By: Derek Marsette and Mary Eberts
Here’s the basic problem, you can’t move like you used to, but you want too right? Starting to exercise with limited mobility, as scary and new to you as it might be, is actually very common for almost everyone in America. Considering the fact that there is a greater majority of unhealthy than healthy in this country, we are going to welcome a new norm of fitness starting. That is the personal individual norm.
The first step in learning to exercise with limited mobility starts with mindset. You have to knock this idea out of your head that your life is anything more than you versus yourself. Take a good cold hard look at yourself, we call this step “taking a self inventory”.
Taking a Self Inventory: when you stop and ask yourself some real life questions, write them out in a graphic organizer you start to not just become more mindful, but you use the critical thinking part of your brain. By changing your mental approach towards the problem you can start to see solutions you didn’t see before. FUN Science Stuff: By using a more “worksheet” or graphic organizer approach your brain switches from an emotional place to a place of action. You start organizing and analyzing information rather than focusing on the emotional view.
Aside from turning your approach to your health in a matter of fact, statement of fact kind of way. When you look at it as fact or science, you start to find that it’s easier to discuss and be open with yourself. Essentially, we want to be nice to ourselves during this process that is still cold and systematic. (Now you see why people hire personal trainers or coaches to guide this process)
After you Take a Self Inventory, you have gathered all the information related to what your limits are : physically, financially, time/family balance, you will have a way better idea of how you are going to exercise, when you are going to exercise, where you are going to exercise and what exercises you will be doing.
Lets move to the second step, after you know your limitations you need to address what types of exercises you really can do. Which leads us to talk about one of the biggest questions “How can I lose Weight with Limited Mobility?”
Derek Marsette being a successful competitive lifter, elite strength and conditioning coach and owner of Compass & Anchor Fitness and Performance in Wallingford, CT, has always trained clients to workout at their pace; progress is yours no one else’s. His insights have helped myself, a former cardiac ICU nurse/geriatric nursing administrator turned personal trainer join and develop a very successful restorative movement program. Our suggested steps in this article are key components in the Compass & Anchor Fitness and Performance Senior Longevity Program, and Hybrid Nutrition/Training Program we run, so we know they work!
Of course we recommend cardiovascular exercise, especially with weight loss as your target. Limited mobility does not mean you can’t do cardio; change the image of running in your head, there are other options for cardio. The key to cardiovascular exercise is to raise your heart rate and increase your endurance. Including walking, running, cycling, dancing, tennis, swimming, water aerobics, or “aqua jogging”. The majority of people with mobility issues find exercising in water especially beneficial as it supports the body and reduces the risk of muscle or joint discomfort. Wheelchair bound people can still do cardiovascular exercise.
However, cardio is necessary, we particularly want to focus on strength training exercises involving weights or other resistance to build muscle and bone mass, improve
balance, and prevent falls. If you have limited mobility in your legs, your focus will be on upper body strength training. Similarly, if you have a shoulder injury, for example, your focus will be more on strength training your legs and core. These are of course suggestions for you to be exercising alone. If you work with a personal trainer, as we always recommend, the areas of injury will be something the trainer works with you on. Remember a coach is always watching and looking out for you, your form etc, a second set of eyes when exercising with limited mobility is really important too.
Finally another form of exercise to increase weight loss with people who have limited mobility is to stretch! Yes, flexibility exercises are needed especially with limited mobility because the body can not move like it naturally was built for. Thus, flexibility exercises help enhance your range of motion, prevent injury, and reduce pain and stiffness. These may include stretching exercises and yoga. Even if you have limited mobility in your legs, for example, you may still benefit from stretches and flexibility exercises to prevent or delay further muscle atrophy. If you don’t use it you will lose it!
Limited mobility is just a term used to describe your movement ability. It is not a label to make you afraid of moving, or think you shouldn’t be moving. If you’re not moving your body is actually losing. Muscle atrophy, as mentioned before, is essentially the loss of muscle function, use and well size. Atrophy is the partial or complete wasting away of a part of the body. Causes of atrophy include mutations, poor nourishment, poor circulation, loss of hormonal support, loss of nerve supply to the target organ, excessive amount of apoptosis of cells, and disuse or lack of exercise or disease intrinsic to the tissue itself.
Clearly we are telling you it is possible to exercise, lose weight, and even through strength and conditioning training (With a personal trainer) you can rehabilitate many of those injury sites that cause your limited mobility. Contact us further for help trying to find a trainer near you that focuses on what this article talks about! AT Compass & Anchor Fitness Performance we believe in fitness as a community, any way we can help YOU get back to living your BEST ACTIVE LIFE, we will!
After reading about exercise mobility, if the thoughts of hiring a trainer are coming to mind, now’s the time to further that thought. Here is a link to previous blog we wrote about the benefits, costs to personal training (https://compassanchorfit.com/what-does-personal-training-cost/) :
Exercise and weight loss is possible with limited mobility, don’t sell yourself short!
Book An Assessment Now (http://www.compassanchorfit.com)
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Compass & Anchor Fitness and Performance
126 S Turnpike Rd Unit 4, Wallingford, CT 06492
Compass & Anchor Fitness and Performance is a personal training gym in Wallingford, CT. Best Gym & Personal Trainer In Wallingford, CT