Accepting the use of personal mobility aids (PMAs) is a big step for anyone, whether it is for yourself or a loved one. For individuals experiencing limited mobility due to disabilities or old age, PMAs like wheelchairs and rollators are useful in helping you move independently.
To effectively use PMAs and reap the benefits of walking regularly, it is essential to understand how best to optimise your energy when using them. Here are some tips on how you can maximise your time with your rollator or walker.
Plan your route
Before you start your walk, it is vital to plan your route according to your stamina: at what point are you likely to lose your breath or run out of energy? Ensure you are not going too far or pushing yourself excessively; otherwise, you might get fatigued before finishing the route.
It is ideal to start small and increase your distance gradually. For example, your first trip can be a simple walk from the door to the elevator, and when you have built your stamina up sufficiently, try taking a walk around the garden.
It would also help to plan with the terrain in mind so that you can avoid bumpy roads and areas without accessibility ramps. Additionally, you can consult a doctor for further guidance regarding the distance and places you should walk.
Take regular breaks
Having a set destination in mind helps motivate you for your walk, but you shouldn't let that enthusiasm keep you from taking a break whenever needed. It is best to take a break before you are completely tired out to avoid exhaustion. All you have to do is pull over to the side and lock your brake as you rest.
Bring food and water
It is easy to get tired if you're low on hydration or sugar. Hence, to maintain your energy levels, you should bring along some snacks and water that you can consume throughout the walk.
Watch your stride
Experiment with different paces to find out what suits you best; for some, smaller steps are more comfortable, while longer strides feel better for others. It would also be good to experiment with different terrains. For example, going uphill may require more energy than going downhill.
On top of that, you should check the settings on your device to ensure that it is appropriate for your use. Some things to look out for are the height of the PMA's handles and the effectiveness of the brakes.
At what part of the day are you most energetic? Schedule your walk for the time that best fits you, whether it is the morning, afternoon, or evening. Experimenting with different times will help you figure out what works for you so that you can build a routine later on.
Walking is an exercise that boosts your health and helps you stay in shape, but it can be incredibly tiring to do so with a rollator or walker. Hence, it is necessary to learn how to conserve your energy to maximise your active time.