Not sure if many out there know about the Miami Project to cure paralysis, it is basically one of the leading research facilities dedicated to finding a cure for those living with a spinal cord injury. I receive updates from their research department on their latest developments, and have in the past attended a conference where some of their researchers spoke. Fascinating information, you can learn more about them here: http://www.miamiproject.miami.edu/
What I found was a great resource guide created for those living with SCI on the benefits of exercise and listing multiple references for equipment, adaptive activities, or community accessible gyms. you can see it here: http://www.themiamiproject.org/document.doc?id=290
Again, a great resource. Sadly many of the great exercise programs and facilities are in other countries or are limited in the U.S. There is such a need for more Adaptive Fitness trainers to work with those recovering from serious injury or living with a SCI and there is a lot of research coming out to prove the benefits of exercise to decrease secondary complications for those living with SCI.
Check this out: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15456347 a quote from this article "This population has been characterised as extremely sedentary with an increased incidence of secondary complications including diabetes mellitus, hypertension and atherogenic lipid profiles."
This does not have to be, there are many exercises that a person with a SCI can perform. Following a fitness assessment and testing including consultation with your Doctor or Physical Therapist, an Adaptive Fitness trainer can design and implement a challenging fitness program to improve bone density, cardiac output, strength, flexibility and function.
An aggressive rehab program following your injury does not have to be it!, take control and begin pushing yourself and your body to the limit.
Take a look at Nick Scott and his story here: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s
Dedication, commitment to yourself and your goals, and consistency through it all can achieve your goals.
Earlier in this post I referenced some exercise facilities over seas and in the U.S.
you don't NEED to go to one of these facilities (it would be awesome, but not everyone can afford the expense), a great Adaptive Fitness program can be had right in your own home and with the right guidance.
Don't let obstacles set you back!, utilize the resources out there (and provided at the top of the page), contact trainers and find one specializing in Adaptive Fitness talk to everyone you know about what you want to achieve and find a way to start pushing yourself to be stronger, more independent, and healthier than ever.
Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!