Whether a person is an athlete or not, regular exercise is vital to maintain and promote overall physical condition. In view of this, handicapped individuals also need to work out regularly in order to be fit and healthy. The fact that they are bound to wheelchairs should in no way be a hindrance to keeping their bodies in tip-top form.
As a matter of fact, research shows that they face a greater risk of joint deterioration, rotator cuff tears, and shoulder pain because of the degree of stress placed on their arms. Even quadriplegics develop soreness in their shoulder muscles. So they actually have a lot of compelling reasons to start engaging in fitness and sports activities.
What are Sports Wheelchairs?
Sports wheelchairs make it possible for mobility-challenged individuals to participate in and take pleasure from their favorite recreational or competitive sports. Whether it is tennis, basketball, rugby, hockey, trail riding, football, racing or other physical activities, a sports wheelchair can be modified to ensure maximum performance on the field, court, track or other sports arena.
These mobility aids are made of lightweight materials like titanium or aluminum. The base is usually wider than usual and is typically fitted to the size of the user, center of gravity, and the particular athletic sport.
The design and engineering of sports wheelchairs allow them to be sturdy, extremely maneuverable, stable, and responsive. Aside from that, they are constructed to endure jarring and varying amounts of impact required by different forms of recreational and competitive sports.
Sports wheelchairs usually fall under four main types. These include court chairs, hand-cycles, racers, and all terrain wheelchairs. People who are fond of spending their afternoons at the beach may also choose from a plethora of wheelchairs designed specifically for this purpose.
All Terrain Wheelchairs
This type of sports wheelchairs can improve your fitness by making it possible for you to engage in various outdoor activities. The off-road design is intended for rugged surfaces that standard wheelchairs could not traverse.
So whether you enjoy navigating through a rocky trail or a snowing path, or watching sunsets at the beach, an all terrain wheelchair will definitely enable you to take part leisurely activities and generally maintain an active lifestyle. This type of sports wheelchairs is equipped with wheels that allow quick 360-degree turns and shock absorbers that permit the smoothest ride possible.
You can actually opt for a manual or a powered model. Both types are usually durable and feature anti-rust materials. In addition, all terrain wheelchairs can be speedily disassembled even without tools. This provides you with the flexibility to transport the chair wherever your leisure pursuits take you.
Like most sports wheelchairs, basketball wheelchairs are made from the lightest yet toughest steel, aluminum or titanium. An average basketball wheelchair usually costs around $1500. In addition, manufacturers have incorporated a 5th wheel in the rear end of the chair to enhance rigidity and to prevent it from turning over during a game.
Aside from the arduous training and solid determination to engage in the sport, specialized wheelchairs are also a necessity. The modern designs of racing wheelchairs allow handicapped athletes to escalate to speed levels of up to 30 km/h. These wheelchairs are lightweight with explicit dimensions, customized parts, and sport-specific features.
In wheelchair racing, proper positioning can make a world of difference in an athlete’s performance on the tracks. There are actually three ways to position one’s body on the racing wheelchair. The kneeling position is optimal for the sport yet it is only suited for people who are flexible enough and have less restrictions for their legs. In the second position, the feet are rested on a strap in the front portion of the chair. It can work for practically anyone. Lastly, for those with above-the-knee amputations, an amputee sling can usually hold the occupant in place.
Special pieces of equipment are not necessarily required for the game. In fact, you can even use your everyday wheelchair to play tennis. However, if you want to improve your performance, then you can purchase a tennis wheelchair designed specifically for the sport.
Tennis wheelchairs normally respond quickly to your every move on the court. It can provide you with better mobility, a greater degree of stability, and enhanced speed. So when you think about it, the right chair can actually help you dominate the game of tennis.