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Living a healthy life with limited mobility

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Posted on 19th February 2021.

It could be that you are coming to terms with adapting to life with limited mobility, or perhaps you are trying to make healthy changes to your lifestyle. Whatever your circumstances may be, you can introduce diet changes, gentle daily exercises and brain stimulation through these handy tips to make living a healthy life with limited mobility easier.

Adapting to a new diet

Whether it is short or long term, adapting your diet to limited mobility is important – but we understand it can also be a little daunting. The most vital thing to remember is that – whilst you make these small changes – try not to put too much pressure on yourself. If you’re looking to adapt your diet or simply don’t know where to start, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • One of the most effective things you can do is monitor your portion sizes. When you have limited mobility, it’s likely that you will burn less calories, but instead of cutting out meals or missing out on your favourite food, keep an eye on your portion sizes – this could mean measuring out your ingredients or even serving your meal on a smaller plate.
  • Avoid basing your diet on processed foods. They may seem like the easiest option, but processed meals are often high in sugar and contain ‘empty calories’, which means you’re not necessarily getting all the nutrients you need. Try and include vegetables in at least one meal a day, and opt for wholegrain pasta and bread where possible.
  • Drinking plenty of water is even more beneficial than simply staying hydrated – it can settle false feelings of hunger and keep you energised.
  • Seek out healthy alternatives to your favourite meals – whether it is a sweet treat or fish and chips, there are many adaptations which mean that you don’t have to compromise on flavour.
  • A great way to ensure that you are eating a balanced diet is meal planning. Pick your favourite meals packed full of nutrients ahead of time, that way you know you’ll always have the ingredients in.

Daily exercise tips

The benefits of regular exercise are endless and having limited mobility doesn’t mean you can’t engage in gentle activity. From the release of endorphins to boost your mental wellbeing, to building strength and supporting balance, daily exercise can be beneficial to your physical and mental wellbeing, and contribute to a more confident you.

  • We understand that the idea of daily exercise can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply start with short, manageable sessions of 10 minutes of gentle movement at a time, building up over time as and when you feel you can.
  • Everyone is different and you may find some activities don’t suit you or your mobility, so try different things to find what works best for you. There are many options available to those with limited ability, such as: chair exercises, yoga, adapted sports and hydrotherapy.
  • Start your day with some simple movements, that way you’re guaranteed your daily exercise and a positive start to the day.
  • Regular movements are recommended to influence healthy circulation. Set reminders or have visual cues around the home to help you remember to get moving. You could even take the opportunity to stick on your favourite song and have a dance!

Keeping your brain stimulated

Exercising your mind is just as necessary to maintaining a balanced lifestyle. There is a connection between mental and physical health, which means that keeping your brain active can be a strong contributor to a healthy lifestyle.

    • Puzzles and mind teasers are a fantastic way to switch off from the outside world and get your brain engaged. Whether it’s online, a book or in your newspaper, there are endless possibilities, so you are bound to find a puzzle or game that you enjoy.
    • Reading is a fantastic way to stimulate your mind. Whether you’re diving into a fiction or learning more about your favourite topic, a book can transport you to another world, or more simply ensure that your day is full of wonderful characters.
    • Discover a new hobby to get your brain working, perhaps mindful colouring which can help reduce stress, or write down your favourite memories for future generations to enjoy. Staying stimulated shouldn’t be a chore and including a new activity into your routine is a fantastic way to learn new skills.
    • Listening to music and watching television don’t have to be passive activities, listen to your favourite songs or pop on a documentary and then discuss them with a loved one or carer. Talking (or perhaps even writing) about things that you’re passionate about is a simple task that really engages your mind.

How we can help

Here at Helping Hands we can make living healthily with limited mobility much easier. From guidance with nutrition and daily exercises, to a game of scrabble with a cup of tea, our carers are equipped with a wealth of knowledge and experience to support your wellbeing.

Alice Clough Campaign & Content Executive
About Alice joined the Helping Hands team in January 2021. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Film Studies and writes for her own blog. Read Alice's full profile