Recently, an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report revealed there's a significant gap between Australians with a disability and people without a disability. The report, Health of Australians with disability: health status and risk factors found that 46% of Australians aged 15-64 years with a severe or profound disability reported poor or fair health, compared to only 5% of those without a disability.
Anyone with a disability that limits their mobility knows taking good care of yourself physically and emotionally isn’t always easy, but maintaining self-care is vital to overall health and happiness. Any activity we deliberately do to improve our mental, emotional and physical health, from reading a book to going out to meeting friends for a meal, can be considered as ‘self-care’. While everyone has different approaches to taking care of their personal health and wellbeing, it’s essential to reflect on your own methods to ensure you’re making the most out of life.
If you have limited mobility and you’re feeling unsure about your healthcare routine, here we’ve put together some tips which can help make a big difference to your day-to-day life:
1. Exercise & Build Muscle
Having limited mobility doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from an active lifestyle. There are plenty of exercises available to suit all ability levels from chair exercises, lifting weights, and yoga poses to hydrotherapy classes. Experts believe that resistance training and building muscle can help people stay mobile for longer. When you exercise, your body also releases endorphins, which energise your mood, relieve stress and boost self-esteem. But before you undergo a stringent exercise routine, it’s always best to consult your doctor.
2. Focus on your Diet
Many of us are foodies and while it’s perfectly fine to treat yourself to indulgent food every now and again, focusing on your daily diet is extremely important for overall health and wellbeing.
To ensure you’re always feeling energised and maintaining a healthy weight, drink plenty of water, try to incorporate lots of vegetables that are rich in nutrients such as sweet potatoes, kale and broccoli and of course, include protein to help you stay full for longer. If you struggle with knowing what to eat to uphold balanced diet, plan ahead! Meal plans are a great way to sticking to a healthy week.
3. Go to Bed Early & Meditate
Sleep allows our minds and bodies to rejuvenate themselves after a long day and while it’s easier said than done, going to bed earlier can make a significant difference to your life. Every hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth twice as much after the clock strikes! If stress plays a major factor preventing you from having a good night’s sleep, practicing meditation can be a powerful tool to introduce before bedtime. Just 15 minutes of meditation can help you lower your blood pressure, manage stress and also gives you time to actively reflect and relax. There are plenty of apps available now which make meditation personalised to your own liking. To start with the basics, try the app Headspace.
4. Keep Learning
Your mind is a muscle which will always need to be exercised as part of maintaining good health. Learning new things is one of the best ways to maintain mental strength and motivation. While some people might consider learning to be a chore, you may be learning without even being conscious of it, like learning a new recipe! Our brains love novelty, so don’t be afraid to try out new game, a different puzzle or to start a new hobby.
5. Stay Social
Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but it’s natural if you have limited mobility to feel isolated and misunderstood, especially if you’re adjusting to a new reality with limited mobility. Loneliness is associated with a series of problems including disrupted sleep, impaired cognitive health, stress and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. If you often find you’re feeling lonely, make sure to stay social. Organising a catch up with your friends or family on a regular basis can help reduce feelings of loneliness through stimulating conversation and laughter. Often, we just need someone to listen, so cultivating good friendships can offer support when you need to talk about your feelings.
The contents of this blog are purely informational, if you have serious concerns about your physical or mental health, we recommend contacting your local health professional.
At Life Mobility, we aim to empower people living with a disability or limited mobility to lead active and independent lives. View our range of products online. If you need further information or assistance, feel free to contact us today or come and see our friendly consultants at our Bayswater or Mornington showrooms in Victoria.