There are many ways a person with a disability can get fit, but what they can do depends on the level of disability and where it affects them. Here are some ideas to get fit for a wide variety of disability levels.
Swimming – people with only one limb can actually swim, as amazing as that seems, so swimming will suit many disabled people. It is an ideal way for them to get fit and train their bodies to make the best out of their remaining muscles. It also trains the heart and lungs to get fit.
Aqua-aerobics is also a good way to get fitter if swimming is not your thing. The water helps to support you and exercises can be done without putting too much pressure on painful areas.
Aerobics is another form of exercise that can contribute much to the cardiovascular system, help with weight loss and generally help to maintain fitness levels. It is important to make sure you breathe deeply during exercises as this helps to improve the capacity of your lungs.
Walking is said to be the perfect exercise, so if you are able to do that, go ahead. It does not jar joints such as knees, yet it moves just about every part of the body in some way.
Pilates is a low impact exercise regime that concentrates on the core muscles, so if you can find a class where the instructor has experience with disabled people they will be able to guide you into getting better core strength. Wheelchair-bound people need core strength especially if they intend to play a sport in a wheelchair.
Working within a gym environment can prove useful for those with disabilities as long as there are experienced trainers there to guide and help you.
People without lower limbs can do weight-lifting to strengthen their core and arms. They are able to lift weights while lying on their back, but need some help to ensure safety.
Cycling is a good way to exercise and many disabled people take part in the cycling at the Paralympics. To do this they have to practice and compete at home, using specially designed wheelchairs.
Many team sports can be played from a wheelchair, from tennis through to basketball and rugby.
Participating in team sports is a great way to have fun while you get fit.
Stretching exercises are simple to do and can be done by anyone who can move. Stretching may seem too simple, yet it does improve many parts of the body in helping to keep you flexible, so it is more important than many may realise.
Simply pushing the wheels of a wheelchair is a great way to strengthen the arms and upper body.