Exercise can often seem a daunting prospect,
especially if you are conscious of disability, increasing age or a medical condition. But a little gentle exertion can actually improve general health and help keep the body working as well as it possibly can. You don't have to be a gym member to stay fit and active as there are plenty of easy ways to increase mobility gradually and many can be done at home.
Improving Mobility at Home
Many types of exercise equipment can be used indoors or outdoors in the home environment where you may be most comfortable. Exercise bikes, step machines and dumbbells can all be used easily and don't require much space. Even small things such as wrist rotations and foot rolling when sitting down can make all the difference. Gardening is a good way to keep muscles strong and healthy and it gets you outdoors. Everyday activities such as walking up and down the stairs can also keep the body moving.
Those who have been through surgery, are aging or have a disability may find their mobility decreasing and this can be very difficult when it comes to getting everyday jobs done independently. Thankfully, there are many ways to improve everyday mobility and to stay as active as you can, whether that means taking up a form of exercise or using one of the many special mobility aids on the market. Running bikes are one such aid which can be used by people of all ages and abilities and are incredibly flexible. Particularly useful for people with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease and muscular dystrophy, the strong rolling frame and low centre of gravity offers a great deal of stability and support while walking or running.
How to Begin
The key to any exercise is to start very gradually and build up to more as your stamina and fitness levels improve. Set realistic and achievable goals and choose a form of exercise you enjoy because it will be easier to persevere. Always warm up and cool down, as this prevents strain and injury and gives the muscles and joints a chance to adjust.
If you like being active and sociable at the same time, both swimming and walking are good forms of exercise and can be enjoyed with a friend. Both are good for increasing whole-body mobility and you can start as gradually or slowly as you wish.
Taking Things to the Next Level
To remain interested in any activity, you have to enjoy. This is why it can be good to exercise with friends or as part of a group to increase motivation. It may be necessary to alternate activities or to mix things up a little to keep up your level of interest.
Some investment may be necessary but the benefits can far outweigh any initial costs and the rewards will speak for themselves. Increasing everyday mobility can bring with it greater health, renewed energy, a better quality of life and a degree of confidence. Regardless of any additional needs, there are simple ways to help the body work to its full potential and increase independence and mobility for all.
Francesca is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys writing about a variety of subjects from health and fitness to travel and food. She currently writes on behalf of All Ability Cycling.