Cerebral palsy is a condition that arises due to a group of disorders in the nervous system and the brain. People with cerebral palsy find difficulty in movement, seeing, hearing, thinking and learning. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disease that has no cure! If a person suffering from this condition has to be made independent, it is possible only if the prime cause of this condition is deal with, which is strengthening of the muscles with the help of exercises.
Cerebral palsy fitness training includes a lot of things that a person suffering from this condition needs to learn so that he / she can live by their own. There are many exercises and therapies that can be framed for the patient depending on his motor ability. When therapies are given along with other cerebral palsy exercises then it can increase muscle strength and flexibility. It also prevails atrophy of muscles which is a rare condition that can occur in children and adults suffering from cerebral palsy.
Exercises play a very vital role in the life of a child with cerebral palsy. There are many simple exercises that can be done by the child in his daily routine. Some exercises that can be done at home without any difficulty include arm cycling, chair aerobics, dancing, jogging, leg cycling, rowing, stair climbing, swimming, walking, water exercises, weights training, wheeling and yoga and, tai chi.
Arm cycling, chair aerobics and dancing help in the improvement of heart and lung efficiency, strength and endurance as well as flexibility and range. Arm cycling is an activity that stimulates bicycling but is done with the arms instead of legs. Special equipments like erogmeters can be used when done indoors. Chair aerobics is a combination of the upper body movements and stretches that are designed to increase flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. Dancing is an exercise that is done in tempo of the music so that the speed of movement and intensity depends on the music. People with contractures and low bone density should avoid dancing and do other forms of exercise that is appropriate to their condition.
Resistance bands can also be used while doing cerebral palsy exercises and stretches. While doing this, stretching should be slow and precaution must be taken not to release the band when it is in a stretched position. These exercises help in increasing bone structure and strength as well as strength and endurance of muscles. Jogging is also a good form of exercise by running at a steady pace. However, proper shoes should be worn and people with contractures or degenerative joint disease should avoid this. Jogging increases heart and lung efficiency, bone structure, strength and endurance. Walking is a milder form of exercise and can be done without any assistance device. Yoga involves breathing and stretching exercises that help in flexibility and range of muscles. Tai Chi – a series of individual dance like movements linked together in a slow, continuous, smooth flow sequence can help develop bone structure and strength.