Being fit means being trim, energized, and confident and this is still important for someone with spinal cord injury.
A fitness program for a spinal cord injury patient can provide strength, education, confidence, and conditioning of mind and body thereby increasing one’s flexibility, cardiovascular, and strength. With all these goals in mind, a person can improve his or her Functional mobility and daily activities and even return to his or her recreational sports or hobbies.
People with spinal cord injury require stronger shoulder muscles in order to reduce pain, prevent risk of injury, and to improve the function of their upper extremities from propelling their wheelchair everyday.
About 30 to 50 percent of people suffering from SCI reported painful shoulders from an imbalance in shoulder girdle from wheelchair mobility.
A weight loss is another problem of individuals with spinal cord injury. What happens is that they experience a sudden increase in their metabolism in order to provide their body the energy and nutrients needed for healing and prevention of infection which is a very common problem for this type of injury.
However, being paralyzed, their muscles become atrophied causing a decrease in the amount of lean body mass. As a result of this, their metabolism slows down causing a weight gain.
With exercise and of course, proper diet, one’s lean body mass and metabolism can be improved and balanced.
Another problem for spinal cord injury is the risk for developing coronary heart disease. They are more Prone to hardening of arteries, lower concentration of HDL-C which is the good cholesterol and hypertension.
This is because of an increase in body fat, loss of muscle mass and overall decline in general health.
Exercise increases your HDL-C level thereby decreasing your risk for coronary heart disease.
As much as exercise is important to people with SCI, there are things you need to keep in mind before exercising. People with spinal cord injury are prone to Autonomic Dysreflexia wherein the blood pressure becomes excessively high because of over-activity of the nervous system.
On the other hand, they can also be prone to exercise hypotension which is a decrease in blood pressure. Both of this can be avoided by performing a warm up and cool down to adjust the blood pressure, wearing an Abdominal Binder or elastic stockings as well as emptying the Catheter and bowels prior to exercise.
William McCombs is a well known as a Personal Trainer Newport Beach Supertrainer. He is a partner with family members of a diet and Weight Loss Orange County training program. You can learn more at http://www.socalworkout.com