Being an amputee has made me the perfect candidate to work with other amputees, I have a clear understanding of their personal challenges’. If you or someone you know needs to get their lives back on track, this could be perfect for them or you!
There are many forms of cardiovascular exercises amputees can take part in, with or without a prosthesis.
There are many different modalities we may choose; some are better suited for very active amputees, while others are better suited for those who are beginners or who may have medical restrictions.
However, everyone can partake in cardiovascular exercise to help better their quality of life.
For those amputees that have no restrictions & wear a prosthetic leg & have no pain or discomfort, there are numerous pieces of cardiovascular equipment to choose from. If you don’t belong to a gym or have access to equipment you can still walk, bike, or hike in the great outdoors. That seems to be a favorite for many this time of year when the weather is nice & you don’t want to be cooped up inside. However, for those who choose to walk in malls or around your neighborhood, you need to understand the importance of why keeping a steady pace is so important.
In order to strengthen your heart or lose unwanted body fat, you must increase your metabolism. That means keeping a pace that makes your heart work harder, your body will begin to get warm & possibly sweaty. You shouldn’t be able to have a normal conversation with anyone. Sometimes to achieve that, listen to your favorite music that has a motivating beat; it will help you keep a steady pace. The first few minutes’ try to stay at a slower pace, that way your muscles can warm up & get limber, then slowly increase your pace, try to maintain that pace for approx. 10-30 minutes. The length of time will depend if you are a beginner or a seasoned enthusiast.
For beginners, it’s best to start slow & gradually increase your pace & duration. You don’t want to make yourself dread having to continue; you’ll find yourself making excuses & call it quits. Having a friend or partner to participate with can be very helpful for some.
One very important aspect when participating in any sort of exercise is that you need to do a warm-up for approx. 5 minutes, your muscles need to loosen up. One thing I see people do is stretch without warming up first or going gung-ho on exercises right away. That’s a very dangerous approach to exercising safely. Cold muscles are like hard toffee & are not flexible, you can easily injure yourself.
If you have access to cardio equipment, bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, & ergometers, there is no stopping you from getting a healthy work-out & achieving the results you want.
An extremely important aspect of participating in any form of exercise; either lifting weights or cardiovascular, you must challenge yourself; you won’t get the results you desire. To be assured you’ll continue to make gains, it’s a must that you change the order of what you’re doing with your exercise on a regular basis. It is imperative to switch equipment, or you may get into a rut or a routine.
Let’s begin learning more about the importance of strengthening exercises and how it affects our bodies. We will begin with our hips as they are impacted the most.
As amputees we already know that our body is no longer imbalance, we tend to favor our real leg over are prosthetic leg. Especially for new amputees that are just learning how to walk with a prosthesis, we tend to walk gingerly as it can hurt or feel very uncomfortable. At first; try using either crutches or a walker to help assist you with your balance, it will also minimize the discomfort on your residual limb.
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