By Wes Hamilton
Editor's note: when team GRIT received Wes Hamilton's video application to our Trailblazer program, one thing jumped out at us right away: he was filming it at his gym where, he said, he works out five days a week - and it showed! That's an impressive workout schedule, but it wasn't until we got to know Wes better that we learned about his amazing post-SCI fitness journey. Click here to read more about Wes and his incredible transformation. And continue reading below for his tips on getting started.
Exercise relieves stress
Being a wheelchair user, or anyone with some type of physical disability, can be hard. These situations sometimes come with a lot of stress and depression and learning ways to deal with it could help change you for the better. The main way [to change] is exercise. You don’t have to be a pro, but adopting some type of workout routine is good place to start. There are several ways to get started.
Doing cardio can help get your body pumped up for a good workout. If you only have hand use, handcycles or the GRIT Freedom Chair are both good ways to get your heart rate up. If you can't afford to buy one, look for a gym or adaptive recreation center near you and see what type of equipment they lend out. If none of the above is an option, simplify: go to a gym or even a park and do laps at a moderate pace to get your heart-rate up.
Resistance bands are very low in cost and very effective especially for someone who may have trouble gripping a barbell weight. They're also lightweight, portable, and easy to store.
If you do choose to use weights, start light. Don’t try to go all in at the very beginning! It's important to make sure you don't push yourself too hard too fast - slow and steady is the best way to make sure you are on the path to success.
Use social media as a tool to learn. There are all types of videos showing exercises done by people with disabilities. Not only can you learn a lot, but it's also a great motivator!
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The GRIT Freedom Chair is the most versatile chair on the market, designed from the ground up to handle any terrain. From trails to grass to snow, the Freedom Chair is built for you to push yourself. Born out of research at MIT, the Freedom Chair's patented easy-push levers reduce shoulder strain and put you in control of your mobility. Learn more about the GRIT Freedom Chair at www.gogrit.us