Monthly Archives: October 2014

Wheelchair Fitness Routine



Maintaining and building strength is important for your overall health

Fitness is a hot topic in our country right now. However, all the fitness trends and infomercials you see on television are all geared toward those with full mobility. Individuals who depend on wheelchairs or other mobility devices benefit from a fitness routine just as much as those who are not.

Developing a fitness routine can help you stave off medical conditions, obesity and decreased mobility. The key is to not jump in too fast. Instead, ease yourself into a new routine. Doing too much in the beginning is an easy way to injure yourself and can prevent you from working out for even longer. The following is a basic approach to starting an exercise program.

Start with a transitional phase; your body needs time to adjust to doing certain kinds of work again. Use only your bodyweight in doing simple, repetitive tasks, such as lifting your arms from the side of your body so they form a “T” with your torso. Be sure to put an emphasis on using the correct form as this helps build muscle strength and endurance while also preventing injuries.

After you are used to bodyweight exercises, you can begin using lighter free weights or a resistance band to begin to build and tone more muscle. Resistance bands and lighter free weights are relatively inexpensive, and medicine balls can be used for a variety of workouts. Be sure to leave a day of rest between your workouts and never work the same muscles two workouts in a row. Overworking muscles can cause fatigue and injury.

You should be able to see the benefit of these workouts because they should help build functional strength and lead to a healthier you.

The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology is dedicated to ensuring that individuals with significant disabilities and chronic medical conditions have access to appropriate Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) products and related supporting services. Check out our website to see how you can get involved with helping us gain federal and state support.

Rise and Shine and Stretch


A simple stretch routine can bring you major health benefits

Stretching can do wonders for your health and wellness. It increases blood flow to your entire body and can increase your range of motion to make daily tasks easier. It can also relieve stress by releasing tension from muscles. The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology is dedicated to the care and advocacy for those with spinal cord injuries so we put together this simple stretch routine that can be done from home!

Safety is very important when it comes to stretching. Make sure that you consult a doctor beforehand to make sure that you are stretching the correct muscles and doing it in a safe way. Be sure to do all stretches gradually and never force a stretch. Only stretch to the point where you feel it but not to where you feel pain. How long and how often you choose to stretch may vary. You can ask a doctor about what is right for you. Here are some easy stretching exercises to get you started:

  • Place your left hand under your left knee and pull your left knee up towards your chest for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise on your right side.
  • Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you and lean forward. Loop a strap around the bottom of your foot and pull it gently until your knees are straight. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat it 10 times.
  • Lie on your back and raise your arms straight above your head to stretch out the shoulders. Stay in this position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat. You can also stretch your arms above your head while sitting upright.

Getting into a stretching routine can have many health benefits. Recruit a friend or loved one to help with stretches each day to help motivate you and keep it fun!

The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology helps ensure that people with spinal cord injuries, spinal bifida, muscular dystrophy and other conditions receive the necessary equipment and related supporting services they deserve.  If you, or someone you know could benefit from our services, check out our website!