Clever Cardio for Those with Mobility Issues

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One of my mantras is: "That which I cannot do now is my aspiration, not my defeat."
If you are have trouble moving or haven’t exercised in awhile, it can be very daunting to take on new cardio moves.  Most cardio moves involve the need to be on your feet, so I’m going to give you a few that don’t.  This is part of the CAN DO SparkPeople attitude I would love to see people embrace.
As most of you know, I was totally bedridden at 460 pounds and have lost 150 pounds.  I had to come up with some cardio moves that did not involve my legs because at that time, I couldn’t use them.  Clever Cardio, let’s call it.  That’s the cardio you come up with when you think out of the box or throw the box out completely.  Remember everything is better with music.
Here are some exercises that worked for me. Always consult with your health-care provider before starting any new workout routine.
Punch Aerobics

I created these exercises to be done seated or standing.

Get 2 hand weights, the round kind that fit in your palm with a band that go over the front of your hand. Put on music and punch and do upper body dance moves.

Get a pillow. Put on music and punch the pillow up above you. The goal is to keep the pillow up. If it falls, pick it up and start again, just keep going, because the pillow WILL fall a lot. It's part of the game.
Yes, with or without your legs!  Simply put on your favorite music and strike a few poses.  Get crazy and just let go and move.  Add extra resistance with hand weights.  I personally like the 80’s music!
Hula Hands and Hips
Get two Frisbee Flying Rings.  Use one on each hand and make circles like you are spinning the hoops around your wrists.  
Make figure eights with your hips on a stability ball.  This is another one where you can really get creative with seated dance moves!
Resistance Bands and Hand Weights
Moving faster with these items will produce a sweat in a hurry and help you build muscle.
Sometimes I clean for my workout.  It sounds silly, but with my abilities (NOT disabilities) it is well suited to give me personally a sweaty workout.  That’s something I like to focus on now, my abilities- what I CAN do, rather than what is out of my reach. 
When it comes to exercise, nothing is out of bounds, too silly or too little to help.  Something is always better than nothing. 
What exercises do you use when you can't use your legs?

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PICKIE98 6/24/2019
Nicole has many great ones free on this site. Report
JAMER123 6/18/2019
Great article.Thanks for sharing! Report
D_LORELEI 6/10/2019
Yes, yes, YES!!! Report
4DOGMOM1 5/19/2019
thanks Report
USMAWIFE 4/21/2019
?? Report
WHITEANGEL4 4/12/2019
Thanks for the ideas Report
REDROBIN47 4/10/2019
Good article. Report
Always read articles that will help me. Report
USMAWIFE 3/19/2019
thanks Report
SHOAPIE 3/18/2019
Still an inspiration even after all these years! Report
Man, I needed this. Thanks for the kick in the pants. Time for me to get started...again. Report
CLAYMACT 2/28/2019
Excellent. Something creative, but practical and totally effective! I do dance/move. I listen to music often and I figure I may as well move, if I'm just sitting there, anyway. I'm going to try the pillow punch and Frisbee rings, too! Thanks! Report
USMAWIFE 2/11/2019
thank you Report
WHITEANGEL4 2/7/2019
Thanks love the suggestions Report
CATNAP629 2/1/2019
great article Report
Having a broken ankle requiring pins and bolt and a shatter upper leg which required 2 surgeries and a new knee I was bedridden for 8 months. I learnt all different exercises to help strengthen my legs and then later to excersise. You did a lot of what I did anything that was tolerable until I could stand and bend a little. Yes music makes it so much more fun. Thanks for your article. Report
JANSAUR 1/11/2019
Thanks for the ideas! Great blog Report
Awesome...thanks... Report
IAMMSONE 12/15/2018
Thank you for new ideas and Shari g you great enthusiasm. It can be discouraging when you become other abled than you are used to. Thanks for the inspiration. Report
Awesome! Thanks for the inspiration and suggestions. I have been on and off doing a chair workout program, but never really stuck to it because I didn't think it was "as good as" working out standing up. This has inspired me to keep pushing and wait for the results. Report
HEALIN1 11/20/2018
Wonderful article, very encouraging. Just move, thanks Report
RYCGIRL 10/25/2018
thanks Report
I liked the way that you see abilities and not disabilities! I have lots of abilities. Report
Great encouragement! Thank you! Report
Some days you don't have that moving feeling excellent advice!!!!

thank you Report
Thanks. I remembered your advice when traveling for 2 days in the car. I put on a CD and moved as much as I could in the confines of the car. I got in a lot of "steps" on my fitbit. You are an inspiration. Report
Thank you! Sounds like fun! Report
I like your attitude! Thanks for sharing! Report
Get tips! and great attitude. Report
thank you Report
thanks Report
I love your attitude and this post! I recently had a hip replacement which has increased my mobility, but I'm so glad to hear that no matter your ability, moving is moving and worthwhile! Report
Thank you Beth..for the great ideas Report
I have found a whole host of seated chair workouts that assist me to keep moving when the worst flare ups with my autoimmune disease happens. I do something every day to keep moving and get my heart rate pumping. Report
Thanks for the tips, Beth! Report
Where there is a will, there is a way! Excellent article, and very helpful, thanks! Report
Thank You for the great suggestions. Report
As I had to find some exercises to do a few years ago when I could not put weight on one leg, I found a number of seated exercise DVDs-- Sara Starr's chair yoga is great for stretching (although you have to make sure that you are getting those where she is doing the whole routine seated). Richard Simmons has an aerobic DVD "Sit Tight" that truly gets your heart beating, but since it is older, it is a bit hard to get now. The series Sit and Be Fit is on a number of PBS stations, and you can also buy DVDs of the series. Sit and Be Fit incorporates stretching, strength training and some mildly aerobic activity.

What I have found is that if your muscles are very tight (especially back/neck/shoulder muscles) that even certain types of stretching can get you out of breath. Not quite sure what the dynamics of that are, but it sure surprised me when it happened. Report
Very creative moving ideas. I especially like figure eights with your hips on a stability ball bc it's easier on my back. The pillow punch could also serve getting one's aggression out as well! Report
I love to dance! Report
Fun blog! 8-) Report
Useful ideas Report
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. - WHITE ELK ~ 4/19/18 Report
... thanks for the article...i love all the ideas... Report
Thanks Beth. Superb ideas. You are an inspiration. Report
Thank you Report
Thanks for the ideas Report
I really needed this article today. I am going to have a procedure on my foot tomorrow and don't know if I will be able to walk tomorrow. I love to walk and walk a lot during the week. We will see what happens but if I can't walk then at least I have some exercises I can do. I like to be creative about exercise! Report