North Philadelphia has a new hero that doesn’t let his wheelchair get in the way of his fitness. Tyrone Shoemake takes pride in posting fitness videos on his Facebook page. These aren’t any ordinary fitness videos, they are inspirational videos of Tyrone demonstrating pull-ups while still strapped to his wheelchair. The most recent post is of Tyrone doing 15 legit pullups on a pull-up bar at a local park in his hometown. His unique technique is really something that needs to be seen by everyone.
Some people might say doing pullups is not a big deal, but it is extraordinary when the person is strapped to a heavy wheelchair and still has the strength to do pull-ups. In addition, he climbs up the pull-up bar using, even more, strength. It’s very inspirational for wheelchair users that feel less motivated to focus on their fitness.
Tyrone has an interesting story that is surprising. At the age of 17, Tyrone was involved in a dispute over drugs that resulted in him being shot in his spinal cord. He was a small-time drug dealer that was indicted for dealing drugs. He served more than 7 years in prison for the crime.
While in prison Tyrone decided to make the best of his time by assisting other wheelchair users in prison to become acclimated to life in a wheelchair behind bars. Tyrone exercised frequently while in prison and created an alter ego named “Upper Body Boy.” He fantasized about what he would do when he finally got out of prison.
His inspiring exercise videos started when some of his friends made a bet with him that he couldn’t perform pull-ups anymore because he had gone soft while in prison. Tyrone proved them wrong by demonstrating his unique pull-up technique. Currently, Tyrone posts his videos on his Facebook page to inspire and encourage other wheelchair users to be active and healthy.
Obesity in America
Tyrone is one person that is changing the minds of wheelchair users around the United States and beyond. His ability to show others that his wheelchair doesn’t hold him back from being fit encourages everyone to focus on staying fit.
The important message that Tyrone shares with others help bring attention to the impact of obesity in America. There are many factors that make a person overweight or obese. Currently, obesity remains one of the biggest threats to the health of children and adults in the United States. Surprisingly, 38% of adults are obese in America.
Most wheelchair users find ways to stretch and exercise daily. This is great news! However, research reveals that 45% of adults are not sufficiently active to achieve health benefits. Individuals should consult with their doctor to confirm the proper amount of exercise that is required for their body type and current health status.
Benefits of Pullups
Pullups is known as one of the most difficult exercises to perform. If you have ever participated in a gym class at school, you most likely learned how difficult it is for many people. Chances are you watched many students or people at the park attempt a few pull-ups only to let go of the bar quickly because of lack of upper body strength. As a wheelchair user, especially if you use a manual wheelchair, you have the benefit of naturally building up your upper body strength.
This hard to do exercise provides benefits to your upper body and back. It is known to be highly beneficial for wheelchair users because it helps improve posture as well as build arm strength for transferring to and from your wheelchair.
Finding Your Exercise Routine
Tyrone might have already encouraged you to try doing pullups to benefit your health. But you don’t have to stop there! Try adding other forms of exercise such as wheelchair yoga. This exercise trend is becoming increasingly popular in the disabled community. Wheelchair yoga allows you to stretch, tone and strengthen your muscles. In addition, it helps you to breathe deeply and meditate while performing the different poses.
Don’t Let Anything Hold You Back
There are many athletes and exercise motivators that are wheelchair users. Their enthusiasm and encouragement become contagious as it motivates other wheelchair users to reach their full potential when it comes to exercising on a regular basis. Some wheelchair users become depressed and less motivated to exercise. Don’t let anything hold you back. As a wheelchair user, you can still be active and do things that benefit your health and keep you going. The secret is to find something you enjoy doing and keep it up.
Physical Activities for Wheelchair Users
Chances are you are feeling motivated at this moment as your read this article. This is great! If you aren’t sure where to start on your new exercise regimen, consider the ideas listed below.
- Wheelchair yoga
- Strength training
- Resistance training
- Stretching exercises
Check with your local community center to find more exercise and sports activities that are adapted for wheelchair users. You will be surprised to learn that some cities or towns offer adapted scuba diving, horseback riding and more.
Now that you are motivated to exercise and reach your fitness goals, it’s time to consult with your doctor. You should always consult with your doctor first before doing any physical activity. Once you get the approval from your doctor focus on including exercise or sports into your daily regimen. Then you can create your own alter ego, as Tyrone created “Upper Body Boy.”