Whether you’re hoping to lose weight, improve your overall health and fitness, or you’re training for a specific sport, cardio is a highly effective way of achieving all three. While being a wheelchair user means that we aren’t able to participate in certain types of cardio, this doesn’t mean that we can’t get active, fit, and lose weight! Cardio exercises for weight loss are trending at the moment and there are plenty of options for wheelchair users. Our top cardio workout for wheelchair users will provide you with tips for achieving your goal and provide you with plenty of motivation to get sweating!

Set a Goal

The first step to achieving your goal is deciding on what you want to focus on. Are you hoping to lose weight or simply improve your overall health and fitness? What you are hoping to achieve will determine the type of cardio you participate in and it will also determine your diet. As a wheelchair user, we burn far fewer calories than those who are walking and therefore a balanced and healthy diet is imperative. It’s important to remember that training harder doesn’t necessary equate to better results as we each have a target rate at which we should exert our energy and anything above that will result in burning muscle instead of fat.

Consistency is Imperative

If you’re trying to lose weight as a wheelchair user, the most important aspect is not what type of cardio you participate in, but rather that your efforts are consistent – much like your bets for horse racing strategy. You will absolutely reach a consistent level of weight loss if you are attaining and maintaining your most efficient level of effort. If you don’t already have one, it’s a good idea to invest in a heart rate monitor as this is what is used to measure whether the cardio is effective. If you keep your heartrate consistent over an extended period of time, you will reach your goal much faster than by overexerting yourself.

Highly Recommended Wheelchair Cardio Exercises

The beauty of cardio is that there are plenty of options for wheelchair users. If you get bored and tired of one type of cardio, you can simply switch to another. Here are a few ideas for cardio exercises for wheelchair users which will absolutely increase your heartrate:

  • Wheelchair basketball
  • Pushing yourself in your wheelchair
  • Hand cycling
  • Peddling the bike with your hands while sitting on the floor
  • Swimming
  • Recumbent bike (if possible)
  • Rowing
  • Speedbag

If you’re looking for a more advanced cardio workout, consider doing superset and combo sets while lighting weights. Not only will you improve your muscle tone and build muscle, but you’ll also increase your heartrate to improve fitness and lose weight.

Top Tips for Effective Wheelchair Cardio

  • In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume
  • Consult a personal trainer in order to determine what your target heartrate is
  • Always warm up before training
  • Do cardio first thing on an empty stomach as you will burn fat more efficiently