Exercising with Paralysis

BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 149Moderator Moderator
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How do you stay physically active while living with paralysis? What kinds of adaptive exercises do you use to stay fit? We want to hear what people with varying levels of mobility or injury have to say!

Comments

  • brigittemcbrigittemc Posts: 11Member
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    My husband is a C7 quad and he does strength training on arms, shoulders and core working with a trainer mostly using bands.  He normally spends his day in a powerchair and uses his manual chair for exercise on the weekends.  Before his accident in July 2017, he was an avid cyclists, so the goal is to get him back in the saddle with a custom Top-End hand cycle.
  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Posts: 102Moderator Moderator
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    I am a t-12 and I powerlift, swim, use a handcycle, and I also race a pushrim wheelchair. I typically go to the gym 6times per week.
  • EmmsEmms Posts: 37Member ✭✭
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    edited February 14
    A bit like garrisonred above but without the power lifting! I walk my dog a good 5/6 miles a day as we both love our early morning walks, I handcycle, I have the rollers for training set up all winter in the greenhouse. I play basketball, kayak, I stand.. that's a work out! I use my stander to do stuff.. so I'm not just on my phone or reading usually! If I've nothing to do, I use weights or the powerball gyro. We like long distance trails.. that we backpack on. We're planning our summer 10 day hike now. And of course all day walks! I like to tow my chair behind my bike, that gives me more time out and lets me get the shopping etc. I'm not a sit down watch tv person. It gets put on for a film, that's about it. I like being outside, muddy, on the beach, or in the garden. My garden has our  greenhouse, veg patch and chickens... they all. Red looking after!  It's just about keeping active! If you filll your life with active interests, you'll just stay very active! A few le creuset pans in the kitchen too! A good cast iron skillet makes the best of your freshly made pizzas. ;) I'm just the sort of person that makes everything into a challenge! :) 
    “Inhale the future. Exhale the past.”


  • lauragracebecklauragracebeck Posts: 12Moderator Moderator
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    i am a C6 quad. i have found places outdoors where there is pavement i can push several miles. i have a mat in my house that my husband made, i get on there and practice mat mobility, getting into yoga positions, pushups etc. i box with my friends in my chair, i pull myself forward to work on my core. i get my husband to put pillows behind me and practice sit ups— i have to have  a lot of pillows behind me. i am on a wheelchair rugby team which challenges and strengthens me a lot!
    lauragracebeck
  • SterlionSterlion Posts: 51Moderator Moderator
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    I am a c5-c6 quad. I am in a manual chair full time so that helps me stay active. I know it is hard for quads to use manuel chairs full time as it was for me. It took me a month to get use to it as I lengthed the time I was in it for about 5-10 minutes each day.

    I do a lot of weight training to build my upper body and use the FES bike for my legs. I go to physical therapy twice a year and incorporate what they teach me at home. I try to use the standing frame everyday for about an hour. Doing these things have not only helped me stay healthy, but helped me gain more independence as well. I like to think of myself as a quad-para hybrid.
  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Posts: 102Moderator Moderator
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    Thats awesome @Sterlion
    I feel staying active increases independence
  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 149Moderator Moderator
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    @brigittemc, here's to hoping he's back in the saddle with that hand cycle soon! I remember always wanting to use my older brother's (whose level of injury is C6-7 complete) hand bike when we were kids. A few minutes on it and my arms were so tired...and he made it look so easy!
  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 149Moderator Moderator
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    @garrisonredd, do you have any advice on picking a gym that works for someone who uses a wheelchair? What kinds of equipment or other aspects of a gym should someone look for? 6 times a week?! Props to you!
  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 149Moderator Moderator
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    @Emms, you sound like you know how to have a good time outdoors! Do you have any advice on backpacking when using a wheelchair? Also, I agree that a good cast iron skillet makes cooking a whole lot better ;)
  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 149Moderator Moderator
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    @lauragracebeck, wheelchair rugby is so cool! It's so much fun to watch. My brother used to play a little bit! And I've been wanting to try yoga, so maybe I can convince him to try, too. I never thought about how it could be good for his core AND for his breathing until now! Thanks for your input!
  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 149Moderator Moderator
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    @Sterlion, that's a cool way to think of yourself! I thought physical therapy had to be a weekly or monthly thing, which so many people don't want to keep up with, so it's nice to hear that you're still learning from it and only going twice a year. I feel like that could probably sound much more appealing to someone who sustained their injury long ago but still wants to improve their health and independence, rather than doing a deep dive into continuous physical therapy.
  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Posts: 102Moderator Moderator
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    @BrookeU
     It depends on what level of fitness you are at and whats your level of injury. What I would advise everyone is first go where you feel comfortable because ultimately the goal is to exercise safely, so pick a gym that you know there will be someone there to help you it doesn't have to be a trainer friends are fine  at providing a hand. If you are more advanced I would recommend a commercial gym like La Fitness or something similar being that they have a variety of different machines and free weights and they are typically roomy. If you're injury is higher I also recommend working out with a trainer at a smaller private gym until you are able to work independently. Since I am a team USA powerlifter I train between a commercial gym typically two days  out the week and a strength gym 3 days out the week, also I go to the park to do calisthenics once a week.  The key is to feel comfortable and safe, I also have workout videos on youtube for those that would like ideas.
  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 149Moderator Moderator
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    Thanks so much for an awesome response, @garrisonredd!
  • Monica.TMonica.T Posts: 98Member ✭✭
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    Dose anyone use a ROM Bike?  Charlie's Ortho suggested Range of Motion therapy but neither of the two therapy facilities in our area have wheelchair accessible bikes. I want to get Charlie one but am unsure of which type would be best. (they come with a hefty price tag too, so want to be sure they'd be physical benefits for the expense)
  • trevorsendeavortrevorsendeavor Posts: 33Moderator Moderator
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    I am c6/c7 level incomplete and I have tried a variety of different therapies and ways of working out but most have always related to getting to the point of standing and walking. I still do a fair amount of lifting to keep my upper body active. Currently I am using an exoskeleton that allows me to stand and walk as long as I have a support person present. It gives me all the benefits of standing and walking that I wouldn’t get otherwise! It’s been a long process to be able to use an exo at the level that I do but it has definitely been worth it! 
     
    Aside from walking in the exoskeleton a few times a week, I also use an FES bike to help keep the legs stimulated and active on the days where I may not have the time or energy to use the exo. I can definitely tell a difference in the way my body feels when I am not able to do anything for a couple days. Staying active and in shape is so important! 
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