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Staving Off Aging Through Healthy Exercise

Elderly individuals have limited mobility and without strength training and exercise routines, their quality of life will be limited as well. If your elderly loved one is already in a wheelchair or has limited mobility, they can still do some exercises that will allow them to stay fit.

Resistance bands

One of effective way to exercise for an individual in a wheelchair is to use resistive exercise bands or resistance bands. Your loved one does not need to get up out of the wheelchair to do any of the exercises. Using the resistance bands, your loved one can strengthen practically every muscle in his or her body. Have your loved one follow these tips:

Let's start with your arms and shoulders. Take the resistance bands and fold them in half, grab the handles with one hand and slid the other hand all the way down to the end. Now, pull the resistance bands behind the head and push out 15-20 times, take a break for 30 seconds and repeat this process 2 more times. This will strengthen your shoulders and triceps. To strengthen your arms, grab both handles and then place the cord around the bottom of your foot. Push your foot out and against the pedal on your wheelchair and then pull up with the resistance bands, allowing you to do some bicep curls. Now, for your legs, place the resistance bands around the bottom of your foot and hang onto the cord by the handles. Slowly kick your leg out until the resistance cord is completely flexed and then bring your foot back in, bending at the knee. This will strengthen all of your leg muscles.

Weight training

Another great way to exercise in a wheelchair is to use some small weights to do some simple weight training exercises. Use free weights of about 5-10 pounds. Sit straight up in your wheelchair. Bend to one side, allowing the weight to pull your arm as far down as possible then sit up straight and bend to the other side. This weight training exercise routine will help to strengthen your core muscles, giving you stronger abdominal and back muscles. Using the same free weights, hold your arms down and then do some bicep curls. After bicep curls, lift the weights above your head and bend your elbows behind you and then lift up, this will help to strengthen your triceps.

Strength training

Even though you may be wheelchair bound, you can still do some great strength training exercises. In addition to lifting weights, sign up for a water aerobics class. The water aerobics class will allow you to work on strengthening all of your muscles. You can do everything from abdominal crunches to leg raises, and the water will support you and your joints so you do not feel pain and you do not need to worry about losing your balance and falling down. Water aerobics also include water weights which you can use to do bicep curls, triceps lifts, and other great arm exercises. Try to attend water aerobics at least 2 days per week to give your body a great workout.


About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.

Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.