The Importance of Health and Fitness for Paraplegics

Reading time 2 minutes

Fitness is extremely important. Of course it is and you know that. But do you really know?

I could go on and on about a lot of things and you would diligently listen and say, “Yeah, I know that,” or “That makes sense, I can understand that.” Something I believe (and it makes sense) is that you don’t really know unless you’re actively practicing.

Here’s an example. I was talking with a new friend and we found ourselves talking about personal development – something I’m always learning and doing – and I was telling her about how important it is to journal everyday and I gave some familiar examples such as Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci. My friend doesn’t journal, but she said something like, I know journaling is important and has many benefits but… and even you reading this right now, you know journaling is important just as you know that being healthy is important. Eating the right foods for your mind, body, and soul as well as the right exercises.

So although you may know that fitness is important, are you actively practicing?

Why not? Why should you start being more active and healthier?

Seriously answer these, write them in your journal. Write down 3 reasons why you don’t eat healthier or exercise more and write 3 reasons why you should. (at least make a mental list if you won’t write them out).

If you’re already working on fitness and living healthier, you can skim through until you reach the resources at the end.

There’s a high chance you’re in a wheelchair or know someone in a wheelchair. Or you’re my family or friend and thank you for supporting me ❤

When it comes to being in a wheelchair, being fit and healthy becomes super-duper extremely important. Think of why that might be. Then compare with my reasons + explanations below.

  1. You can do more. It sounds simple but think of all the obstacles you face in a wheelchair. If you’re not fit, then people can’t help and lift you up. If you’re not strong, then you won’t be able to lift yourself or even get up a hill.[YouTube link for hill]. If you go to my YouTube channel, you’ll see that being both fit (low body fat) and strong allows me to get into airplanes along with getting carried up stairs by others. Going up stairs without help is hard. I’ve done it many times and I sweat on every occasion because of how difficult it is, even when you’re very strong.
  2. Self-confidence. A lot of people have low confidence as they are, then put them in a wheelchair and it’ll get a lot worse. Personally, I don’t have this issue and that’s in part because of my high fitness and health. I see this in other people and if you’re not healthy, then you’re naturally going to not be as happy as you can be, you might be scared to take off your shirt in public and now you’re impinging on what you do.
  3. Independence. When it comes to being a long wolf, it’s a lot easier if you’re strong and fit because you can easily help yourself. Also, once you reach a certain level of strength, people see that and they won’t try to take advantage of you, which can be a concern if you’re in a wheelchair and go out alone.
  4. Recovery. I’m not sure about you, but I’m going to recover and when I do I’ll  be ready. When it comes to the future, its completely unpredictable. We can sure try, but all knowledge is based on the past. We can make a prediction, but it never becomes more until it’s proven, which would mean it’s part of the past. You may not recover, but then again, you just might. The best we can do is just improve the odds. Improve the chances of recovery. Being healthy and fit will definitely improve your chances of a successful recovery. That includes stretching.
  5. Live longer and feel good. Sure there are people who are unhealthy and live long, but again, improve your chances of a longer, richer, and more fulfilling life by leading it with health and fitness. When you eat the right foods and exercise frequently you feel good. Scientifically speaking, its been proven many times and told so many times that it’s almost been dismissed and taken for granted, but if you’re feeling a little under the weather, go for a walk with nature.

So now that we know the importance of being healthy, how can we put it into practice?

It starts with diet. Then building up the habit of exercise. And you never stop. You should exercise every day, but if you need to take baby steps, try 3 times a week and build up.

The best advice I’ve gotten when it comes to introducing new things into your life is to only do it for as long as you want. Meaning that if you go to the gym, don’t force yourself to be there for an hour if you only enjoy the first 45 minutes, only do it for as long as it’s enjoyable, otherwise you’ll begin to dislike it – the opposite of what we want.

When it comes to diet, the best way to have discipline is to avoid needing discipline. You need discipline to not eat candy or unhealthy snacks only if they’re in the house. It starts with only buying healthy foods and having them be all that’s available. As a personal rule, I don’t eat any fast food, drink pop, or eat chips and most other snacks.

I’m not certified in any field of fitness, but I am a bodybuilder and I actively learn about health and fitness as well as put it into practice. I’m just sharing what’s worked for me (above and below). If you aren’t able to do certain workouts, always just do as much as you can.

Here are some resources for health and exercise to get you started. And remember to always challenge what you hear, but accept it if you’re wrong.

My favorite health podcast

My gym playlist

First video in the series of gym videos from my YouTube channel

Also, when it comes to staying healthy, massage therapy is another great thing to look into.


Immediate actionable items: Start leading a healthy life right now. Get rid of any unhealthy foods in your house and around you (not by eating them) and make a weekly plan for exercise. Such as walking every morning or evening and going through a workout routine at a set time each day or every other day.

Summary: There are 6 big reasons why fitness is important. Even more important is to start implementing a good diet and exercise right now.

Overdeliver:  As a little self-confidence boost and something that is entirely NOT my idea, but I was doing it before I realized it was common advice: ask for a discount. You might’ve heard this before, but just ask for a discount. Sometimes I’ll jokingly ask if they have a wheelchair discount or a handsome man discount. Student discount if you’re a college student. It’s fun and helps build up confidence.

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