Michael is 33 years old and a farmer from Northampton. Farming has been in his family all of his life and he has fond memories of spending time on his Grandad’s farm as child. Michael currently lives and works on a farm with his wife, and 11 year old son. Unfortunately, it was on this farm that Michael suffered his accident that changed his life.
As he explains: “I had my accident on the 14th of October 2019 whilst fixing some guttering above the calf sheds. I fell 28 foot and spent the next 3 months in Coventry hospital flat on my back. In December 2019 I got a place at Stoke Mandeville and I spent a further 3 months there. I’m T7 complete and I’m now a full-time wheel chair user.”
Michael looks back on Stoke Mandeville as a time where his strength increased and he was able to enjoy sport and fitness as part of his rehabilitation within the spinal unit.
“It was at Stoke Mandeville that I started to work hard on transfers and fitness, and I also enjoyed the sports on a Wednesday afternoon at the Stadium. During this time I started using the resistance bands with the Wheel Power Physical Activity Advisor Bob.”
Bob is one of two WheelPower Physical Activity Advisors based at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville hospital. The advisors support and encourage the patients to take part in sport and activity, and advise on what exercises are best for them in their recovery. On Michael, Bob tells us “that he was a hard worker in rehab and exercising was an important focus for him. As a farmer he was very physically active before his accident and I am sure that he will go on to some sort of wheelchair sport when the pandemic allows. I know he really liked wheelchair rugby and showed really good potential to be a good player in the future.”
During the pandemic Michael has been keeping fit on the farm and was looking for new exercise equipment that he could use at home without being able to access the gym whilst closed. As he explains, “I had never been to a gym before being a farmer as I didn’t have the time, but before lockdown was going regularly to help my fitness.”
After hearing about the bands from Bob, Michael applied for a set of bands from WheelPower and has been using them ever since. The arrival of his free set has provided a way for him to exercise and maintain his fitness during these challenging times.
“The WheelPower bands are really handy if you don’t have the space for larger gym equipment, which I don’t! I do several different exercises with the bands but my favourite is the seated row as it really helps with core muscles.”
Looking ahead to a time after the pandemic Michael has said that he plans to go to try out for the Northampton Saints wheelchair rugby team. But, for now he continues to stay fit through his hard work on the farm and through daily resistance band exercises, until a time when he can return to the court to enjoy playing rugby once more.
To conclude, “I’ve been quite fortunate as my job as a farmer as the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t affected me doing what I love. I also now have time to keep my fitness up with the bands and I thank WheelPower for gifting them to me.”
Michael's Favourite WheelPower Exercises
Apply for your FREE set of Resistance Bands
Apply now for a set of resistance bands so that you can keep active at home during this difficult time. If your application is successful we will send you a resistance band set which will include hand grips, ankle straps and a door anchor that make it easier to target different muscle groups, including biceps and triceps, back and shoulders, chest and legs and abdominals. Resistance training builds resistive power in body muscles and there are many benefits to adding these exercises to your weekly routine.
The bands can be used for the exercises features in our Resistance Band Exercises for Wheelchair Users film or for yoga, warming up before exercising, strength training or physical therapy rehabilitation. They are designed for aerobic and anaerobic exercise, physical fitness and weight loss.
You must be a UK resident to apply.