A few years ago I would moan about being unable to do very much, now I would like to get back to that level!

I had a chest infection that lasted from November until the beginning of January and so I have been laid up for the whole time, I have been to doctors appointments and round to the chemist which is about 100 metres ish. Yesterday my wife was walking round to the local shops and so I decided to get out and have a push, it wasn’t very far but involved an incline but still I wouldn’t have thought anything of that last year. We got home and this poor old boy fell asleep on the settee, today I feel like I have been to the gym pumping iron with the big boys!

I now know that it’s more important to work on fitness levels when you have a disability, especially if you self propel your wheelchair. My chair doesn’t have push handles and so if I can’t push myself it’s going to cause problems.

So how can I work on fitness levels when exertion causes a pain flare up and a massive loss of spoons? (energy levels).
I guess swimming is the obvious choice, I haven’t been to the pool for a couple of years somewhat because of my health but also I’m embarrassed of my torso, yep just the torso! My legs are, well skinny due to muscle loss, my arms are pretty good but the middle bit is, erm? Well lets say that it’s more like ET’s body.

When I could walk I would partake in the swimming pool walk, which is
Get changed
Such in belly and push out chest
Quickly walk to pool edge and jump in
Breathe out

When you are in a wheelchair it’s made worse due to the obvious sitting position, first off everyone looks when someone in a chair wheels in, then I have to convince the on duty lifeguard that I don’t require a hoist, this can be quite a debate depending how health and safety they are and also if they are keen to use the hoist.
I can get in a pool unassisted, after all its a case of just falling out my chair and into the water, getting out is made easier if it’s a pool where the water is level with the edge, some pools have about 12″ drop and its a little harder to drag myself out the water.

I could use the handbike, I have a bike that attaches to my wheelchair and its an amazing piece of kit and perfect for someone who has poor energy levels because it has a battery driven wheel. It can assist on inclines or help to get up to speed but best of all it can just propel me 100% which has rescued me a few times when I have run out of energy before I get home.

Last of all is some yoga, I have found some yoga poses for people in a wheelchair on the good old www and so I have three methods that could work?

So spring is almost upon us and the time has come for me to make an effort to claw back some sort of fitness level, it may just push me into a flare but I’m hoping that if I take it easy, I should be okay.

Until next time!

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

3 thought on “Out of shape!”
  1. I like the idea of the handbike. I love swimming but due to other medical stuff going on at the moment, swimming has become a bit of a no no. I too need to get back in shape but practically on bed/sofa rest on doctor’s orders at the moment.

    1. That’s why I’m out of shape, I’ve been on the settee since last October, I’m going stir crazy lol. I have some swim gloves that are webbed, so I can get more power from arms.
      I hope you get some improvement soon!

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