurs in your life.
When caring for a loved one with a physical handicap, it's essential for you to make sure they live a happy, healthy life. Wheelchair accessible vehicles can ensure that your loved one has a happy life, as they will be able to reliably get around and lead a "normal" life, without having to rely on others for sporadic transportation. However, it is equally important that they lead a healthy life. Here are some tips for making that a reality.
* Get Moving
Too often, being wheelchair-bound means leading a sedentary life. However, this shouldn't be the case! Wheelchair exercises can help to improve flexibility, strength, and overall circulation, strengthen the heart and lungs, and aid in weight control and digestion. By improving muscle definition and decreasing neck, back and shoulder strain, regular exercise will increase self-esteem as well.
Which exercises can be done while in a wheelchair? Strength training-which can be done with hand weights or fitness machines-is a good option, and can improve every part of the body if done correctly. Also beneficial is resistance training, which can be done with resistance bands or the body's own weight. If you have a gym membership, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of a certified personal trainer in order to maximize your workout and minimize your risk of injury.
* Just Breathe
When someone is wheelchair-bound, it is easy to feel as if you are trapped in your chair, or stuck indoors too much. This, in turn, can lead to a Vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to depression or other ailments. For this reason, it is important that those with physical handicaps venture outdoors on a regular basis. This can be accomplished by taking regular walks around the neighborhood, outings to parks, or even booking a stay at Handicapable Camp or other similar places. Whatever your choice, being outdoors can be therapeutic in a number of ways, both physically, emotionally and spiritually.
* Eat Healthily
Anyone who has ever been stuck in the house (regardless of whether they are handicapped or not) can attest to the fact that this can lead to incessant snacking, which can lead to a poor diet. If you find yourself falling into this rut, do something about it! Stock up on healthy foods, and be sure to eat a balanced, healthy diet that consists of more fruits and veggies, and fewer chips and unhealthy snack foods. By eating as healthy as you can, the preceding two steps will be easier and more desirable, and your overall health will improve. Your body will thank you for it!
To those who don't understand the difficulties that the handicapped face with regard to leading a healthy lifestyle, it is easy to forget about facilitating such a lifestyle. However, the best thing that you can do for your family member is to encourage them to be healthy at all costs. This way, they will lead a well-rounded life that is full of happiness and health. Have fun!