Aerobic Exercise with Minimal Equipment
By Richard Holicky
“I need to get some exercise,” is a common refrain among wheelers, and with good reason. Pushing a manual chair does not adequately tax the cardio and respiratory systems. Over the long haul it can even result in non-reversible damage and tightness, due to repetitive motion, overuse of specific muscle groups and underuse of others. In addition, lack of movement leaves us less flexible and more prone to the ravages of arthritis.
The challenge of getting a true aerobic/cardio workout is lack of access to large muscle groups in the lower body. Without engaging the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and other lower extremity muscle groups, prolonged moderate-level aerobic exercise (heart rate of 150 beats per minute for a 30-year-old) may be difficult to achieve. However, here are some less expensive equipment options that utilize upper body muscle groups and might make a dent.