Mobile disability travel challenges

One would favor how many countries seem to be somewhat more conscious about tourists with mobile disabilities. They treat them as invalids – not valid. But they try. Overcoming mobile disability travel challenges are difficult both in the USA and internationally. It is virtually impossible for those without disabilities to conceive all the details people with wheels, crutches, and canes require to smoothly go from point-a to point-b. Current statistics show about 10% of the world’s population (650 million) have some form of disability.

Part of the statistical problem is that most people who need mobility aids don’t want to use them. It took me years to realize I needed a cane to walk better. Another 6 months that I needed AFO braces. Based on data from the 2002 US Census Bureau, 96 percent of people who live with an illness live with an invisible one, and 73 percent of people who live with a severe disability do not use devices like a wheelchair. So, counting invisible mobile disability and mental disability, about 15 percent of the world’s population — some 785 million people — has a significant physical or mental disability, including about 5 percent of children, based on the World Health Organization in 2011.

Mobility handicaps meant no challenges if you sat comfortably on the inside looking out. For most of history that seemed fine. Mobile disability travel challenges happen when you want to go somewhere. Devices and scooters help you move. Traveling between points and having the comforts and necessities you need require considerable study. Yes, when going to supermarkets to parks or on vacations, even visiting friends and relatives, mobile disabilities uncover some hidden travel challenges.

It can be very disconcerting for those with mobile disabilities to navigate into certain stores, houses of worship, and other public spaces. There are disability travel challenges whether you are young and old. United States, over the past 30 years, has been implementing standards to help enable those that require mobility aid. Passed by Congress in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities. Of course many buildings, subways, and other areas built prior to 1990 still have poor access for disability travel.

I use AFO braces as a mobile compromise for walking. To others I am walking relatively well, albeit slowly. What many do not know is, while I can walk on smoothly paved paths, I really can’t walk stairs, on grass, on sand, cobblestones, and rough surfaces. Somehow, when it comes to mobile disability travel challenges, manufacturers are designing more mobility scooters for travel.

Thinking of accessibility, parts of New York City are working towards removal of 19th-century cobblestones so that disability travel on those streets could be more accessible. This is causing many debates from travelers and local residents who see the removal as damage to historic infrastructures. In countries all around the world, different cobblestones have remained for centuries. Some countries replace old cobblestones with new ones.

For people using AFO braces, canes, and walkers, these surfaces may be impossible to travel. For those in wheelchairs or mobility scooters, this can be a very bumpy ride, even a dangerous ride if the scooter isn’t stable. For tourists, these rough surfaces make public plazas and churches historically attractive. After all, when these were built, disabled people weren’t supposed to travel anywhere.

Many of these countries barely have accessible accessories (high toilets with bars or shower bars) available in hotel rooms. There aren’t any ADA standards there. They barely have sidewalks and most still maintain bricked streets.

Rough and rugged US National Parks also provide facilities for wheelchairs and some trails that accept human-pushed wheelchairs. They are not accommodating for powered mobility scooters and virtually impossible for AFO-brace users.

First introduced in the 1960’s, Mobility scooters offer freedom and independence, leading to improved quality of life for a growing number of people. Manufacturers are continually investing in research and development to enhance existing products and introduce new models and features. Even electric car research has trickled to mobility scooters by introducing longer-lasting and lighter lithium-ion batteries to extend power and range abilities. More companies are introducing folding scooters that may be stored in the boot of many cars. Some of these are called travel scooters. But are they easy to fold and unfold?

What’s Required to Transport a Typical Travel Mobility Scooter:

Remove the seat by lifting it off of the scooter
Remove the battery pack by lifting it off of the scooter
Undo the retaining clips that connect the front and rear halves of the scooter, separating the frame into 2 compact pieces
Fold the tiller (steering column)
Place the scooter component into vehicle

Basically, any person with the need for convenient disability travel would require a competent aid. There are new design revolutions that simplify the processes, if you aren’t very tall or big.

Yet the largest challenges that disability travel encounter are the many roads, hotels, dining areas, and recreation areas that define accessible within narrow definitions. For example, Disney parks are accessible – bathrooms and paths. The rides and shows are probably not. Some restaurants there may have some stairs.

I have spoken to people using mobility scooters and their realities are they wish they could use AFO or K-AFO instead. Ultimately, all these disability travel accessories are compromises and out-of-the-box compromises. They allow mobility challenged individuals some control to move around environments.

Many technologies are being explored to allow people with mobility challenges more independence. Some scooters have elevating seats so you can have eye-contact with people. There are also more heavy-duty models with solid suspensions to tackle rough and rugged terrains, while remaining comfortable and easy to maneuver. Advances in battery technology mean you can now cover substantial distances on a single charge too, offering greater freedom. In deed, greater hope exists for overcoming disability travel challenges. The world wasn’t really designed for us.

Among all the challenges that people with motion disabilities encounter is that handicap accessible usually does not follow ADA standards. People without these challenges, as in many things, can only view things through their constructions of reality. After accidents, they might be sharing your perspectives. They get better but you don’t. Thankfully physiatrists, orthodists, and manufacturers strive for better mobility devices to give those with disability travel challenges better solutions that promote movement.

As far as international traveling, much care and attention is still required. On an AFO, I found it impossible. Some people with scooters find it challenging. We, unfortunately, can’t expect the world to adapt to our conditions. Thankfully, in the USA, the Congress passed the ADA act. Since passing that act, people with all forms of disabilities may get accessibility options that were never considered before.

In the aging baby-boomer generation, deeper studies isolate issues of disability as a stigma. Having a disability is seen as socially inferior. There is a sense of discrimination toward those with physical or mental disabilities. Some disabled people try to adapt to the world around them, if they can. As one of the most overlooked minorities of the world, disabilities are by ways of genetics and environment. No one wants a disability.

When travelling to other countries, the stigma is probably unintentional. Mobile disability travel challenges are to try to overcome the many staircases, cobblestones, and other features that make areas tourist destinations. From bathrooms, hotel rooms, and many public spaces, one actually sees those features that are not adaptable.

For fear of falling or injury, while physically disabled people do attempt to adapt toward experiencing many of the world’s wonders, those remain from a chair staring at images on a tablet or computer. Mobile disability travel challenges will likely remain one of those perilous things that require extensive research for superior disability awareness.

Endurance and stamina over 60

“Yoong people gotta dance, dance. Old people gotta sit there and watch.” Frank Loesser, Most Happy Fella

Thinking about dancing, walking, exercising? It isn’t about gaining or losing. It’s about developing endurance and stamina over routines through time…and enjoying it. When you are over 60, there is a compendium of problems that restrict starting an exercise regimen as you reach 60. Nonetheless, there are many peers who have found that activity not only treats pains. It elevates moods, emotions, consciousness, and memories. You endure a better sense of living. Shall we dance?

Endurance and stamina should not be exclusive to the young. While, biochemically, there may be less hormonal energy in adults over 60, healthy people over 60 don’t just have to sit and watch. You can develop endurance and stamina at practically any age. It may just require more effort as you get older. Young and old can dance!

Lack of endurance and stamina may shift up and down in a lifetime. Many attribute the lack of energy, endurance, and stamina to poor diet and exercise habits. The battle with the bulge is a natural byproduct of aging for most people. Based on averages, people tend to lose 3 to 5 percent of lean muscle tissue (replaced by fat) every decade after age 30. Then something happens in your 40’s. After age 45, adults begin losing about one-quarter of a pound of muscle and gain that much body fat every year. By 60, you’d have naturally lost 4 pounds of muscle and gained about 4 pounds of fat from average natural body processes from 45 to 60. The adage that “the more you do diet and exercise” the victory of suppressing the bulges seems mire difficult. The loss of endurance and stamina over 60 seem to make movement more difficult over the years as you try to age better.

The term stamina is sometimes used interchangeably with endurance. Stamina deals with the concept of muscular strength or how much weight you can move at a 1-time interval or the amount of time that a given muscle or group of muscles can perform at maximum capacity. Imagine a runner losing breath and energy after speeding 500 feet or a weightlifter lifting 300 pounds once or twice. Stamina training builds strength in other ways than cardio-endurance does.

Endurance is best understood in relation to time. While stamina is defined as the amount of time that a given group of muscles can perform at or near maximum capacity, endurance is defined as the maximum amount of time that a given group of muscles can perform a certain repetitive action. An example of this might be a runner doing a marathon. Running over 26 miles is one of the best tests of human endurance. Stamina is brief and endurance is long. It takes endurance to go the extra mile(s).

Endurance training is associated with cardiovascular health. Endurance testing involves determining the amount of time a person can maintain an activity or perform a task or activity of daily living before becoming fatigued and needing to stop. The level of activity used to test endurance can be minimal to maximal. Endurance testing is often used by cardiologists.

Beginning to train for strength (stamina) and endurance (length of time and breathing) are your goals. Mixing endurance and stamina gives you easy roads to health at 50, at 60, and beyond. The idea is to follow a routine at least 2 or 3 times each week. And you can build stamina and endurance on a chair while getting a great workout for cardio, muscle strength, and weight loss.

There are many exercises for endurance and stamina that you can do at home. Some can be done in a chair. When you’re over 60, there are many options to gain strength and longer workout time with as little impact as possible. The nice thing about familiarizing your self with chair exercises is you can exercise while watching TV! No gym or large equipment necessary while building endurance and stamina. Weights can be a can of soup or a bottle of water. Standing or sitting, build endurance.

One key, research tends to indicate, for building physical endurance and stamina over 60 is regularity. Claims indicate that, with regular exercise, healthy people over 60 can regain some muscle mass.

But getting to 60 is still filled with many perils along the way. Disabling neuromuscular diseases such as the muscular dystrophies and multiple sclerosis can confound both stamina and endurance at any age.

Yet lifestyle based statistics, collected by National Council of Aging, show that 90% of Americans aged 55+ are at risk for hypertension, or high blood pressure. Diabetes affects 12.2 million Americans aged 60+, or 23% of the older population. According to the American Heart Association, for the 60 to 79-year-old age group, 70.2% of men and 70.9% of women have some form of cardiovascular disease. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 38% (among men and women over 60) are considered obese. Of persons ages 65 or older, 49.6% ever have doctor-diagnosed arthritis to some degree and about 20% have some form of fibromyalgia. Of these conditions, many doctors have suggested diets and exercises as part of a relief and maintenance regimen.

Approximately 75 million people are over 60, according to AARP. Most can develop active lifestyles.

Aiming toward the development of endurance among human skeletal muscles appear to indicate that, over time, lean muscle tissue will replace body fat percentages.

More extensive tapping into research is exploring skeletal muscle tone and cognition integrity. Sports programs are internationally trying to link skeletal muscle development and cognitive issues.

Obesity and aches at ages over 50 may be associated with decreases in key hormonal changes that occur in women and also men. The get-up-and-go drive delivered by adrenaline is specially noted in long-term memory storage and reaction to stimuli (as part of the stress cycle. As a hormone, adrenaline helps activate body and mind and, while endurance and stamina may help increase adrenal activity naturally. While there are many nutritional supplements that report aiding the production of adrenaline, efficacy and quality aren’t always assured. When playing with hormones, seek help from a physician.

In the baby-boomer over 60 generation that are healthy seem to know that endurance and stamina are crucial. We see many communities that cater to active adults by providing safe fitness and recreation facilities. Unlike the movies of yesteryear, there are more active adults than any previous generation engaging in endurance and stamina activities. Unfortunately, only 35 – 44% of adults 75 years or older are physically active, and 28-34% of adults ages 65-74 are physically active. Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. In 2013, research found adults in the following states to be most likely to report exercising 3 or more days a week for at least 30 minutes: Vermont (65.3%), Hawaii (62.2%), Montana (60.1%), Alaska (60.1%). The least likely were Delaware (46.5%), West Virginia (47.1%) and Alabama (47.5%). The national average for regular exercise is 51.6% (among all ages). Activity and diet may account for younger attitudes at older ages within a healthy peer group.

Adopting a lifestyle to increase endurance and stamina at age 60 from previously low or zero activity levels is a difficult challenge. With chronic aches and pains…overwhelming. Old habits die hard. New habits are even harder to form. Yet when doctors take a stricter tone that your lack of endurance and stamina may be fatal, you might try. When you realize your clothes sizes are shifting to big-and-tall or plus-sizes, that may be even more daunting. Developing endurance and stamina via routine activities three-times weekly requires constant motivation and stubbornness to move from low to moderate to high. Increasing endurance and stamina at or over 60 is difficult but very possible. You will notice a significant differences within a year.

A senior fitness program called Silver Sneakers is available at many gyms across the country, It consists of classes that cater to people over 60. Silver Sneakers enables seniors to access gyms at around $25 per year. Membership? Many insurance carriers and supplemental plans cover Silver Sneakers programs. But…Medicare Advantage plans may cover SilverSneakers. SilverSneakers is considered a basic fitness service and Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, does not cover this benefit. However, Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, may provide this benefit.

Many Supplemental Medicare insurance plans do cover Silver Sneakers programs, based by States. You might seek this benefit if you are searching for supplement plans to Medicare.

Silver Sneakers isn’t absolutely necessary, You can seek and boost endurance and stamina from home and exercise seated or standing. YouTube is a massive source of exercise videos. What you need to do is simply say you will. For starters both endurance and stamina can be developed following activity routines two or three times a week. Endurance and stamina over 60? Beyond the pains, possibilities exist.

Beyond gyms and exercises, many hail the virtues of Walking For Health. While many people have mobile disabilities, if you can walk 20 to 30 minutes per day, it offers many benefits at any age.

Sadly there are those who are disabled by various different diseases that are beyond the scope of cure or treatment. Some seek adaptive sports (such as wheelchair basketball) as exercise options. Not many can adapt. Those that do are exceptional at overcoming impossible challenges to be active again.

Being over 60 may seem challenging itself. Developing endurance and stamina through routine activity may seem challenging. It may even feel challenging. You can treat and heal many of your woes and anxieties by getting you and your body to move almost every day. The sun will come out. Celebrate it by taking some time to be active each day.

Transitioning to regular diet and activity routines require concerted efforts to break old habits, preferences, and tastes. In addition to muscle aches and excess weight, prevalent within mostly sedentary work groups and lifestyles, those transitions may be painful. Learning to develop endurance and stamina toward and over age 60 are fundamental to assure comfortable longevity. Yet, in retirement, that endurance and stamina activity are essential to deliver more satisfying years and happier living.

At older ages, routine activities help elevate moods and outlooks. It even may help reduce aches and pains. Developing endurance and stamina over 60, as impossible as it seems, is very possible. It doesn’t require much effort. All you have to do is make the choice to activate your body almost each day. Overcoming challenges may reap many rewards. Soon you’ll forget that you are exercising.

It’s all part of (trying) to live happily after.

Flogging trees as healthy exercise

Feeling challenged? Want to flog a tree? Tree flogging may be a healthy way to exercise! Excited?

One early morning, at a public park, I met a woman flogging a tree. Very odd. I asked her what she was doing. “I’ve been flogging trees,” she replied. Flogging trees. That’s a new one! She continued, “I’ve been doing this for the past year. Four times a week. It has been my main exercise since my accident that resulted in a leg injury.”

For some formerly active people, an injury van be a depressing life-changer. Being active is more than motivational. It’s integrated into your body and mind. Those inactive may, if pushed, will temporarily respond and extinguish their behavior. An active person confronting a permanent injury or sickness, will find anything to substitute the loss. This desperation is challenged and there are new adaptations. One woman conjured a rather creative result – flogging trees as a healthy, productive activity. Tree flogging manages calories and tones several muscle groups.

Very unique, it’s one person’s personal attempt to overcome a disability that stopped her from jogging. For this woman flogging trees is a positive and healthy alternative lifestyle, yielding great results. Many disabled people reach out to adapt, often overcoming amazing challenges. Using a flogger to flog trees is one’s personal method to whip herself back to an active lifestyle. People facing inabilities often extend beyond the norms of their existence. Others find new inner possibilities and satisfactions they were previously unaware of.

In the past, tree flogging was a term used with an axe. It meant to cut a tree down. This tree flogging did not visibly damage the tree. She used a form of whip – a flogger. She was striking the tree with the flogger. Odd? Strange? It deserved more insight.

The tree flogging woman had once been a runner (ran 3 marathons) and told me she had fractured her right tibia and knee ligament. As a result, when recovery wasn’t as expected, she bought a flogger for practice against walls and other hard vertical surfaces. She uses it for muscle build-up and cardiovascular wellness. She flogs trees as often as she can. I must admit, this middle-aged woman had really significant arms and shoulders. We didn’t pursue the subject much further. She seemed very intent on flogging that old tree. (At least she wasn’t speaking to it.)

Any type of physical activity uses energy, tree flogging is a physical activity, somehow akin to throwing or batting a ball. Baseball often requires vigorous physical movements, so playing regularly is an effective way to burn calories. I compare flogging a tree to pitching a baseball without having to retrieve the ball. This delivers a burning rate of about 204 calories. For the flogger, flogging a tree is lower impact than baseball but a decent calorie burner. With experience and technique, you might be able to burn up to 30% to 50% more calories depending on speed, repetitions, and aim.

Apart from this odd activity, her calorie theory is somewhat correct. Jogging at 5 miles per hour, 45 minutes, a 120 pound person burns 327 calories with moderate impact. General walking burns only 122 calories.

Floggers are generally considered to have multiple falls or tails, and includes everything from about 5 falls to over 20 falls. These allow balance and add weight. They are generally longer than average whips for greater difference between the user and the tree. Low impact flogging uses craft technology to reduce wrist or carpal tunnel injuries. In a balanced flogger, the handle offsets the weight of the falls. This puts the balance point at the inside leading edge of the handle and puts less stress on the user’s wrist.

A recreational flogger must be chosen if you engage in flogging trees for their safety. It is suggested that flogging should not focus on one tree. You should rotate among other trees in the park with thick trunks. Many floggers have soft lashes and softer leathers to help prevent tree damage. They are far different than what you see in those old sea adventure movies.

A good flogger has rhythm. Sending the whip around at too fast or slow a speed can cause tangles and unintended blows. Tree flogging requires meditation and focus, as with most exercises. Flogging trees is not for everyone. It requires discipline and motivation. The physical exertion and catharsis of this type of exercise seems considerable.

Once you do find your rhythm, you must also regard the width and breadth of your flogging action. Flogging is an extreme exercise that activates your arm, shoulder, and back muscles. You must always be conscious of your posture. Twisting when flogging may have slight muscular development on your abdominal muscle group. Think of golf or baseball batting.

The woman added that flogging trees helps lower her anxiety and negative stress. Though there are no current studies to support this. A 2014 study presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Austin, Texas, found the practice of this type of multilateral, extreme exercise alters blood flow in the brain, which can lead to an altered state of consciousness similar to a “runner’s high” or yoga. The brain changes seen in the prefrontal and limbic/paralimbic pain regions were activated when participants either received pain or gave pain by the roll of a dice. Tranquility is felt due to the high that is caused by the lack of blood flow to the area, therefore reducing anxiety.

In some ways, extreme and unique measures may help people overcome physical disabilities as viable alternative solutions to problems tapping into deeper consciousness.

I did caution the woman that tree flogging might be considered extreme endurance physical exercise that may lead to other problems in her future. She noted that she has been advised of these risks but she pampers her body with massage and TENS after exercise. “Living active,” she told me, always include risky steps. Flogging trees is her thing to overcome her mobility problem.

It is unknown whether local park authorities sanction tree flogging. I would guess there have been close to no incidents of tree flogging (at least in public areas). Do trees feel the emotional effects of being flogged? Do they have sensitivities to consider?

If you are excited about tree flogging as an exercise, I believe floggers may be in some home for use by discriminating adults that might engage in consensual role play or alternative lifestyles.. There are guides to find a flogger for your tree flogging needs. There are many online resources including Amazon among others. Practice and try your purchase to test suitability for tree flogging.

Indeed, seeing people flogging a tree is extraordinarily peculiar and strange. I’d say bizarre might be appropriate. Yet, for some with slight mobility problems due to leg injuries, there are lusts to find ways to tone muscle and build cardiovascular endurance. Tree flogging helps provide those while building discipline and consciousness. It burns a fair amount of calories to help you manage weight.

It is healthy exercise that you can do solo. A flogger is the only equipment you need and most are portable and light to carry. I’d suggest storing it in a bag. Prepare for spectators curious about a person flogging a tree.

Imagine. You’re physically active. You walk, jog, run, skate, bike. You set goals to compete others and your self. Then you have an accident. Those activities are past tense but they were very significant to your daily living. There are other options. While tree flogging doesn’t come to mind immediately, this woman’s sporting approach to flogging a tree doesn’t seem so ridiculous after all.

People with disabilities seek to be as normal as possible. This woman found flogging trees to be a life saving experience for her. It keeps her in shape. It focuses the mind. It even relieves stress. It burns calories. Tree flogging is an outdoor activity. She can set competitive goals for her flogging abilities. Flogging a tree really isn’t as bizarre as you might think.

When mobility is compromised and you seek new forms of healthy activities, out-of-the-box thinking alternatives often seem valid in those circumstances. Following conventional ideas may not apply to special needs. So formerly active individuals are forced to go beyond the norms into the rarely tried. Tree flogging is but one of many. The trials and results are often amazing.

Sensory and mobility challenges are vast in a world that doesn’t necessarily shape itself for the exceptional tasks of health and activity strives among the many who can’t do what normality dictates. People with disabilities of any kind try to find their distinct paths – often less traveled. More often risky to the points of absurdity.

Flogging trees as healthy exercise for other people, without physical challenges? Who knows? It might be a new passing fad. All you need is the will, a flogging device, and a solid old tree to begin. At least one person is already flogging trees. Want to be another? It isn’t as absurd as you might think. Flogging does require practice.

Does flogging interest you?

Check with your physician before a challenging physical activity. As with any exercise regimen, start slowly.