Physical activity is a basic necessity for good health along with a proper diet, but some persons may have difficulty exercising or even performing normal daily activities due to health or physical limitations.
Determining a proper exercise regimen for persons with disabilities would depend on what their specific disability is. Some persons with limited mobility would, of course, be able to perform more physical tasks than someone that is bound to a chair or bed due to a disability.
Some disabilities can make physical exercise nearly impossible, persons with severe disability such as paraplegic or quadriplegic persons, or the very elderly, may need the assistance of a nurse or physical therapist to assist them with range of motion exercises.
Range of motion exercises performed with the assistance of a nurse or therapist consist of a regimen of exercise where the nurse or therapist physically moves the disabled persons body for them to try to maintain flexibility and mobility of the joints in the disabled person.
Other disabilities may not be as severe and a person is able to perform some physical activities on their own but with limitations. Persons confined to a wheelchair but otherwise having good mobility can do a variety of exercises. There are even organized sports for persons confined to wheelchairs, the Wheelchair Sports Federation, offers a myriad of sports that disabled, or differently abled, persons may compete in.
Determining an exercise regimen for each individual is as different as each individual themselves. Each person will have their own limitations and abilities and so determining an exercise program for them must be constructed around or within these limitations and abilities. Obviously if someone has a very bad injury to their back you wouldn”t try to have them lift heavy weights just as someone that has lost mobility of their lower limbs wouldn”t be expected to run or ride a bicycle.
One activity that many disabled persons may have in common would be water based exercises. Water based exercises allow a disabled person to be supported by the water and so take the pressure of gravity off the joints while exercising to eliminate added damage to already damaged joints in the case of persons suffering from severe arthritis or injury related joint damage, and also affords an evenly distributed light resistance while performing simple tasks.
By merely submerging the body, each movement that in air would offer little benefit suddenly offers great benefit by the added resistance of the water. Although the water is resistant, it is also giving. For instance, when a person exercises with a therapeutic rubber band, the band may put pressure on one location that could damage delicate skin in an older person, whereas the water resistance is evenly distributed and applies very little to no pressure to any one location thereby limiting or eliminated the danger of injury.
Disabled doesn”t have to mean unable. Disabled persons can and should exercise. But just as anyone else, consult and discuss with your physician to determine what you should or should not attempt if you plan to begin and exercise program. If financially feasible, hiring a personal trainer may help reap the optimum benefits of exercise potential.
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