As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, staying active and working out can become tough. Inside time doesn’t have to mean inactive time, though, and if it’s safe to do so, there’s lots you can still enjoy outside.
This is especially true if you’ve got an all-terrain wheelchair like the GRIT Freedom Chair, but don’t take our word for it! Every year, GRIT riders show off the activities they’re doing to stay active through the cold season. In this blog, we will share ideas, resources, and tips from our riders and team. Read on to see how to make the most of your winter, stay fit, and have a blast!
Sometimes, keeping your workout inside is the best way to stay active. Luckily for us, our riders demonstrate every year that they don’t need to leave the comfort, warmth, and safety of home to keep things moving. Many of our riders have assembled unique (and easy-to-make) roller setups that enable them to ride their GRIT Freedom Chairs indoors.
These roller setups are great for endurance training or for squeezing in short workouts to break up your day. Are you on the mend, or just not feeling quite up for an outdoor trail hike yet? Put your Freedom Chair on rollers and pump away! Rehabilitation Centers around the country use GRIT all-terrain wheelchairs on rollers to help facilitate the growth of muscle tone, flexibility, and range of motion as well. One of the beautiful things about rollers is that they create a low-resistance workout. After some training on the rollers, many folks decide to take the GRIT Freedom Chair outdoors, where the terrain (and consequential resistance) can be a bit less predictable.
This link will take you to our Support Center, where you can find more information on setting up your own indoor workout space CLICK HERE.
Engage with an Active Community
Another one of the best ways to get motivated is to see what other people are doing. Whether you’re an elite athlete or just getting the hang of leading an active lifestyle, find an online community of like-minded folks to get some ideas!
Here at GRIT, we lead a Facebook group called Beyond the Pavement (BTP) for these kinds of conversations. BTP is designed to allow adaptive athletes to share and discuss all things adaptive sports, from promoting great organizations, to sharing savvy methods to stay fit, to asking current GRIT owners about their experiences with their chairs. The BTP community is also a great place for adaptive athletes to share photos and videos of their recent adventures.
BONUS: Another terrific resource is an organization called Move United. They connect members of the adaptive community (organizations and individuals) to each other and have created an invaluable web to explore. Go to their site to learn about them, find a local chapter, and get involved.
“Works okay pushing through the wet heavy snow!” —George, bundled up and using his Freedom Chair to enjoy a post-storm outing through some tough snow.
Get Creative with Ideas from Others
Here at GRIT, we are lucky to be a part of a devoted community of riders who share their tips and stories. Below we will share some of these with you. We hope they inspire some ideas for your own winter activities!
Folks like Cory Lee have gone above and beyond to provide the community with adventure stories and helpful tips. From travel tips, to winter workouts, Lee’s website is full of great information.
Bekah and Nate show us an innovative way for the whole family to enjoy the GRIT Freedom Chair.
Winter is a great time to enjoy the outside with your favorite companion. Your pup will enjoy the fresh air, and this is an easy way to get some fresh air for yourself! Hundreds of Freedom Chair riders from around the world venture out with their furry friends every winter. People like Kristen (whose chair and pups are shown here) show how they get the job done!
Take Your Dogs Out
Winter is an excellent time to enjoy the outdoors with your four-legged friend. Taking your dog for a walk not only provides fresh air for you but also allows your furry companion to have some fun. Many Freedom Chair riders take their dogs on winter adventures, showcasing how it’s done. It’s a great source of motivation and a chance for both you and your pets to explore new parks and trails.
Bundle up and do some good! John is shown above, volunteering with the Salvation Army, but there are a thousand different ways to lend a helping hand in the colder months. Some ideas: Get some help from friends and family, go to the local park or a well-trafficked area, and hand out hot chocolate and coffee. Volunteer to walk dogs at a local shelter. Connect with local adaptive sports organizations to learn about upcoming events and see how you can assist. You can always gear up with your all-terrain wheelchair, a few garbage bags, a buddy or two, and go clean up trash nearby!
Embark on Bigger Adventures
If you’re feeling really cooped up after a long year, try safely visiting a completely new place. Whether you choose a national park or local lake trail, riding in a new area makes for a totally unique experience.
Tommy is shown above, using his GRIT all-terrain wheelchair to enjoy some snowy fun.
An off-road wheelchair rider enjoys a snowy outing at Staunton State Park in Colorado.
Visiting a new place can feel intimidating, but with proper research and planning, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Use the links above to ask members of the Beyond the Pavement Facebook group or members of Move United to connect with likeminded individuals.
Regardless of your winter activities, remember that staying active and enjoying the process is the most important thing. The possibilities are endless, so embrace the season and make the most of it. Stay motivated, explore new horizons, and keep moving.