Highlands County, Florida, has a great nonprofit group called the Handicapped Americans Love of Life Organization or HALLO. I think one of the greatest things this group has done is to set up and sponsor a passive exercise room for people with physical disabilities who can't otherwise exercise. This program has a total of 11 different machines with six different types of machines. Some machines work the upper body, others concentrate on the lower body and one just improves circulation.
Like most exercise, passive exercise machines are designed to isolate muscle groups in order to tone and firm them. Passive exercise machines also improve flexibility, aid circulation, reduce fluid build-up and improve posture. The difference with these machines is that they do the work for you.
For example, on the walking machine, you lay down and strap your legs into the two legs of the machine which then puts your legs through a walking motion without putting weight, stress or strain on your muscles or joints. Using this machine for 10 minutes is the equivalent of walking one mile.
The first visit to the exercise room is free. After that, it costs $3 per session, which may be covered by your insurance company. Unlike many fitness clubs, there is no contract to sign.
Run by volunteers, the exercise room is open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is located behind Highlands Regional Medical Center.