While exercise is beneficial to anyone’s overall health, it is a vital part of your recovery if you suffer with a spinal cord injury from a slip and fall or car accident. You may find it even more challenging to exercise than a healthy person due to your injuries. However, you will find unique benefits, such as increased breathing capacity and pain management, which can improve not only your physical condition, but also your quality of life.
4 Components Your Exercise Program Should Include
You may need a physical therapist or a qualified trainer who can design an exercise program that takes into account your injuries and limitations in movement. Key components of your routine should include the following:
- Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise has many benefits including improving your endurance, cardiovascular (heart) health, and emotional well-being. There are a variety of possible exercises that can meet most people’s physical limitations, with walking, cycling, chair exercises, and wheelchair pushing being a few.
- Resistance training. Working with weights, bands, and exercise machines can help strengthen your muscles—including ones associated with your spinal cord injury.
- Stretching exercises. Stretching exercises are vital to remaining flexible, which could help with your posture, balance, and day-to-day activities like dressing.
- Respiratory endurance. Depending on the extent of your spinal cord injuries, you could suffer from respiratory problems and have difficulty breathing. A pulmonary therapist can show you exercises that could improve your lung capacity.
How to Stay Motivated
Like most people, you may be enthused at the beginning of your exercise program but then lose motivation. Follow these tips to stick to your routine:
- Make a schedule of when you will exercise and keep it.
- As your endurance and strength improve, think of ways to add five or ten more minutes of exercise into your routine.
- Pick activities that you enjoy doing.
- Track your progress in both maintaining your exercise schedule and in how it is benefiting you.
- Set realistic goals and reward yourself when you meet them.
- Identify resources that can help you design a good exercise program and support you in your efforts.
If you suffer from a spinal cord injury, you could be entitled to compensation for the costs of your exercise program as well as your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma from the business or person who caused your injury. Contact us online or call us directly at 866.299.0558 to schedule a free consultation.