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PB for disabled persons?

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  • PB for disabled persons?

    I have a friend with Spina Bifida who is very interested in Primal. He's pretty enthused about the eating, but how would he go about the fitness stuff? He can't feel anything from the waist down. :/
    He's pretty mobile otherwise, but is confined to a wheelchair.
    I would love to see something about adapting the whole PB thing to disabled people, and i'm sure he would too! We're at a loss at how to implement some of it.
    I'm a paleo foodie, come check out my recipes: http://strangekitty.ca/

  • #2
    This is a great idea. I am severely limited in the amount of exercise I can do. Flesh is willing but the spine is weak! I would love to see some modified exercises. I have purchased some chair aerobics dvds to try out and see if these work...

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    • #3
      How about some upper body bodyweight exercises? Dips, pull-ups/chin-ups should be doable (maybe with some assistance, depending on current strenght). As for sprinting, can he 'wheel' his chair fast enogh to get a very high pulse? If not, is there Any other upper body exercuse he can do to get his heart pumping?

      I guess most standard upper body weghtlifting/strenght exercises is also doable for him? Bench press, military press, rowing/back pull (on a bar), push-ups, biceps/triceps curls or pulls, etc. They may not be Primal, but still can be good.
      Norak's Primal Journal:
      2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
      2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
      2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

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      • #4
        I'm paraplegic and in a wheelchair. I'm super lazy about the exercise *Oops!*
        But, things like dumbbells, exercise bands and hand bikes work well.
        I'm not sure how to do the exercise routine like Mark has lined out - but I'm sure that subbing in other exercises, but with the same intensity goals would be ok.

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        • #5
          My brother also has spina bifida and he's been trying to eat well and exercise but he's got a lot of mental issues that he needs to overcome concerning self-worth and goal setting. Plus he's on a bazillion different medications that are doing who-knows-what to his hormones. The only successful weight loss he's had is during recovery after the many surgeries he's had over the years for his bowels, bladder and kidneys. For him, wheeling around the block a few times would be great, but it gets him winded and when things get tough, he quits. He also seems to have developed a case of agoraphobia.

          So he sometimes uses a hand bike. But I could definitely see someone with spina bifida doing pullups and dips on modified equipment. Someone in a more sporty wheelchair could do some kind of sprint, or wheel around with weight resting in their laps. Pushups if someone can hold their ankles.
          You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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          • #6
            I don't know enough about spina bifida to make any sort of recommendations, so here's your grain of salt. That being said, do you think that your friend could do rows, either at the gym or at home using exercise bands for sprints? From what I recall of PBF, Mark recognized that not everyone would be able to follow his recommendations, but he advised more do-what-you-can. I applaud anyone who is working to make himself healthier, especially when they've got obstacles most of us don't have.
            Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.

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            • #7
              My brother-in-law has spina bifida. One day, we were at the big summer fair/exhibition here in town, and the military had a display and a pushup challenge contest where you could win water bottles and stuff. I did 25, which qualified me for a prize. Then my BIL got down out of his chair onto the mat. You could see the military guys and the spectators looking worried and/or pitying the disabled guy who was going to try to do pushups. My BIL banged out about 40 pushups straight, then pulled himself back up into his chair and grinned. They gave him one of every prize they had.

              What I'm trying to say is that a disability may limit some things for a person, but lots of things are still possible. Can't walk? Do your move slowly rolling through your community in your wheelchair, using a handbike, swimming laps, or doing something similar. Have limited stamina? Do as much as you are capable of, even if it's not as much as someone else--what's hard for you is hard for you, don't worry about other people. You can do upper body weight work, and even learn to do pullups and dips (probably with a spotter for assistance up and down, but it's doable). I have a friend who's semi-paralyzed on one side of her body and uses a crutch for walking, and she goes to the gym and works with a trainer who helps her modify workouts so that she can still strength train and such. Many manual wheelchair users have a lot of upper body strength--wheelchair athletes are pretty damn cool (ever seen sled hockey?). The trick is to find what's possible for you and work with that.
              “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

              Owly's Journal

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              • #8
                Some awesome suggestions guys, i'll pass them on!
                I'm a paleo foodie, come check out my recipes: http://strangekitty.ca/

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                • #9
                  How would one alter the food portion of PB, if necessary, to account for being disabled? Esp. if weight loss is desired.
                  Melissa Fritcher - 330/252/150
                  http://lessofmimi.wordpress.com
                  Trample the weak, hurdle the dead.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LessofMimi View Post
                    How would one alter the food portion of PB, if necessary, to account for being disabled? Esp. if weight loss is desired.
                    What leads you to think there would be any difference in recommended diet?

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                    • #11
                      There is no difference, only the amount of food taken in - which is the same for all individuals. We're all different.
                      If the person is getting little to no exercise(using a manual wheelchair does count) the amount they eat will be less than someone who's body building.
                      The types of nutrients are all the same, it's the amount that differs.

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                      • #12
                        I know nobody in a wheel-chair so I'm not sure if this is doable but would they be able to do any hill work? I mean obviously they could just wheel themselves up, and over time try to do it faster? I think that'd be all the cardio exercise they'd need and it would involve "lifting" heavy things too. I would assume the entire upper body would get a pretty good workout and the individual would be spent even if they can't do it so fast. I'm not sure how well it would work but it's a thought.
                        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                        • #13
                          That's what I'm working on now. For cardio, I'm going from the front porch, to the back porch(for 30 minutes) - there are two ramps and a long stretch of sidewalk inbetween. It's a nice workout.

                          If you have all or enough of your upper body control/strength, you should be able to do the heavy lifting exercises - but since people end up in wheelchairs for all different reasons and have all different injuries, it all depends.

                          People who are in manual wheelchairs usually have pretty strong upper bodies, from using those muscles all the time - without hitting the gym.

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                          • #14
                            Some good stuff, i'll pass it on.
                            I'm a paleo foodie, come check out my recipes: http://strangekitty.ca/

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                            • #15
                              My brother also has spina bifida; he walks with a limp. He doesn't follow PB, but I think diet is even more important for people whose activity is limited, in that they have to be even more strict about not going off the primal plan.

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