2

votes

Excercise ideas for wheelchair bound

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

My dad is a paraplegic and has been wheelchair bound for 20+ years. He has limited use of only one leg but enough that he can pull himself to his feet to move from his chair to bed, etc. I have been paleo for 6 months with great success and he just agreed to try paleo to see if he can find any relief from his many health concerns (mitral valve prolapse, carpal tunnel, chronic systemic inflammation, etc.)

Do any of you have any good resources for types of exercises for a person in a wheelchair? Does anyone else have any experience with them? How would someone do any type of cardio work in a wheelchair? Maybe exercise isn't important right now for him?

Thanks in advance for any help.

D687712302e0103ea52615eefc94d102

(396)

on September 27, 2011
at 10:17 PM

I love all of your suggestions! Thanks!

D687712302e0103ea52615eefc94d102

(396)

on September 20, 2011
at 09:48 PM

That was what I was suspecting. Thanks guys.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on September 20, 2011
at 06:19 PM

I would be concerned about injury. I agree with Beth--improving his diet would be my first concern.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on September 20, 2011
at 06:06 PM

If it were me, I'd focus on diet first.

C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on September 20, 2011
at 04:50 PM

It is about fitness which is still accepted on this site.

D687712302e0103ea52615eefc94d102

(396)

on September 20, 2011
at 04:46 PM

maybe this isn't really a paleo question...

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5 Answers

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1
C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on September 20, 2011
at 04:50 PM

How functional is his one good leg?

Does he have control of it or is it more or less just a pivot point to get to bed?

Outside of that, it would take some work but.

Pull/Chin Ups Shoulder Press Bench Press Squats (Depending on the functionality of the leg) It would be beneficial for him to get the full Range of motion, he could use a rope as a counter balance with his arms as he squats to get used to the range of motion and build muscle. I guess it comes down to, is it limited because he doesn't use it or limited because the ability is not there? Other then that,

Hill climbs in wheel chair, or even sprints depending on age and ability. I wouldn't think about cardio as the normal run 5k but lifting and moving around and going up hills will help build cardio ability.

I've never dealt specifically with someone in a wheel chair, however if I did this is the way I would approach it depending on their personal starting ability. Then develop it from there based on their ability and the new skills they develop.

1
6b72eeb3f0c98b487f712efcb5092c90

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Check out some of the plus size exercise folks like Kelly Bliss; they have workouts for those who have to remain seated. There are probably other resources available if you do a search.

However, because your dad is paraplegic, I'd recommend starting with his doctor and asking for a referral to an exercise or occupational therapist. A paraplegic has specific exercise concerns that really should be addressed by a professional.

1
Medium avatar

on September 20, 2011
at 08:13 PM

There's a fellow who rides by my office in a modified recumbent bike that has pedals that are operated by his arms rather than legs (which I don't believe he has use of). If your dad used one of these, or even an indoor, stationary version of it and did prolonged bouts of it (in front of the TV for example if it's stationary) at low intensity in the fasted state, he would lose fat, gain muscle and greatly improve his health.

0
F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 20, 2011
at 11:39 PM

go for it! good suggestions here. How about starting out with chair yoga to build up his confidence and flexibility?

0
Medium avatar

(19469)

on September 20, 2011
at 10:59 PM

I've worked in physical therapy settings, gyms, assisted living facilities, etc. and know that there is a wide spectrum of ability for paraplegics.

However, it seems pretty clear that your father is fairly deconditioned and suffering from several health related issues. Since your father has a degree if independence it is important to maintain his physical condition through diet AND appropriate forms of exercise.

Diet will obviously help with the issues related to systemic inflammation, but an exercise program can help him to feel better, provide some relief from carpal tunnel, and support maintenance of lean tissue and overall health.

To that end, he may benefit from using what's called an Upper Body Ergometer. It's basically a "bike" for your upper body. I liked to a company that sells an affordable home version.

Additionally, hand weights (dumbbells), resistance bands, and grip strengtheners (particularly those that work the forearm extensors like the dynaflex) are good options.

I even read that the Nintendo Wii is being used in rehabilitative settings since it helps encourage activity and can be used while in a seated position.

D687712302e0103ea52615eefc94d102

(396)

on September 27, 2011
at 10:17 PM

I love all of your suggestions! Thanks!

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