How To Training Cardio From An Inspiring Instructor That Has Muscular Dystrophy

If you need some motivation and inspiration, meet Tara Lyn Emerson. Tara uses her personal journey to inspire her clients to play to their strengths and be the best version of themselves.

Tara was born with neuromuscular dystrophy that affects her calves and feet. Doctors told her that she’ll probably be in a wheelchair by the age of 30, but the 35-year old powerful lady proved them wrong. Although she’s faced with progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass, Tara doesn’t give up and continues with her physical activities.

While growing up, Tara practiced tennis with her father, who was a professional coach. As a teenager she lifted weights and, now, she’s taught cycling classes for more than 12 years, inspiring her clients to find their strength.

Tara’s 40-minute workout plan will help you push past your comfort zone and will help you build a strong and toned body. All you need is 40 minutes! If Tara can do it, then you can do it too!

Create a treatment plan with your doctor

Many people suffering from this disease begin using corticosteroid medications; however, they come with risks of bone fracture. Discuss your options with your doctor at the onset of the disease, if possible.

Stabilize your breathing and heart functions

Exercise can lead to an increase in blood pressure and shortness of breath, so make sure you undergo tests on your cardiovascular and respiratory systems before you start doing physical therapy.

Request mobility aids

If you are suffering from muscle weakness, your doctor may prescribe a cane, wheelchair, or walker to reduce the risk of falling. These will help you with mobility issues around your home, and when you venture out in public.

Request a prescription for your physical therapy

Using a service that is requested by your doctor and supported by your health insurance company will reduce the cost of physical therapy. Inquire about physical therapy appointment limits with your insurance company.

Begin physical therapy treatment with supervised exercise

It may take several weeks or months before you are able to develop an at-home exercise routine. Take your time choosing a physical therapist and undergo an initial consultation.

Begin low-impact cardiovascular exercise

Under the guidance of your physical therapist, begin regular swimming, walking on flat surfaces, and/or bike riding. Schedule exercise that is energizing, rather than tiring.

Walk a short distance each day

Taking a short 10-20 minute walk every day can be very beneficial for your muscles and will do more good than pushing yourself to walk an hour or more. More frequent short walks are better than fewer longer walks.

Go for a short swim

Try swimming laps for a short period of time (around 10-20 minutes) once every day or so. This shorter activity period will be easier on your body and will benefit you more than fewer, longer swimming sessions.

Try other exercises to diversify your workouts

Remember that you need to try to work out different muscles through varying exercises. Performing the same workout routine over and over will only concentrate on a specific group of muscles, while overlooking the rest.

Work in your garden

Gardening can be a great way to include physical activity in your daily life. It involves bending, standing, lifting, digging, and just being generally active. You’ll be outdoors, moving around, and using your muscles.

Take ballroom dancing classes

Ballroom dancing is another recommended method of adding more physical activity to your life. It is a low-impact activity that most people are capable of doing. It requires you to walk, move your arms and legs, and keeps you exerting energy for periods of time.

Participate in active recreation activities to increase happiness

Living with muscular dystrophy can take a toll on you emotionally. It’s important to maintain your mental health, as well as your physical health. Including active recreational events in your life, especially those with a social aspect, may help you feel more connected and more in control of your life.

Avoid pushing yourself too hard

Take care while you are exercising to make sure you can handle the exertion. If you start to feel pain or discomfort, you should stop what you’re doing immediately and give your body a break. Moving forward, try to switch to more low-impact activities that your body is better equipped to handle.

Develop a range-of-motion exercise routine

These prescribed exercises are tailored to your body to promote joint flexibility. Doing these exercises every day is likely to increase mobility and lessen your risk of contractures.

Do arm raises

A type of range-of-motion exercise for the shoulders involves raising your arms over your head. If you’re a righty, your stronger arm will likely be your right one. To begin this exercise, you should first grasp your non-dominant arm with your dominant arm at the wrist and hold it, then raise it above your head. Hold this pose for several seconds.

Practice range-of-motion exercises for your lower body

Keeping all of your joints active is important for maintaining mobility with muscular dystrophy. Try moving all of your lower body joints daily through range-of-motion exercises.

Try aquatic range-of-motion exercises

Research physical therapy locations that have a pool and have the therapist instruct you on how to safely exercise in the water. Performing exercises in the water gives your body an added layer of protection because the water makes your body weigh less, making the exercise even more low-impact overall.

Return to your physical therapist to adjust your exercises

Muscular dystrophy patients must adjust their exercise routine as the condition progresses. Return every few months to assess any changes that need to be made in your plan.

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