by Daniel Bernzweig
The effects of prolonged sitting on health can be negative. Individuals with limited mobility must engage in regular physical activities to improve their quality of life. There are a lot of sports that are physically demanding, so this can be difficult for seniors, aging adults, or people with physical limitations. However, several low-impact physical activities can be enjoyed by individuals living with disabilities or chronic pain. Disabled people may work closely with a physical therapist to find a range of activities in which they can partake. From cerebral palsy to those with intellectual disabilities, it is a social activity that makes us all human and fulfilled.
Finding a fun activity that a disabled person can partake in can be assisted with various accommodations such as a mobility aid or adaptive equipment such as mobility scooters. Finding a range of engaging activities for those in a nursing home is the key to keeping patients engaged and involved in their rehabilitation. From wheelchair users to those with developmental disabilities, there is an activity for everyone. Some common activities that many can partake in include music therapy, aquatic activities, and tai chi.
Seniors have indeed limited mobility. However, it does not mean that they cannot engage in physical activities and hobbies. We are going to give you a list of a variety of different physical activities and hobbies you can participate in, even if you have limited mobility.
Adopt a Pet
As an older adults, seniors, especially those with home care assistance, may find significant benefits from adopting a pet. Among activities for people with limited mobility, pets can encourage you to stay active and can provide you with companionship. Pets can also make you feel needed, which many people appreciate. If you cannot care for an animal on your own, several organizations can re-home your pets with new owners.
If you have limited mobility, chronic illness, or even mental health issues, consider owning a pet that requires little physical activity on your part but will provide plenty of companionship and love for you in return.
Seniors in aged care, especially those with home care assistance or in senior living or assisted living facilities, can benefit from creative activity like art classes. Perhaps painting would be the perfect hobby for someone with a disability or senior citizens who are not physically able to engage in more strenuous activities.
Even if painting isn't for you, there are plenty of other creative outlets that can be just as fun. Art classes are often offered at community centers and local colleges, making them affordable for everyone.
Arts can be a therapeutic outlet for the mind, and they can be especially helpful for seniors undergoing drastic changes or crises.
Hydrotherapy is a non-weight-bearing form of physical therapy involving the use of water. People with strokes or a brain injury often use it, but seniors and any elderly person with limited mobility can also benefit from it.
Physical therapists can use hydrotherapy techniques as a part of a balanced care method while incorporating lift chairs for those with mobility limitations. Hydrotherapy can be extremely beneficial for:
- Elderly people capable of chair exercises
- Seniors suffering from muscular dystrophy
- Disabled persons with mobility problems
- Elderly persons or adults in wheelchairs
Hydrotherapy can be particularly beneficial for any participant with a disability or limited mobility, including joint pain, arthritis, back pain, and more.
Able-bodied seniors or those with a disability may find these activities fun to do with a loved one. A hobby such as metal detecting can be enjoyed by people of any age, regardless of their physical ability. Many metal detectors are designed so that the meters and settings can be easily adjusted for different users. Metal detecting can be a fun adventure, even for those with limited mobility.
Metal detectors can be modified to make them more accessible. For instance, an individual in a wheelchair could use a metal detector that is designed to detect coins by touching the coil to the ground or sweeping it back and forth. Depending on an individual's mobility level, metal detecting may be completely within their capabilities. By lining up a plastic sifter on the ground, an individual in a wheelchair can search for treasures even while seated.
Metal detectors can be adjusted to suit the needs of those with limited mobility. This is a great hobby for people who have limited mobility because they can engage in:
- Treasure hunts
- Relic hunting
- Gold prospecting, and more, even from their wheelchair or power scooter.
Older adults and young people alike can enjoy an outdoor activity equally.
Getting outdoors can be beneficial for many reasons and, depending on the path/location, can be accessible for all. A wheelchair user can participate in many of these exciting outdoor activities with the assistance of a loved one or family member. Being outdoors has many health benefits, such as:
- Mental health benefits
- Happiness benefits, and
- Physical exercise advantages.
Disabled children need recreational activity to achieve a good sense of being. For example, metal detecting is a great activity for kids. Kids with a physical disability can use a metal detector for multiple reasons, which you may not realize. You can get kids off the couch and outdoors with a metal detector. Finding buried treasure is enough to get most kids outside digging in the dirt. It gives children a chance to move around and can give them much-needed exercise as they search for these buried items.
The mental health benefits of the outdoors include stress relief, encouragement to improve moods (by having bright surroundings), and it can even encourage creative thinking. Happiness is also an obvious benefit of being outside, taking in the scenery, staying active while walking/running/biking/etc.
You could combine this new hobby with metal detecting and turn it into other adventures like treasure hunting or geocaching. Some additional outdoor activities include camping, treasure hunting, geocaching, hiking, walking, and birdwatching. Finally, there are physical exercise benefits to outside activities like cycling or walking/running; strive for an everyday routine that includes these types of exercises.
Plant a Garden
The benefits of planting a garden include: reducing stress by relaxing and taking in some fresh air, spending time outdoors (more on that later), and, of course, getting an outdoor hobby under your belt. For an older person with a senior loved one, easy outdoor activities like planting a garden may be enjoyable, especially with the help of a mobility device.
This is a hobby that has its perks year-round: you can garden in the summer to keep cool and get fresh vegetables for yourself or to sell at a local farmer's market; in the fall, plant some mums or pumpkins, so you have something pretty to look at during those long winter months.
The physical activity involved with this hobby can range from more relaxing, fun activities of weeding or watering your garden to more strenuous activities such as digging holes for new plants.
Play an Instrument
Seniors with home care assistance, or aging adults that are still able-bodied, may find a significant benefit in playing an instrument or just listening to music. A person's physical capabilities will determine the type of instrument they can play, but the benefits of playing a musical instrument are tremendous.
Some of the best musical instruments to try include:
- A guitar
- Drums, and more.
The physical activity associated with playing a musical instrument may range from moving your fingers along the keys to keeping the rhythm of the music to more strenuous activities such as strumming chords on an electric guitar.
Play Interactive Video Games
Different video games encourage users to get up and move their bodies, including Dance, Dance Revolution, Just Dance, and Wii Sports.
For example, Dance, Dance Revolution requires users to dance along with the music by pressing buttons corresponding to their positioning on the game board. Some sensors measure how well the player moves in time to the rhythm of the music.
While all video games require some movement, for people who have limited mobility due to age or disability, it may be easier to play certain kinds of games over others. For example, playing a game like "Just Dance" would require minimal motion.
Yoga and pilates are great forms of physical exercise that require as little or as much movement as your body can endure. Some specific forms of Yoga that are ideal for those with limited mobility or mobility issues include:
- Chair Yoga
- Bhakti Flow
- Kundalini Yoga, and
- Gentle Hatha.
- Pilates is fantastic for building core strength, which is especially important to have if you have limited mobility.
No matter whether you have difficulty bending over or are unable to stand for long periods of time, yoga can be tailored to fit your needs. Yoga can also help you with stress and anxiety relief. The first thing that you should do if you are new to yoga is to start with Hatha Yoga since this type of yoga focuses more on meditation and breathing than complicated poses.
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