Saturday, August 24, 2013

Upper Body Exercises

For this recovery, my exercise regimen has focused on three areas: the upper body, the core (abs), and the legs. 

Strengthening the leags and abdominal areas are pretty obvious to the recovery, but the upper body and arms don't seem as much.

There are two reasons for building up upper body strength during "walk recovery."  The first is that wheelchairs are not easy to roll around in. The chair itself weighs, I don't know, about 10 - 15 pounds for a light-weight folding type, and then you are sitting in it - so it takes some amount of arm strength to roll the chair, and for long periods of time, and control it from going sideways  - not going in reverse when going uphill, and controling the speed when going downhill.  I managed in a wheelchair, but I never really became proficient.

The other reason for building upper body strength is that the stronger the upper body is, it can help out in balancing, and thus, put less pressure on the lower body - so the lower body doesn't have to do all the work.  I believe that the stronger the upper body is, the faster one will be able to re-gain the walking function.

The hospital rehab gym had equipment that strengthened my arms, and my occupational therapist always guided me through the exercises, but at home, I have come to love the kettlebell.  When I was in the wheelchair, I could barely lift a 10 lb kettlebell, and then when I started walking, I could do a 5 repitition set of one exercise, but now - though not as easy as before I fell ill - I can do pre-illness exercises of three different, with 3 ten set repititions of each, for a total of 90 repititions.

As with every other aspect of recovery, strength building takes time, but it all comes together, and one day, soon enough, you will have recovered.

No comments:

Post a Comment