Category Archives: exercise equipment

The Products I Hate to Admit to Owning (but they Actually Work)

American television is full of infomercials. Early risers and night owls are most often subjected to these gems, but all of us will see more than we care to in our lifetimes. Some of these infomercials stick with us. Those are usually the ones with those catchy tunes or hilarious one-liners that we find ourselves singing in the shower or doing impressions of in bars. None of us imagine that we will buy these items, but once in a while we get suckered in and we find ourselves forking over credit card numbers. Most of the time this ends up being a huge mistake, but sometimes we get lucky and we find something we simply could not live without.

The first infomercial product I own is a little embarrassing to admit to. The advertisements for this product are so notorious that I can almost guarantee you will have the jiggle for it stuck in your head when you finish reading this post. Yes, I must admit, I am the proud owner of a clapper. I have to tell you this thing is awesome. A few years ago I bought my husband this really awesome lamp made out of deer sheds. (Those are the antlers that bucks shed every winter.) For years, this lamp sat unused in the corner because my husband and I were both too lazy to get up and turn it on and off, but now thanks to the clapper, the lamp is finally getting used. I simply clap my hands from anywhere in the room and the light will turn on and off. Of course my husband still hasn’t figured out how to do it, but I am sure he will catch on at some point.

Another popular subject for infomercials is exercise equipment. These infomercials can be hard not get suckered into, after all, who among us doesn’t want that hot bod we see on TV. I was no exception; I purchased the Bender Ball in the early morning hours in the summer of 2007. The whole time, I was telling myself how stupid I was, but as it turned out I was presently surprised. The Bender Ball is a small exercise ball that will reportedly give you rock hard abs. While I can’t speak to that, I will say that this little ball does make sit-ups and crunches easier to execute while still giving me a great ab workout.

The products in infomercials are notoriously cheesy, and it is a little embarrassed to admit to owning a few of these items, but I must admit that they are very helpful in living my unlimited life. Next time you find yourself awake at 3 in the morning, forgo the netflix and check out an infomercial, you might discover something really great.

Simple Exercise Solutions

Exercise is a very important part of living an Unlimited life. Exercise will keep your body and your mind healthy, which will help maintain your independence. When you have a disability, exercise can be a challenge. For me, getting exercise during the cold, snowy months here in Michigan is really difficult. The snow makes it difficult to get around easily and the cold makes my muscles really tight. This makes it hard, not to mention sometimes painful, to move.

Over the years, I have discovered a few things that make getting year round exercise easier; especially during those cold, winter months when getting any outdoor exercise, or traveling to the gym, is difficult.

For strength training, I prefer resistance bands. Free weights are great, but they only allow you to work on your upper body. If you want to work on both your upper and lower body, resistance bands are a great choice. Plus, they are lightweight and easy to take with you, so when that spring weather finally arrives you can take your workout outside. There are plenty of exercise video and routines for resistance bands online, so you should be able to find some exercises that work for you. The resistance bands I listed above come with a book which feature exercises for your arms, legs and core.

Working out my core has always been a challenge for me. No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot execute a proper crunch from a flat surface. I have found that by placing something under the small of my back, I can execute crunches in a way that is effective. I found that a mini exercise ball works best for me, but you could also try a small pillow if you think you might need extra support.

A workout is not complete without cardio. Finding a cardio workout that was effective and allowed me to use only my upper body was a challenge for me. I tried a lot of different “chair” routines, but most spend three quarters of the tape on stretching and leg exercises, this did not raise my heart rate to the level it needed to be. After much searching, I found this chair boxing DVD. This video uses boxing to create an effective, aerobic workout that you can do either from a chair, or standing. (Sometimes I do the exercises while kneeling.) This DVD uses only your arms and core muscles. It gets my heart rate up but it also allows me to work on my balance, which is something that most aerobic exercise does not help with.

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy. Exercise is possible no matter what disability you have. Everything I have listed, the resistance bands, the exercise ball and even the video, can be adapted to virtually any disability or fitness level. All it takes is a little creativity and will power.

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