It has been 3 years since we started creating our classes to help people living with differing abilities take part in exercise and live a healthier and more independent lifestyle. We have seen those attending our classes go on to achieve so much, far more than we ever thought they would.
The main area in which we have seen improvement is in those members of the classes that are self propelling wheelchair users. Improved range of movement, co-ordination and flexibility along with improved fitness levels has enabled this client group to push more efficiently and more easily, enabling them to take part in more activities and be more independent. Whilst aerobics (Wheel-Fit) is a great way to achieve these improvements, there is one class that has been pivotal in their progress and that is Wheel-Spin.
With the use of wheelchair training units and using the same principles as a group indoor cycling class we created a unique class where self propelling wheelchair users could focus themselves on a cardio workout that would enable them to improve their daily abilities. For many they have not only improved on their general fitness and pushing stamina but it has enabled them to develop and understand about their pushing technique, whilst also improving their posture for long term benefits.
Last year through Nadex we became involved with Invictus Active who have created a training unit that is far better than any we had seen or used to date. They’re approach like ours is to enable wheelchair users of all abilities to improve their abilities and lifestyle and they have worked extremely hard to ensure their training units are the best they can be. Invictus came to one of our Wheel-Spin classes and brought along their training units for members of our class to try out to get user feedback and help fine tune any potential issues. The guys at Invictus Active were very receptive to the class feedback and as a result made some minor changes to the units further improving what we think is a great product. What was also pleasing about Invictus Active is that they haven’t just focused on what the unit does, they have also thought of how to make it as user friendly as possible from the angle of the ramps, types of chair through to making if possible for an individual to transport. In addition they have enabled the user to engage with the unit via a Smart phone with the option of a Smart model. They also include a copy of our Wheel-Spin exercise DVD when you purchase a training unit to ensure you get the most out of the unit from day one.
If you think a training unit is only for the super fit and athletes you couldn’t be further from the truth because this type of exercise if for all self propelling wheelchair users . This is because whatever your fitness levels are, there is much to be gained from increasing your physical activity to improve daily abilities as well as aiming towards peak fitness. Within our classes we have had people attend who are new to a wheelchair or who have never really taken part in exercise and all have benfitted from the class. Some have experienced improvements in their energy levels, weight and abilities to push for longer in shops, up ramps and around town, others have gone on to enter running events such as 10k’s and half marathons. All things they never thought they would do yet alone consider when they first started attending.
As with all things they cost money and for some people this can be a barrier but there is help available from many organisations towards the cost of equipment that can have a beneficial impact on a person living with a disability. In addition you could hold a fundraiser to help raise money towards the costs with sponsored events, cake bakes and such. To find out about funding you can search online for grants or charities that specifically assist with equipment. There are also organisation such as Citizens Advice that may be able to point you in the right direction or you can try directories such as Turn2us.
For more information on the Invictus Active trainer, visit their website INVICTUS ACTIVE