Physical Activities for Adults with Disabilities: What You Should Know
In the United States, almost 21 million adults between 18 and 64 have a disability. Some people require wheelchairs, and others have difficulty walking, seeing, or hearing. Having a disability, on the other hand, does not imply that one is doomed to ill health. In truth, there are numerous modified and traditional physical activities available for persons with disabilities. To provide a comprehensive overview of the topic, we’ll address frequently asked questions concerning fitness for people with impairments in this blog.
What Do the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommend for Adults with Disabilities?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Daily moderate physical activity has considerable health advantages. The CDC advises 30-40 minutes of moderately vigorous activity or 20 minutes of rigorous training each day for people with impairments. Maintaining a regular exercise program that includes longer or more intense workouts has additional health benefits.
What Are the Advantages of Physical Activities for Disabled Adults?
Regular exercise provides a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional advantages to those with disabilities. A few of these recreation benefits for people with impairments are listed below:
- Heart disease, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes are reduced risks.
- Increased stamina and muscle strength in people suffering from chronic, debilitating illnesses
- Arthritis-related joint swelling is reduced.
- Anxiety and sadness symptoms are lessened.
- Cognitive performance and awareness have improved.
- Endorphins improve one’s mood and self-perception.
- Happiness and well-being in general
- Stigmatization and negative preconceptions are less prevalent.
- Friendships and social integration have improved.
- Interactions with classmates and fitness staff that are enjoyable
- Isolation and social retreat are lessened.
- Higher degrees of self-sufficiency and a higher standard of living
What Exercises are the Most Beneficial for People with Disabilities?
When it comes to physical activity, keep in mind that persons with disabilities have various abilities. Aerobic, strength, and flexibility are the three basic types of exercise, and let’s look at each category in more detail.
Compared to 54 percent of persons without impairments, 38 percent of adults with disabilities do not engage in enough aerobic activity. As a result, people with impairments have a threefold increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
Experts recommend that non-disabled adults exercise 2.5 hours per week at a moderate intensity, 1.25 hours at a strong power, or a combination of the two. People with impairments may not be able to do this, but there are still alternatives to acquiring aerobic exercise.
Exercises to Strengthen Muscles
Only 14 percent of persons with disabilities meet the muscle-strengthening recommendations for optimum health, compared to 23% of adults without disabilities. According to the CDC, adults should engage in moderate or high-intensity exercises involving all major muscle groups two or more times each week. People with impairments benefit from strength training because it helps them gain muscle and enhance their endurance.
Wheelchair users can engage in muscle-strengthening workouts that are as effective as going to the gym. Shoulder presses, bicep curls, pull-downs, and leg extensions are a few examples. Finally, muscle-strengthening exercise aids persons with impairments in increasing muscle and bone mass, preventing falls and improving balance.
Exercises to Improve Flexibility
Flexibility is just as important as aerobic activity and muscular strengthening for fitness for people with impairments. Flexibility allows the body to become more flexible and allows muscles and joints to move more freely. Flexibility exercises can often be rather calming.
What are the Obstacles to Physical Fitness for People with Disabilities?
Despite the numerous benefits of exercise, individuals with disabilities frequently face obstacles that prevent them from getting the necessary amount of physical activity. Below, we’ll go over each of these roadblocks in further depth.
People with disabilities are sometimes unaware of the accessible exercise spaces. Accessible gyms, community centers, and walking trails are just a few examples of these facilities. Even if they are aware of these areas, they may not know how to use them.
Anxiety in Social Situations
Due to social stigmas, many people are hesitant to participate in physical activities for persons with impairments. They don’t want to be viewed as “weird” or “out of place” among other exercisers. On the other hand, exercise is one of the most effective strategies to overcome these worries since it can lower tension and anxiety while also raising self-esteem and improving mental clarity.
Some people with impairments may be afraid of falling or have attempted painful workouts in the past, and others may lack energy as a result of their handicap. When picking exercise alternatives to meet a person’s needs, health providers must consider their ability level.
What can doctors do to help disabled adults who want to exercise?
According to research, 82 percent of persons with impairments are more inclined to engage in physical activity if their doctor suggests it. In light of this, healthcare providers should always urge patients to take advantage of recreation benefits for persons with disabilities, as long as the activity is appropriate for their abilities. It’s also critical for people with impairments to get medical advice before beginning an exercise plan.