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Six Fun Ways to Stay Active for People With Disabilities


People in wheelchairs playing basketball

It can be tricky for those with disabilities to get enough exercise, as evidenced by the fact thatmore than 40% of disabled Americans are obese.However, finding ways to stay active doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you or a loved one is physically or mentally disabled, consider these tips for leading an active, healthy life.

Adopt a dog.

The beauty of owning a dog is that their care requires exercise, which in turn makes their ownersmore active. Whether it’s going outside for a walk, dueling in a game of tug-of-war, or heading to the backyard for a game of fetch, playing with your dog is a great way to get cardiovascular, resistance, and aerobic exercise. Dogs are also fantastic motivators; they don’t care how well you play or how quickly you walk, so long as you join in on the fun!

Make exercise a part of your dailyroutine.

You’re more likely to stick to an exercise if you regularly perform it, and it doesn’t have to be anything formal. If you’re able, go for a stroll around the neighborhood every morning. Those with limited mobility can transform daily chores into bursts of exercise: do a few extra lifts while putting dishes up in their cabinets, or randomly accelerate your pace while sweeping the floor. Better yet, have a solo dance party every afternoon! Even if you’re just grooving with your arms and upper body, it’s an excellent and fun way to get your heart pumping.

Make it a family affair.

Exercising can be a lot less fun if you’re doing it by yourself, so get yourfamily involved. Evening family bike rides are a wonderful way to spend time together and get in some activity. Or try a weekly Frisbee golf game! You might even find that a sibling is looking to get more toned or lose a few pounds, and you can establish goals and workout routines together.

Modify sports or activities to suit your abilities.

If your mobility is limited, head to the gym with a buddy for a modified version of one-on-onebasketball or to the outdoor courts for a game of tennis. Canoeing and kayaking are fantastic upper body, cardio, and aerobic exercise and can be easily suited for those with reduced mobility.

Try strength training and flexibility exercises.

Strength training can be easily adapted to whichever muscles you want to work on. Grab ankle weights to work your lower body and dumbbells to bulk up your arms and shoulders. Flexibility training is a great way to enhance range of motion, reduce pain and stiffness, and prevent injury. Whether you do organized flexibility exercise (like yoga) or simply make it routine to go through stretching exercises every morning, your body will thank you

Take a refreshing dip.

With the proper precautions, swimming can be a fabulous way to stay active. It alleviates pressure from your joints, literally taking the weight off of you. It also allows you to move at your own pace while still being a great source of muscular, cardiovascular, and aerobic exercise. It can also be a soothing, calming form of physical activity for children with ADHD, Autism and other cognitive conditions.


Regardless of your ability level, you’re more likely to stick to exercising if you look forward to it. So make it fun! Keep these tips in mind and make your exercise routine your favorite part of the day

Patricia Sarmiento loves swimming and running. She channels her love of fitness and wellness into blogging about health and health-related topics. She played sports in high school and college and continues to make living an active lifestyle a goal for her and her family. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland