Using a wheelchair can induce stress on the body, so it’s vital to stay healthy inside and out while using your mobility aid. From picking out the best type of wheelchair to getting the right amount of sleep and exercise, there are plenty of ways to stay strong and full of vitality, no matter your circumstances.
Choose your wheelchair wisely
Choosing the correct type of wheelchair for your needs is critical, especially if you’re a frequent user. An uncomfortable chair or a chair that doesn’t suit your needs can cause long-term physical and logistical problems.
For example, if you travel a lot, a heavy chair could become a hassle when transferring from a chair to a car or plane. Frequent fliers or drivers might want to pick lighter wheelchair models. Alternatively, if you spend a lot of time outside, an electric wheelchair may best suit your needs.
Electric wheelchairs offer more ease of mobility than manual wheelchairs. This feature can benefit users’ mental health as it relieves some of the stress of traveling outside the home. Propelling manual chairs forward requires effort and may cause users to tire quickly, but users don’t have to strain their bodies so much with electric chairs.
Prioritize plenty of sleep
Make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Using a wheelchair can involve some challenges. Ensuring you’re well-rested will help you maintain your mental and physical health to meet these obstacles head-on. Adults tend to require between six to eight hours of sleep per night.
Sitting for long periods can negatively impact your body. The limited upper-body mobility that wheelchair users have to adapt to can cause various symptoms without proper exercise. Swimming, basketball, and other cardiovascular exercises that increase heart rate are great for keeping wheelchair users fit and limber.
Maintain good posture
Maintaining good posture makes it less likely that you’ll injure yourself in a wheelchair. A slouched posture can also negatively affect your health. Try to keep your arms and torso in a straight line and shift your position regularly to prevent sores from forming.
Practice good hygiene
Washing every day helps you stay clean and improves mental health. Showering as a wheelchair user sometimes seems daunting, but you can use a few simple tricks to make the process more manageable. For example, shower safety aids can help wheelchair users maintain independence while showering. Roll-in showers also make it much simpler to climb in and out.
Ask for help when you need it
This tip applies to mental and physical needs. Wheelchair users can experience anxiety over time due to a variety of stressors. If you have these feelings, communicate with loved ones and seek guidance in dealing with your fears.
Your body needs to maintain weight and muscle tone to stay healthy in a wheelchair. Eat lots of vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fruits to ensure you have plenty of energy.
Healthy living and sound decision-making are essential for everyone, whether you use a wheelchair or not. By following a few simple tips, you can continue living your best life.