Living with a physical disability may limit or alter the type of training you can do but it should not stop you from being physically active. There are a number of alternative exercise programs and classes available for you to get involved in. Many of the programs will even supply a handicap van to bring you back and forth from your home to the gym.
Staying fit and active isn’t only important for young people; it’s something that grows in importance as we age. As an active senior citizen you can add years to your life by working out at least a few times a week. Of course, you won’t be bench pressing 400 pounds but you can do things to strengthen your bones and fight off muscle atrophy. There are groups that come to nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities to lead workouts that cater to the needs of senior citizens and people with disabilities. While exercising is important for older people it is also beneficial for younger people with disabilities.
One issue historically faced by many disabled people looking for a place to work out was a lack of equipment catering to their needs. Some gyms would have ramps on the outside for wheelchair access, but all of the equipment inside was designed for people who can function without needing any assistance. Today more gyms are providing machines that are designed for individuals with disabilities. Some gyms or trainers working there will offer free assistance to disabled people who are looking to train. There are other gyms that provide set times weekly for disabled people to come in and take part in a class where their needs are met and the program is designed to work on what they need.
Another great exercise option for the disabled is water exercises. Working out in the water has many benefits. For one, you can’t fall in the water. If you are unable to stand or you don’t feel as strong and comfortable on your feet due to an injury, being in the water and floating will help you. Even the people who can’t swim can participate by wearing a life vest or using various flotation devices.
Once you’re in the water there are many different exercises you can do to strengthen your entire body and get in a great cardiovascular workout. The most obvious pool exercise is swimming, which is a full body workout in itself. You can tone your entire body by swimming and build your stamina up at the same time.
You can focus on a single muscle group with pool workouts, too. Let’s say you want to strengthen your arms. A simple drill would be to stand in the water reaching up to your shoulders and stretch your arms out. Moving your arm in a circular motion repeatedly builds strength because the water provides resistance and you have to use force to complete the movement. The same type of drills can be used to strengthen your legs and ankles.
Don’t let a disability hold you back from staying fit and active. These are only a few examples of exercise options you can do.