Perhaps it’s a broken leg or foot. Maybe you’ve developed severe arthritis. Or, it could be that you have a condition that confines you to a wheelchair. Whatever the case, you’re dealing with a temporary — or permanent — mobility issue.
If this is your situation, your daily activities are going to be tougher. You have a bigger concern, however. In many ways, managing your health can be harder when your mobility is limited. Don’t worry, though. If you keep these suggestions in mind, you’ll safeguard your health to live your best life.
1. Talk to Your Doctor Online
Getting to the doctor’s office can be a chore on the best of days. You must navigate traffic, parking garages, hallways, and waiting rooms. That can take a lot of effort and sap your energy. When your mobility is limited, it’s an even bigger task to conquer.
Consider an online doctor visit instead. You’ll get the same level of medical care from the comfort of your living room couch. A virtual appointment saves you time and money. Want to know what’s better? Frequently, you can get an online visit faster than an in-person one. That means quicker healthcare to meet your needs.
2. Wade into Exercise
Whether you’re dealing with an injury or have decided to begin exercising to battle arthritis, be smart. Instead of jumping in headfirst, start slow. Exercise is great for your body and your flexibility. Doing too much too fast, however, can have negative consequences.
Look for an easy routine to start with and slowly add more. You want to find something that pushes you but that isn’t too strenuous. For example, if you can, go for a leisurely walk or lift small hand weights while you’re seated. Don’t try to run or curl heavy dumbbells. Overdoing it can lead to injury or frustration. The trick is to find something you enjoy and stick with it.
3. Get Creative with Working Out
When you have limited mobility, traditional exercise isn’t necessarily for you. You’ll need to get creative and work out “outside the box.” Explore all your fitness options. Running and pumping iron are just two ways to break and sweat and protect your health.
To get your heart rate up and build your lung capacity, try a stationary bike or rowing machine. If you need something that’s easier on your joints, go swimming or try water aerobics. Don’t forget strength training, too. Double down on those hand weights mentioned earlier or give resistance bands a shot.
4. Eat Smart
Keep in mind staying as active as possible is only part of protecting your wellness. If your fitness routine is somewhat limited, you must be sure you’re eating a healthy diet, too. Limiting your fat intake is a great way to maintain a healthy weight. You’ll be able to move better without the extra pounds.
Comfort foods — pasta, pizza, or muffins — can be tempting when getting out and about is difficult. Keep them to a minimum. They’re high glycemic index foods that make you feel great initially, but you’ll quickly crash and feel bad. Instead, focus on high-quality protein — it supports healing and immunity. It also protects the lean muscle mass you need for strength. Grass-fed meat, low-fat dairy, fish, and nuts or seeds are good sources.
Stay hydrated with plenty of water, as well. Water makes up a big portion of your tendons, ligament, muscles, and cartilage in your joints. You need enough fluid to keep everything working correctly and to maintain your flexibility. H2O also helps flush waste products and toxins from your joints to help reduce pain. So drink up!
5. Pay Attention to Calories
You do have other dietary factors to consider when you have limited mobility. Proper nutrition is about more than getting enough protein or reducing how much sugar you eat. As un-fun as it is, you must pay attention to your calorie intake.
Even with exercise and activity, your energy level will likely be lower than it once was. That means you’ll need fewer calories to fuel your body. If you continue to consume the same calorie level, you can expect to put on some extra pounds. Additional weight will only decrease your mobility further.
It’s a good idea to find out how many calories you can safely eat. You can even go a step further and pinpoint the kinds of foods that are best. Consider talking to your primary care doctor or a registered dietician about your calorie needs. They can work with you to create a plan that’s the best fit.
6. Add More Vitamins
From the time you were little, you’ve heard that getting the right amount of vitamins is good for your health. You may have graduated from Flintstones chewables, but you still need to keep an eye on your vitamin levels. In particular, pay attention to vitamin B and vitamin D. They can directly impact your mobility.
According to existing research, getting enough B-6, B-12, folate, and vitamin D can reduce your risk of limited mobility. In fact, when you don’t get the recommended daily value of vitamin D, your mobility limitation risk spikes by 30%. Even worse? Your risk of disability jumps twofold. Do yourself a favor, and take that multivitamin every day!
Having a limited range of motion or a reduced ability to move around can be frustrating. It also adds some challenges to protecting your health. Don’t get discouraged, however. Implement these strategies, and you’ll be able to safeguard your wellness.