We all know the numerous benefits of exercise: more energy, cardiovascular health, decrease in depression and anxiety, improved social life and a healthy body weight, just to name a few. Committing to an exercise routine can often be challenging, especially for people with disabilities. However, according to Disaboom, the largest online community for people with disabilities, having a proper exercise routine is vital.
A great way to get in shape is to join a local gym. According to the Disabled Discrimination Act, every fitness facility is required to make “reasonable adjustments” to their services to enable people with disabilities to enjoy the use of its services. Unfortunately, “reasonable adjustments” is often left to interpretation. It’s important to ask specific questions pertaining to your needs. Is the gym completely wheelchair accessible? How many trainers specialize in adaptive fitness? What classes does the gym offer?
Many people are more inclined to work out from the comfort of home. To purchase equipment, visit www.rechtech.org. The comprehensive website offers a wide-ranging list of adaptive recreation, fitness and sports equipment. Additional resources for purchasing adaptive exercise and recreational equipment can be found under Disaboom’s “sports and recreation” section at http://www.disaboom.com/Living/.
Another way many people incorporate exercise into their life is through sports. In most cities one can find sports specifically tailored for the disabled community from adaptive skiing to wheelchair basketball and sled hockey. In addition to the physical benefits, sports also have a social benefit allowing people to connect with friends and family. Many support groups rely on sports as a form of exercise to help build lifelong skills and boost confidence.
All exercise routines must be individually tailored, so it is important to check with your doctor to determine the best exercises for you. The doctor will usually start with a fitness assessment to determine the best plan, taking into account current medications and limitations.
For more information on exercise including the benefits, precautions, exercises and adaptive sports for people with disabilities log onto Disaboom’s health section at http://www.disaboom.com/info/education/.
Launched in 2007, Disaboom is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities and includes numerous articles and resources covering all aspects of disability. The site also includes an interactive forum where people can chat with others going through similar situations. For more information, log onto disaboom.com today.