Exercising with a Disability : Key Things to Consider

If you suffer from a chronic condition that limits your mobility, you have certainly at some point felt unable to live life to the fullest. The more obvious limitations aside, the only thing that prevents you from being active and enjoying life as any other person are the limitations you impose on yourself, and the expectations you have of the phrase “live an active life”. Exercising is an activity where people with a disability feel like they are missing out on the most, but that is because we are shown what it looks like to be in full health and exercise. The truth is that there is a lot that you can do for yourself, disability or not.

Why You Should Start Exercising

Why you should start exercising with a disability // The PumpUp Blog

So, if you feel that working out is out of reach for you, heads up. You are perfectly capable of enjoying an active lifestyle. Not only that, but exercising can bring a lot of benefits and help you to cope with your disability much easier.

  • Working out improves your health. First and foremost, regular exercise makes your body stronger, provides you with more energy, and reduces stress. Furthermore, increased physical activity can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, and prevent illnesses like osteoporosis, stroke, and colon cancer.
  • Regulating your weight. Of course, it would be impossible not to mention that working out helps you burn a lot of calories and regulate your body weight , which in turn improves your mobility and takes care of your good looks.
  • Social inclusion and community membership. Some people living with a disability believe their only choice now is to shut themselves in, slowly but steadily withdrawing from the society. Exercising is a good reason to go outside, participate in interesting and engaging group activities, and find new friends.
  • Personal satisfaction. Finally, working out teaches you how to push forward, and gives you a reason to continue doing so. With every weight you lift and each milestone you reach, there are always new accomplishments around the corner. Give an active lifestyle a chance and you will learn how to love going forward.

Things You Should Consider Before You Start Exercising

Things you should consider before you start exercising with a disability // The PumpUp Blog

Still, living an active lifestyle without constraints does not mean living a life without any precautionary measures. Much like any other person that starts exercising after a long break, you should first visit a physician and seek some advice in regards to the exercises you can perform, and their intensity. Also, seeking the opinion of a professional with a diploma of disability should help you to devise a workout routine suited to your needs and possibilities. Last but not the least, if you are fond of gym culture, you should go on a search to find the nearest gym with equipment suited to your range of motion.

Things You Should Look After During an Exercise

Depending of your current condition and your physician's advice, your routine will most certainly vary from what you can find online, but here are few things that should make your exercises smooth sailing, regardless of the activity in question.

  • Use griping gloves to get a safer and stronger grip and avoid hurting yourself in the process.
  • Do not make any drastic and sudden moves, especially if the exercise you are doing involves the neck, knees or waist. So that's a no-go on CrossFit.
  • Do not consciously pursue fatigue. If you feel unwell, slow down or even take a short break. If the unpleasant sensation persists, pay your physician a visit.
  • Find a workout buddy. Your training sessions will become much more interesting, engaging and productive. Not to mention that there is no bigger motivation to come back the next day than the knowledge that you have a friend waiting for you at the starting line.

About the Author This article was written by Kate Flannery, a Body Combat and Caesar salad enthusiast. As a blogger, she focuses on health and fitness topics, debunking popular fitspo myths, and in her free time, she sails. Check out Kate’s website at High Style Life and find her on Twitter @kateinthenorth.

Cover Photo: Wikimedia

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