How to plan an exercise regime that suits your level of mobility
Staying active is not always about demanding exercise routines, but rather finding the best ways to move safely according to your own mobility.
Below we highlight some tops tips for low impact exercises and supportive mobility equipment that can help those living with limited mobility to stay active and independent.
Please note it is important to talk to a medical professional if you or someone you care for is having difficulty with their mobility or is starting a new exercise regime.
Improving balance for confidence and stability
Staying active can help someone to maintain good strength and balance and can therefore contribute to reducing the risk of falls. However, some people may require additional support to stay active and safely move around at home or outdoors.
Mobility aids can help someone to maintain their balance whilst giving them the support they need to continue walking independently. Walking sticks are one of the most popular and common mobility aids that offer light support. However, for someone requiring more stability, a walking frame or a rollator that feature two handles may be a better option as both can support a person’s weight more equally.
Stay active with low impact exercises at home
Once the best exercises for an individual are identified, it can be useful to invest in small and versatile pieces of exercise equipment to help them stay active at home.
Exercise mats are popular exercise aids that can be used for a range of fitness and rehabilitation exercises that assist with mobility, including Yoga, Pilates and physiotherapy. They provide a comfortable surface that helps to absorb impact and can be used on any flat terrain whether someone chooses to exercise at home, in the garden or going to a class.
Many exercises can be done from a seated position, which may be ideal if someone has limited balance or stability, to help build up strength without the need to stand for long periods of time. A pedal exerciser is a handy exercise tool that is designed to be used sitting down and allows for progression in leg and arm muscles to improve strength and mobility around the body.
Maintaining fitness at home can be as simple as ensuring the body is used. If a person is fit and able and lives in a house with stairs, then find an excuse to climb them. Stair climbing is one of the most important ‘free exercises’ and can help someone to retain muscle strength, especially when they continue the activity daily.
Enjoy the great outdoors
Enjoying the fresh air and scenery outside brings joy to many people, however if someone gets tired easily or needs support when walking they may lack confidence getting outdoors and even avoid it if they don’t have the right support.
Rollators can offer extra support for someone who finds it difficult to walk unaided, and some designs, including the NRS Compact Easy™ Rollator, also feature a handy seat, enabling the user to sit down for a short break when they need a rest. Getting the right mobility aid can make all the difference to someone’s independence and help them get the exercise that they need. There are a wide range of health benefits to going for a regular walk, such as improving your circulation, sleep and strengthening your muscles. Walking is low impact, making it a great way to stay active – even a quick walk to the end of the road can help to lubricate joints, get the heart pumping and help a person receive their daily dose of vitamin D.
For some people going for long walks may be too difficult or uncomfortable, but there is still the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air safely with the right support. Wheeled mobility scooters can support people who find it more difficult to walk long distances. They are battery powered and enable a person to take control of where they need to go, or perhaps drive to places where they may be able to walk a short distance before returning home. There are many things to consider before purchasing a mobility scooter including storage, mile range and the strength and mobility of the user.
Talk to a medical professional to get advice
Before starting any new exercise regime, it is important that a person seeks advice from their GP or another medical professional to ensure it is suitable for their personal requirements and will not affect any existing conditions. If someone is experiencing difficulty with their mobility, their GP can also refer them to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist who can assess their needs and offer guidance.
If you need some advice about which product is suitable for your needs, or the requirements of someone you care for, you can contact our product advice line at [email protected] to talk to our friendly team of professionals who will be able to offer advice on products.