Staying Fit in a Wheelchair | Ask Aaron

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
09/21/16  2:50 PM PST
Staying fit in a wheelchair Mantenerse en forma en silla de ruedas

Hi Aaron,

I have been paralyzed from the waist down since 2013. I was a pretty skinny dude before my accident, but I’ve been steadily gaining weight since then and I’m starting to get self-conscious about it, especially since people already stare at me in my wheelchair. What are some exercises, things I can do to help me lose this extra weight? But without gaining too much muscle in my upper body, because I feel like that will make me self-conscious too?




Hi James! I’m sorry to hear about your accident, but it sounds like you’re motivated to be as strong as possible. Good man!

I also had a lean body before my injury. In my experience, nutrition and physical activity are the most effective ways to manage my weight. I have learned that by eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day (5-7 meals) improved not only weight management, but blood sugar, appetite and my mental mood. If I’m craving sugar, I grab a piece of fruit & pair it with a piece of cheese or peanut/almond butter. Pairing carbs & proteins satisfies my cravings and gives me a boost of energy!

Try this:

  • Apple slices & sharp cheddar cheese
  • Carrot sticks & roasted garlic hummus
  • Celery sticks with almond butter & honey drizzle
  • Frozen grapes (red are my favorite)
  • Cottage cheese with pineapple

Couple your nutrient timing with good ol’ fashioned cardiovascular exercises consistently over time and voila… You have a formula for healthy results. Stay committed and your progress will fuel your confidence.

Thanks for asking!



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