Currently, I am “snowbirding” and enjoying my time in Florida. It’s funny when I talk to friends and family back home in New York. They ask me how I am doing and what I am doing now. Most of the time, I’m outside sitting in the sun or I’m on one of my daily strolls. Occasionally I order my dinner online and pick it up. I am never one to sit still and I’m always on the go thanks to my Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair with iLevel® technology.
Living with Muscular Dystrophy
I have been snowbirding from New York to Florida for a few years now. When I’m in New York, I’m always on the go except during the colder months once the leaves start to change. Basically, I go into hibernation and don’t really leave my house too much due to my body’s physical reaction to cold weather. With muscular dystrophy, I don’t have the muscle to keep my body warm. During winter hibernation, I prepare all my food for lunch and dinner and I sit in front of the computer to get work done. Overall, I don’t move very much. This usually results in a little bit of weight gain because my level of activity comes to a screeching halt.
My Activities in Florida
When I am down in Florida for the winter, I feel much better physically. Believe me, it still gets cold down here in the mornings, even in the high 30s sometimes. Usually by 11 a.m. the temperature reaches the 60s. This is perfect hoodie weather for me. I notice that my weight seems to stay consistent during the winters in Florida. When the weather is warmer, I can go out and do the activities I usually do. When I’m in Florida, I fish a lot. I fish fresh and salt water. Some days I drive my power wheelchair to the lake or the ocean after my morning stroll just to see how the waves are and the condition of the water for fishing.
My Power Wheelchair Keeps me Active
You might wonder if I’m riding in my motorized wheelchair, how am I getting a workout or burning calories? Any time I stop and accelerate my power wheelchair I’m using my core muscles. I’m also using my arm to push my joystick forward and backwards. It may not seem like much movement to the average person but it’s enough movement to make a difference for someone in a power chair. Plus, I exert even more effort when I go off a paved path in my power chair. I notice that if I’m out all day in my motorized wheelchair, I have a bigger appetite than if I’m sitting at home working on my computer. All this activity helps me maintain a steady body weight and it allows me to maintain my independence. I can continue to do transfers by myself and overall, I have a better quality of life.
Eventually, the snow will melt in New York and I will head north but I will maintain consistency in my activities. Thanks to my Edge 3 Power Wheelchair, I can achieve the best quality of life.
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.