Physically impaired individuals account for over a fifth of the population of the United Kingdom (nearly 14 million people). However, they are currently the least active group in society. Disabled people are twice as likely as non-disabled persons to be inactive. According to a recent study, this is even though about 83 percent of persons with physical disabilities want to be more active and believe it is vital.
Exercise’s Benefits for Disabled People
Being physically active offers numerous advantages, including lower cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease, enhanced joints, mental health, and weight management. These factors are more critical for those with physical disabilities, as inactivity raises the risk of illnesses like heart disease. As a result, according to GP Dr. Jeff Foster, many physically challenged persons must deliberately pursue a more aggressive exercise plan.
“Certain limbs or sections of the body may have limited usage depending on the physical handicap, making them more prone to contractures, muscle atrophy, and long-term immobilization and loss of function. As a result, staying fit can help lower these risks in addition to physiotherapy, “he declares
Finally, being healthy has social and mental health benefits since it releases endorphins and improves one’s sense of well-being.
“There is an elevated risk of poor mood or depression in individuals with any chronic medical illness, and exercise is a positive and natural strategy to help minimize this problem.”
Fitness also contributes to forming a community of like-minded individuals by serving as a fun social activity that brings disabled and non-disabled individuals together.
How to get in shape if you’re disabled or have mobility problems
It might be difficult to determine where to begin an exercise routine after a period of idleness, especially if you have a physical impairment. Dom Thorpe, a personal trainer who specializes in disability training, offers his thoughts and recommendations.
He recommends beginning with your body weight as a great instrument for a workout. You may increase your fitness and general health by utilizing your daily environment. For example, you could find it difficult to go from a chair to a bed.
He explains, “Turn this into an exercise.” “Do it five times every time you do it instead of as a means to an end, and you’ll get better.”
Don’t be put off by the difficulty. You’ll find it easier, and your strength will develop with regular practice. Take advantage of items around the house, such as your wheelchair or support rails, for pushing and pulling exercises to strengthen your upper body.
If you have physical limitations, you’ll probably accomplish fewer everyday activities and burn fewer calories. Make an effort to compensate for this by ensuring that you get enough organized exercise to pay for your lack of action.
For disabled persons, here are five fitness tips.
Thorpe offers his top five suggestions for getting started with a fitness program if you have a physical disability:
The rules remain the same.
“Remember that the same health and fitness standards apply to everyone in most circumstances; you may only need to tweak them a little.”
Take a look at your diet as well.
“Excess weight drags you down the ability scale, so make sure your calorie intake matches your exercise levels. If you don’t exercise like an athlete, you shouldn’t consume an athlete’s diet.”
Begin by learning the essentials.
“High-intensity exercise courses or internet routines that don’t suit your body might often make you feel alienated. Begin with simple motions that you can do at home, such as basic weight training routines or useful everyday activities.”
Pay attention to your body.
“Don’t strive to be a superhero if you have a chronic disease or are exhausted. Start small and work your way up until you’ve figured out what you’re capable of.”
Concentrate on what you CAN do rather than what you CAN’T.
“It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the plethora of Instagram fitness experts whose programs may or may not be suitable for you. Remember that no matter how bad your situation is, there’s always something you can accomplish if you follow a few simple rules.”
Because every handicap is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all fitness regimen that will work for everyone, and it’s always a good idea to see your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
Thorpe suggests figuring out what works best for you and doing it regularly, ideally three sets of ten repetitions a few times per week. For example, start with sit-to-stand exercises, seated tricep dips, knee lifts, and back extensions. His website provides useful how-to videos for different ideas and inspiration.