What You Should Know About Exercise for Disabled People

By Alexander Naz

People who have some form of disability have very wide-ranging physical capacities and individual preferences there is no exercise for disabled people that fits all. However, it is vital that exercise be addressed from a cross-disability perspective. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention stated that adults all over the disability spectrum have the tendency to be more sedentary physically than non-disabled individuals, in spite of the fact that exercise would be greatly beneficial to both groups. Many causes and solutions to the physical inactivity issue are applicable to people with various kinds of impairments.

Benefits of Exercise for Disabled People

It is insisted by the NCPAD, or National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, that “exercise is for EVERY body”. Exercise routines that are carefully planned and appropriately selected could in fact help most people who suffer from one form of disability or another. The NCPAD identified several benefits that include:

· Improvement in lung and cardiovascular health

· Weight loss

· Improvement in mood

· Better capabilities to do daily activities such as wheeling or walking

· Prevention of secondary health issues

· Better sense of wellbeing

Obstacles to Exercise for Disabled People

The UKRTICIL, or University of Kansas Research and Training Center on Independent Living, identified three types of very common obstacles between exercise and disabled persons. These are:

· Physical Barriers – these are physical area or environment conditions that complicate or restricts movement, participation or access

· Resource Related Barriers – these include insufficient equipment, social support, transportation, and money

· Attitudinal Barriers – these are formed by the attitudes and perceptions of members of the society to disabled persons and those that disabled individuals have on themselves. Many non-disabled individuals for instance think that disabled persons should remain outside of public places, passive and inactive. This allows some disabled persons to be discouraged and decline activities that they should in fact pursue.

Creating an Exercise for Disabled People Program

If you are a fitness professional, there is a lot that you can do in removing barriers between exercise and disabled individuals. You may consult various sources to create a fitness regimen that is accessible to everybody, such as the Exercise Management for People with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities, which is a book from the American College of Sports Medicine. Asking disabled persons about their particular needs and expectations is well recommended by many.

Creating a Personal Exercise Program

If you are a disabled person and want to be more fit physically, you should first talk with your doctor or physical therapist about your particular capabilities, limitations, and exercise interests. It does not have to be a strenuous activity to benefit from it. It could be wheeling or walking for 30 minutes or doing household chores for half an hour. If you like to participate in athletics, you may talk with a group such as Disabled Sports USA. For practical tips on exercise for disabled people, there are a lot of sources that you can tap on the internet.



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