Resources for Exercising with Disability
Wanting to exercise is a worthy goal but often seems unattainable. For an individual with a disability, attempting an exercise routine can be even more intimidating. But this does not mean it is impossible. Below are some quick tips that you may want to put into practice regarding exercise:
1. Find exercises that will work for you and that you will enjoy enough to do consistently. The Active Living Alliance guides you to a directory of exercises that can be performed in light of disability.
2. Find resources that will aid you in your physical goals. If you are bound to a wheelchair, you can still exercise. All you need is different resources. In this article you will find many helpful tips for exercising while in a wheelchair.
3. If you prefer to workout at home, you may be able to find exercise DVDs for people with disabilities at your library. If not, you can order them at:
- Tai Chi video- http://www.amazon.com/Chair-Chi/dp/B000FEPXW6/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1316208472&sr=8-13
- Chair aerobics- http://www.amazon.com/Chair-Aerobics-Everyone-Physically-Challenged/dp/B001DTWNQ6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1316208472&sr=8-2
4. If there is an exercise you are really interested in doing, conduct research first to see if there is a way it can be integrated into your life. For example, there is a DVD that teaches Martial Arts basics to wheelchair users.
5. Find a partner to support you in your physical activity goals. This could be a friend who helps care for you or an individual who also has a disability and wants to incorporate more physical activity into his or her life.
6. Write exercise sessions on your calendar, just as you would an appointment.
7. Be sure to reward yourself! Exercising consistently with a disability can be very challenging and deserves to be rewarded. Perhaps you could treat yourself to a good meal, a movie, a book, or anything that would delight you as your goals are reached.
8. Remind yourself that no goal is too small. Is your goal to use small free-weights for ten minutes twice a week? If so, that is wonderful! If you start with smaller goals, you will build your endurance and eventually be reaching for bigger ones.
You can also view numerous how-to video clips that feature exercise for people of all abilities. This is a helpful, fun, and free way to learn more about exercising with a disability. This website features videos of yoga for polio, several different exercises that can be done for back pain, stretches for muscular dystrophy, cross training that can be done in a wheelchair, and Pilates for people with disabilities. Take advantage of this wonderful resource.
In addition, you may find other helpful resources at www.ncpad.org (information on disability and physical activity), and www.collagevideo.com (more exercise DVDs for disabled individuals).
Before embarking on a workout regimen, be sure to consult your doctor. He or she may have unique insight on how you can get fit safely and effectively.
Do you have tips that have worked for you regarding exercise? If so, will you share with us what has helped you? Please leave a comment in the “reply” section below.