Wheelchair Fitness

Blog number two. Around the park I go

So here we go, blog number two. What to write about…. Not Covid-19!
This time I’m writing about how I’m keeping myself fit and active. If you follow me on Social Media, you might have seen that I like to go for, what I call, a push. Obviously, this is going out in my wheelchair, pushing myself to another location, or in this case, around a large playing field. This I do for several reasons, I enjoy the great outdoors, and it keeps me fit and gets me out of the house. It’s free, and there is less chance of catching anything! Can this be called wheelchair fitness?

Wheelchair bearings

So round this local park I go. I use my front wheel attachment on my wheelchair, which keeps the front casters elevated. This elevation of the casters keeps them clean, and the bearings last longer. I didn’t realise the damage even wet grass could do until Jack came to service my chair from Jack’s Mobility Solutions. He passed on vital information about the reasons that my bearings and casters were in a terrible state. This condition, in turn, affects the performance of the wheelchair. 

It’s a pretty big park

I’m not sure how big the park is. It has several football pitches marked out on the grass, and there is a cricket field at one end with a kids playground fenced off next to it. I’m sure it’s the same slide that was there when I was my son’s age, albeit a different colour.

I try not to time myself or check the distance when pushing around. I take note of my breathing and how tired I’m getting. It feels good when I finish, breathing hard and a slight muscle ache. I make sure I go round at least twice – I have to make a point of saying that I tend to go on the outside of the cricket field, so I make a three quarter size loop of the park each time. Oh, and on one side, the bank that rises stretching to the tree line with a farmers field behind…. Would you say it’s still three-quarters of a lap?…. 

Time to leave

At the end of my wheelchair fitness loops, I get through the kissing gate into the car park. I sometimes having to wait for a dog walker to pass through. I wheel onto the tarmac and take a look at myself. My heart is pumping, my breathing is quickened, and my wheels are muddy. It feels great! 

When I reach my car, I remove my third wheel, open the boot to place it in. Then I realise need some wipes, but they are in the front of the car. I gingerly push to the front passenger door, open it, leaving a muddy handprint on the handle, and reach for the wipes. Once inside the car, I’m all cleaned up, hands and wheelchair side guards mainly. My wheelchair is stowed in securely, and I’m ready to head home. I feel lucky to live where I do. There are some great outdoor spaces, and as I write this, my NHS app says Covid Alert Level Medium, but the numbers are rising. I’m going to listen to Incubus as I leave the car park and try not to worry too much……. Or will worrying keep me safe and alive?!

Wheelchair Fitness in the park
It’s a BIG Park!

Wheelchair training sessions are bespoke for each client. Before a training session is booked, an assessment call is conducted, and the client’s individual needs, goals and abilities are discussed. This information is then used to customise a training session specifically for them. If a client want’s to discuss how to go about improving their wheelchair fitness, this can bring up at a wheelchair skills session – although I would recommend just going for a push, it’s free!

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