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6. How can I exercise and will it do any good?

Exercise is difficult for paralyzed people and specialized equipment are necessary and useful. First, most people should get standing frames so that they can stand for an hour or two every day. A device called a Glider 6000 allows both standing and some leg movements for people.  Second, functional electrical stimulation (FES) can be used to activate leg muscles and the legs can be stimulated to pedal an exercise bike.  Third, standing and walking in a swimming pool allows people to walk in an environment where the water supports their weight. Fourth, weight-supported treadmill ambulation training has been shown to improve walking recovery. Finally, people should think about setting aside a month or two every year where they would essentially engage in full-time training. During the rest of the year, they need to maintain the gains that they have achieved by spending an hour or so per day on exercising. Although there have been few formal studies of the subject, many people with spinal cord injury have reported significant increases in the girth of their legs when they use FES regularly.

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