There are plenty of reasons to get and stay fit, even if you have a disability. Exercise can improve your mood, help you maintain a healthy weight, fight off chronic diseases, and boost your energy levels. And while working out with a disability might seem intimidating, there are plenty of accessible fitness options available. With a little research and planning, you can find an exercise routine fit for you. Senior Care Access shares some tips to get started.
Choose the Right Workout
When choosing an accessible fitness routine, it's important to consider your specific needs and goals. For example, if you're looking to improve your cardiovascular health by doing activities that raise your heart rate and get your blood pumping. Swimming, brisk walking, and cycling are all great options. If weight loss is your goal, meanwhile, you might want to focus on strength training exercises that build muscle and burn calories. And if you're just looking to stay active and have some fun, there are plenty of low-impact options available as well, including yoga, tai chi, and dance classes.
The Canadian Chiropractic Association notes that participating in aquatic fitness can provide many amazing benefits to individuals. It provides a low-impact way to exercise, which is beneficial for those with joint strain or discomfort. It’s also an ideal form of exercise for pregnancy and rehabilitation from injury as the warmth of water can provide relief to sore muscles while counteracting gravity. Furthermore, regular aquatic fitness can help strengthen and improve balance, posture, respiratory function, and overall cardiovascular endurance.
Pick the Right Technology & Accessories
There's no need to let a disability stop you from working out. Thanks to advances in technology, there are now more accessible fitness options. Many gyms and recreation centers offer adaptive equipment that can be used by people with disabilities. And if you're looking to work out at home, there are plenty of online resources available as well—including streaming workouts, virtual reality fitness apps, and more. Whatever your fitness objectives, there is undoubtedly a technological solution that may help you achieve them.
Create a Dedicated Home Workout Space
If you're planning on working out at home, it's important to create a dedicated space for exercise. This will help you stay focused and motivated. Just clear out a small area in your home where you can move around freely without obstacles in your way. If possible, try to choose a space with natural lighting and ventilation. And make sure to stock up on the essential equipment you'll need for your workout routine, so everything is within easy reach when it's time to sweat.
As with the rest of the home, you’ll want to remove potential triggers for stress and anxiety. This means being intentional about decluttering, cleaning, and organizing the space. This will allow you to remain focused and maintain a high level of productivity. Also consider adding a few houseplants to bring in a little Mother Nature, which also helps purify the air.
Start a Healthy Morning Routine
It is essential to have a holistic and healthy morning routine. This means that every morning, you should make sure to do things that inspire you, help you relax and de-stress, and make you feel good physically. For example, you could read an inspirational book, meditate for 10 minutes, and eat a healthy breakfast. These simple things can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life. When you start your day off in a positive way, you set the tone for the rest of the day. You are more likely to be productive and happy throughout the day if you start on the right foot.
Prevent Injuries when Exercising
People with disabilities often face unique challenges when it comes to fitness and exercise. However, there are several ways to overcome these challenges and enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. First of all, it is important to choose an activity that is suited to your individual needs and abilities. Secondly, Byrdie points out that you should always warm up before you start any type of physical activity, and cool down afterward. Finally, listen to your body – if you are in pain or feeling fatigued, take a break or stop altogether.
Having a disability can make it difficult to stay healthy and fit. However, it is important to remember that it is still possible to live a healthy lifestyle with a disability. With a positive attitude and a bit of creativity, anyone can find ways to overcome the challenges they face and maintain their health and fitness. No matter what the challenge, there is always a way to stay healthy and fit with a disability.
Start Your Fitness Routine
Living a healthy and active lifestyle is important for everyone, regardless of ability. These accessible fitness tips will help you get started on your journey to better health, regardless of your limitations. Remember to consult with a doctor before starting any new exercise routine, and be patient as you work towards your goals. With a little bit of effort, you can achieve great things!
Contributed by: Marie Villeza, ElderImpact.
Marie Villeza is passionate about connecting seniors with the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives. So she developed ElderImpact to provide seniors and their caregivers with resources and advice.