Accessible Gym Membership

At last I have my membership to the Sargood at Collaroy gym. Above is the wrist band that allows me to access the weight machines with no help from anyone else… a very helpful thing when you are in a wheelchair and seek independence. I roll up to each machine, I tap the wrist band against the screen, first it says “Welcome Helen” and then up comes my personalized program .. wow.. It tells me how many reps I need to do and how many sets. It also counts down the rest time in between sets. The best thing is that the weights are changed automatically. On the stressful side the whole workout can be access on a computer by the exercise physiologist… so no cheating!! If he thinks things are going to easy he can change the program and up the weights or reps… big brother is watching!!!!

Other machines that I can use are a moto med that exercises the arms and legs, either with passive or active exercise. There is also a hand cycle but you have to use it with arms up high, which works different muscles to the usual hand cycle that is lower. The last machine that I use I have transfer on to the seat, lock my feet in and hand cycle which also makes my feet go round. Great to get the legs moving and help circulation after all the sitting.

There is also a tilt table but for this I need the help of the exercise physiologist or guest attendant, so have to organise this. Basically you are strapped to the table and then it tips you up to a standing position. This is very good for weight bearing that helps bone density and circulation.. This table is also good for stretches and laying on my tummy to give the backside a break!!! Sitting all the time can easily lead to tight muscles and pressure sores so care must always be taking to avoid these.

The gym is set up for use by able bodied members too so there are some machines that I cannot access. One of the things that I love is meeting others at the gym which helps me to feel less isolated. I should also mention the glorious view out of the windows to the sea and along the northern beaches, plus the fact that I can also access the adaptive sports equipment that I have written about before. So I am very glad to at last have my gym membership and feel very lucky to have this available to me.



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