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Exercising at Home with Spinal Cord Injury During Covid-19

Summary

  • If you have a spinal cord injury (SCI), you can and should be physically active.
  • Your health will benefit from regular exercise after SCI.
  • Your exercise program should include three parts: stretching, aerobic exercise, and strength training.
  • Setting goals, recognising potential barriers, being prepared, and learning about resources can help you have a successful exercise program.
  • With so many options, you can find an exercise program that is right for you.

Introduction

People with SCI are more likely than the general population to have health problems related to weight gain, changes in cholesterol, and high blood sugar. People with SCI are also at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Not being active may contribute largely to these problems.

Normal, everyday activities aren’t enough to maintain cardiovascular fitness in people with SCI. Regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of health problems after SCI.

Importance of Regular Physical Activity

  • Improves energy levels and ability to take part in activities
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Increases flexibility
  • Improves mood
  • Improves sleep
  • Decreases pain
  • Helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Improves cholesterol
  • Improves blood sugar
  • Decreases the risk of heart disease

Because of these benefits, exercise is more than just fun—it’s a form of medicine that can be a powerful tool for preventing and treating many health conditions.

Exercise Guidelines

Exercise regularly based on your abilities. Avoiding inactivity during these challenging Covid-19 times is very important. Any amount of exercise is better than no exercise. If you require assistance in anyway contact us at No Barriers to discuss your specific needs. Exercise of any form will be beneficial at this time but a combination of aerobic and strength has a better balance.

Scheduling Exercise

It is best to exercise in routines of at least 30 minutes. But even as little as 10 minutes of physical activity at a time can provide health benefits. If possible, spread out your exercises throughout the week. The more time you spend exercising, the more health benefits you’ll get!

Options for Exercising

One of the great things about exercise is that so many options exist. Exercise can occur as part of your daily routine. Exercise can be done easily in your home.

Examples of stretching include:

  • Using your standing frame
  • Using exercise bands

Examples of aerobic exercise include:

  • Rowing with exercise bands
  • Pushing your wheelchair briskly

Examples of strength training include:

  • Weightlifting
  • Using resistance bands

Occasionally you may think you need special equipment to exercise, however adapt think outside the box ask us to help there are many ways to keep fit and healthy during these times.

Choose goals that you can easily achieve but that are challenging.

If you require any help with a programme in the home email me at stephen@nobarriers.ie 

 

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