Clever Cardio for Those with Mobility Issues

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One of my mantras is: "That which I cannot do now is my aspiration, not my defeat."
 
If you are have trouble moving or haven’t exercised in awhile, it can be very daunting to take on new cardio moves.  Most cardio moves involve the need to be on your feet, so I’m going to give you a few that don’t.  This is part of the CAN DO SparkPeople attitude I would love to see people embrace.
 
As most of you know, I was totally bedridden at 460 pounds and have lost 150 pounds.  I had to come up with some cardio moves that did not involve my legs because at that time, I couldn’t use them.  Clever Cardio, let’s call it.  That’s the cardio you come up with when you think out of the box or throw the box out completely.  Remember everything is better with music.
 
Here are some exercises that worked for me. Always consult with your health-care provider before starting any new workout routine.
 
Punch Aerobics

I created these exercises to be done seated or standing.

Get 2 hand weights, the round kind that fit in your palm with a band that go over the front of your hand. Put on music and punch and do upper body dance moves.

Get a pillow. Put on music and punch the pillow up above you. The goal is to keep the pillow up. If it falls, pick it up and start again, just keep going, because the pillow WILL fall a lot. It's part of the game.
 
Dance!
 
Yes, with or without your legs!  Simply put on your favorite music and strike a few poses.  Get crazy and just let go and move.  Add extra resistance with hand weights.  I personally like the 80’s music!
 
Hula Hands and Hips
Get two Frisbee Flying Rings.  Use one on each hand and make circles like you are spinning the hoops around your wrists.  
 
 
 
Make figure eights with your hips on a stability ball.  This is another one where you can really get creative with seated dance moves!
 
Resistance Bands and Hand Weights
 
Moving faster with these items will produce a sweat in a hurry and help you build muscle.
 
Sometimes I clean for my workout.  It sounds silly, but with my abilities (NOT disabilities) it is well suited to give me personally a sweaty workout.  That’s something I like to focus on now, my abilities- what I CAN do, rather than what is out of my reach. 
 
When it comes to exercise, nothing is out of bounds, too silly or too little to help.  Something is always better than nothing. 
 
What exercises do you use when you can't use your legs?

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Comments

NASFKAB 4/24/2018
Useful ideas Report
JVANAM 4/19/2018
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. - WHITE ELK ~ 4/19/18 Report
ARMY_MOM17 2/23/2018
... thanks for the article...i love all the ideas... Report
TIZSLIM 2/12/2018
Thanks Beth. Superb ideas. You are an inspiration. Report
AMYSUZEQ 2/11/2018
Thank you Report
VHAYES04 1/30/2018
Thanks for the ideas Report
TERRI1458 1/29/2018
I really needed this article today. I am going to have a procedure on my foot tomorrow and don't know if I will be able to walk tomorrow. I love to walk and walk a lot during the week. We will see what happens but if I can't walk then at least I have some exercises I can do. I like to be creative about exercise! Report
PWILLOW1 1/29/2018
THE BEST CARDIO WORKOUT I HAVE HAD WAS WHEN I PACKED AND MOVED EVERYTHING (FROM MY WHEELCHAIR) SO THE PAINTER COULD COME. THEN PUT EVERYTHING BACK WHEN HE WAS FINISHED. Report
MBPP50 1/29/2018
Great ideas. Report
GGRSPARK 1/28/2018
This is very good information fir any one of us who mught find ourself in this position. The pillow punch ? Genius. Report
MSROZZIE 1/28/2018
Thank you for this article. Very good tips! Report
ELYSUMMERS1 1/28/2018
Thank you. These are good ideas when I'm not feeling like getting up for whatever the reason. Really appreciate this! Report
SUSAN727 1/28/2018
I prefer the seated exercise videos and lately Marie Osmond exercise bar which can be used seated. Report
EMGERBER 1/28/2018
Some suggestions! Report
JANET552 1/28/2018
I use seated workouts from Spark People and from You Tube. Report
LAWLI56 1/28/2018
Like you I use housework as a workout, it always gets my heart pumping. Also last year I was decorating - I sit on my perching stool with a roller on a pole and go for it. My nephew will usually come and do the cutting in along the top and bottom edges for me and anything else I can't reach. I have to pace myself as it's quite a workout but it also gives a great sense of achievement when finished! Report
PAMBROWN62 1/28/2018
I love the seated chair exercise videos. They are just the thing when my auto immune disease is really affecting my joints. Report
CRYS41484 1/22/2018
These are great ideas I never thought of before. I'm trying to exercise more, but after having two knee surgeries and ankle surgery, my lower body will ache for days after some exercises. This is a wonderful alternative! Report
AMYSUZEQ 1/12/2018
Thank you for sharing these are great! Report
DJ4HEALTH 1/8/2018
Great info Report
CAROLYNINJOY1 1/7/2018
I love your inspiring can do attitude. Thank you for a reminder of how to move within my own range. Will try many of these as soon as I get off the heavy duty antibiotic. Report
SUSANSKI 11/26/2017
Beth, I'm sorry, but I just gotta say it..: I LOVE you!!!! You are such a blessing to so many people. Thanks for taking your personal struggles and finding a way to help others. Report
KATHYJO56 11/15/2017
I am one of these people and I think these are great Report
PRYTANIAS 11/8/2017
When I started this journey I couldn't stand for longer than 45 seconds. Coach Nicole started me on Chair Cardio & Chair Core workouts for like 11 minute & maybe 12 minute blocks and now I literally workout for hours on some days (when you combine cardio & yoga and/or my walks in). Thanks Coach Nicole!! Report
DJ4HEALTH 10/28/2017
great ideas Report
CMFARRELL36 10/23/2017
Cleaning, and seated dance are both in my list already. If you can use your legs, add them into the dancing. Or try on-the-spot running! Report
WALKZWDOGZ 8/28/2017
Recovering from an injury & SO glad to have found this! INDYGIRL (Beth Donovan) & her blogs are always such an inspiration! Thanks! Report
NASFKAB 8/3/2017
great ideas Report
HARRIETT14 7/14/2017
these are all very good ideas. Thank you. I certainly will try some. Report
GREYTDOLPHIN 7/14/2017
Thanks for the great ideas. I've been using the chair videos of Coach Nicole and hope that some new ones can be added. In the meantime your ideas helped me to decide to make up my own exercise. Report
FLITTERBYG 7/14/2017
"Something is always better than nothing." AMEN, Sister! Report
SNOWYOGA 7/13/2017
Thank you Beth for sharing this! Report
ITSAPROCESS 7/13/2017
great way to do some cardio. Thanks for the advice. Report
NANASUEH 7/13/2017
Definitely good workable ideas. Report
JASS51 7/13/2017
Thank you. I am incorporating your idea when I ride my exercise bike. Report
LADYSTARWIND 7/13/2017
Following foot surgery, I found the Spark Seated Videos (Cardio, Upper Body, Resistance band...) invaluable to keep me moving. I couldn't do everything of course---but as Beth says in this article, its what you CAN do that matters!! Report
TOMATOCAFEGAL 7/13/2017
AWESOMELY POSITIVE. LOVE THAT PILLOW PUNCH!!! Report
KAYMARIE44 7/13/2017
I am basically "down" in winter, so I am definitely going to incorporate your ideas. I, too, use household chores as exercise. Report
JULIENSMITH 7/13/2017
Your suggestions came at the right time, thanks. Report
DISNEYDAMSEL1 7/13/2017
I love the pillow punch idea. I'm getting ankle surgery in a few months. I will have to keep that idea in mind to fight boredom and immobility! Report
~INDYGIRL 7/13/2017
Still here and doing grrreat! Report
CMFARRELL36 7/13/2017
Thanks for sharing.
I've been doing seated dance for a while now, and I too count some cleaning activities as a cardio workout.
The SP workout videos have a number of examples of seated exercising. I tend to use them for core and cardio, whereas I do my own thing for other Strength Training.
I hope Beth is still managing to do well. Report
GETULLY 7/13/2017
Great ideas - I love the pillow punch! Report
ANCILLADOMINI 7/13/2017
Great article; thanks for the ideas! Report
PICKIE98 7/13/2017
Marching in chair, hand weights and marching in chair. Report
HWNHMMBRD 7/13/2017
For those who don't know, Beth's Spark Persona is ~INDYGIRL. Check out her spark page, she is truly inspirational. Report
ETHELMERZ 7/13/2017
I hope this blogger is still doing ok.....like so many others reporting success, suddenly you never see or hear about them again, and we can only imagine the worst. Report
AUNA_VISTA 7/13/2017
Great article, thank you! I think I will try the circle frisbee idea, to exercise my arms. You are very clever, Beth, these are all such great ideas! Report
DJ4HEALTH 7/13/2017
Great!! Report
KOI239 6/20/2017
I can sit and garden. Believe me hoeing while sitting can get your heart going and give you a good sweat. LOL Report
 
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