Before you exercise
Discuss your exercise plan with your doctor or rehabilitation team, who will ensure that it is appropriate for you and will not cause you any harm. Be sure to inform them of any medication you are taking so that they can take into consideration the effects of the medication when assessing your exercise regime.
Make sure your body temperature is stable. While you exercise your body temperature may fluctuate for no apparent reason. But you can prevent your body from experiencing extreme temperature changes by taking the following steps:
- Dress in layers and adding extra layers if in a colder environment
- Wear comfortable and suitable clothing for exercising
- Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water
- Use a fan and/or water spray to keep your body cool
- Exercise in the shade
Don’t exercise if you are feeling ill and that includes having a bladder infection, pressure sore or unusual spasticity.
In planning your exercise regime you need to be aware of other important physical differences as a result of your spinal cord injury, such as an appropriate gym environment. If you are exercising in a health club or gym with non-disabled instructors, it is very important that you make them aware of these differences.