Fitness Fallacy: It is impossible for Wheelchair Users to Lose Weight

prepared by Xyza Angelica Agoncillo 02/19/2017

One of the greatest challenges for wheelchair users is to keep their bodies physically fit. It is harder for wheelchair users to lose weight because they use fewer calories when doing a physical activity. Some of us full-time wheelchair users think that it is impossible to lose weight without standing up. The truth is that it’s possible for us to lose weight through some other activities (Carlson, 2013).

Effective Ways to Lose Weight Without Standing Up:

  • Low-Cal Diet


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Low calorie is the only way to go to seriously lose weight, and it’s absolutely true. But the problem is that it’s one of the hardest ways to lose weight. To lose weight, you need to regularly use more energy than you consume through food and drink. You can do this by a combination of eating fewer calories and being more active. However, if your ability to move around is severely restricted by your condition, then dieting will be the main way that you can lose weight (Carlson, 2013).

  • Zumba


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This dance is like aerobics, but with Latin attitude, and it’s all about moving what you got; or in the case of someone with a disability, still moving what you got. You may not be moving your legs as part of the Zumba moves, but if you can get your upper- body into it you can still lose a lot of weight moving your upper body around like a crazy person to high-tempo Latin beats. Plus, it’s super fun (Carlson, 2013).

  • Yoga


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Adding yoga as a secondary physical activity can be one of the best ways to help your body lose weight. Stretching, aligning your joints and muscles, breathing correctly, all of this can help your body buzz with good energy (Carlson, 2013).

  • Cross-fit


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CrossFit is a huge fitness craze right now and it’s based on military exercises; truly sweat exerting exercises such as:

  • climbing a wooden wall (with a rope no less) and jumping over,
  • lifting a huge tire over your head,
  • jumping rope,

basic moves such as:

  • pull-ups and squats,
  • shoulder presses,
  • rope climbs,
  • runs with weights,

and a whole lot more.

It is not easy but that is why it’s perfect for wheelchair-users (Carlson, 2013).

Being a wheelchair user doesn’t have to mean leading an inactive lifestyle. Doing regular cardiovascular activity, as well as regular muscle-strengthening exercise can help a lot, but one can start with a light routine. Any activity is better than a sedentary life. Exercising doesn’t always have to be intense. It could also be simple and enjoyable. Just try laughing and you’ll see.



Carlson, Tiffiny. How to Really Lose Weight Without Walking. August 26th, 2013. Retrieved from:

NHS Choices. How to lose weight in a wheelchair. Page last reviewed: March. 1, 2015. Retrieved from:

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