Stay Fit! Stay Balanced!
Stay safe while you exercise... my MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) blog is full of tips to stay safe during everyday life, as well as ideas to make life for the "unbalanced" better. Regular, moderate physical activity increases your muscle strength and balance--therefore reducing falls.
I started exercising as it was more fun than physio and helped me "take control" of my body.
I used to find that I could go some time without gym/pool trips. I now feel the aches returning within weeks.
Good posture is important--for exercises to work, and so you don't hurt youself.
Fitness experts know the exercise ball is one of the best ways to strengthen and improve abs and strengthen the back while increasing balance and stability.
It is also a cost effective way to target your core muscles (eliminates need for a gym).
Choosing A Ball
You will want to select a ball that is the right size and properly inflated. You choose a ball based on your height and legs. When sitting on the ball, your thighs should be parallel to the floor. As I am only 5'2", I use a 26" ball. It also fits through the wheels of my walker.
V-Pass: Lie face up on the floor with arms and feet extended, grasping a ball with both hands. In one fluid movement, use your entire core to lift your arms and legs off the ground, keeping legs and arms straight the entire time. Transfer the ball from your hands to your feet and allow yourself to lower back down to the floor. Repeat 3 sets of 12 reps. This move works your entire core.
I find the pool is great. The water all around balances me and I don't need a walker/wheelchair. Makes me feel "normal".
I can take my walker/wheelchair right in poolside.
I select a spot where I can touch the bottom and grab on to the edge (my pool has a finger grippable edge. Perhaps all pools do?).
I also "walk" down pool length.
I find many exercises that I normally couldn't do both easy and possible.
I do stretches and calisthenics for muscles in bed. Keeps back straight. 20-30 minutes per day before I get up. The ones from grade school gym. If it feels good, stretch it. Hold. Repeat.
For back: Lift bent leg to chest. Hold tight with arms. Repeat with other leg.
Leg Lifts Knee bends
Kegels Pelvic Tilt
Names? I can never remember them. So I call them "getting out of chair exercise" or "rolling over exercise". Take note of muscles you use in daily routines, and focus on that if it hurts to do that. I noticed I was having issues with strength/stability when using my grabber, so I found an exercise to improve that.
I flex and "HOLD" for 10 secs and repeat. For every exercise. Physiotherapist recommends I slow down and hold more. For more strength, I use resistance. (Resistance bands and weight machines or ams...)
Aren't these thing imposing? Many machines at the local gym are also for use right in your wheelchair. The seat part slides away. Or if you can transfer or sit in a seat....
Johnny G Krankcycle. I can drive my chair right up and "arm cycle". Adjust to different heights to simulate reaching up. There are also ones with seats. The mechanism swivels around.
Barrier-free Cycle. I use this (with headphones full of oldies tunes) and love not having to navigate over a big thing when I transfer. Though I've never tried them, apparently a standalone wheel and pedals is available for chair sitting and table use for arms.