Disabilities and Exercise: Why Physical Activity is a Must

Oct 31, 2011
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As a 9-year-old child, I weighed 125 pounds. Noticeably overweight for my size and frame, I was made fun of by my peers on a regular basis. But by plump figure was my own fault really. Yes I took steroids to regulate my disability (severe asthma) which increased my appetite, but the doctor’s notes I obtained regularly so that I could sit out during gym class is what really contributed to my large size.

I still have asthma but I’m significantly slimmer now after discovering the importance of exercise. But for some people with disabilities, discovering the importance of exercise occurs too late and their condition can worsen. In fact, according to statistics 1-in-5 Americans have at least one disability. But only a mere 12% of Americans with disabilities partake in the necessary physical activity that they need to remain healthy and avoid developing secondary conditions. While it’s understandable that disabilities vary in degree, it’s highly important that you engage and incorporate some sort of exercise into your weekly routine. Aside from decreasing secondary health conditions such as chronic heart disease, diabetes and weight gain, it can boost confidence and self-esteem as well as improve your independence and social skills.

That said, while it’s best to consult your physician before practicing your new exercise plan, below are some suggested “light” exercises that are ideal for the disabled.

  • Stretching/Walking—even this mild form of exercise a few minutes a day is what can ultimately save you from complicating your condition even further.
  • Water Aerobics—water is more resistance to air. Thus you’ll have added support from the water and get a great work out without over exerting yourself.
  • Yoga/Pilates—this form of exercise is great for strengthening your core and improving blood flow and circulation. And remember you can make alterations to accommodate your needs, for example special programs like Chair Pilates do exist.
  • Low-Impact Weight Training—this burns calories and improves bone density. Remember to start with low-weights possible—the trick is doing repetitions.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

Author: Mariana Ashley



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    When those overweight people find they have disabilities, they can consider the physical exercise as a must.