How can adapted exercise help you manage your Disability or Chronic Illness?

 

Having a disability or chronic illness does not mean you have to wave any form of exercise goodbye. That’s why adapted fitness exists; to increase access to physical activity for everyone.

What Is Adapted Exercise?

Adapted exercise is a personalised workout programme tailored to the particular needs and abilities of the individual. The goal is to make physical activity accessible to anyone, regardless of their physical or mental limitations.

If you want to begin your adapted fitness journey, you have to make sure to hire a qualified trainer. They must have the right knowledge to help you reach your goals safely. Indeed, not every personal trainer is qualified to create adapted fitness programmes. Do not be afraid to ask your potential future trainer for their qualifications and if they have any experience in the field. They should have the minimum qualification of level 3 GP referral.

Coaches specialising in adapted fitness will discuss your limitations and create a training programme that you can follow. For example, they will present you with variations of traditional exercises or show you alternative ways to use fitness machines. They can also integrate equipment that was designed specifically for disabled people. 

What Are Some Examples of Adapted Exercise?

Many people wish to begin their fitness journey in a gym, doing strength workouts. An example of adaptation, in this case, is the use of wheelchair-friendly gym equipment to strengthen the upper body and the core. Resistance bands and loop bands are other examples of equipment you can integrate into your workout to slowly increase the intensity and build up strength.

If lifting weight is not for you, there are other ways to practice adapted fitness. For example, you can use an adapted bike to do a SoulCycle type of workout. They are great for cardio, but also for building muscles and endurance. 

Not a fan of biking? No problem! What about boxing? It is the perfect cardio workout, and you can easily do it in a wheelchair. Don’t believe us? Simply Google “adapted boxing workout,” and many videos will come up.  Yoga can also be adapted for disabled people.

The point we are trying to make is that your disability does not have to limit you. We gave you a few examples of adapted fitness, but there are many more. Regardless of the type of workout or sport you wish to practice, adapted fitness specialists can help you find a way to make it work. 

What Are the Benefits of Adapted Exercise?

The list of physical activity benefits is long. Many health professionals compare it to a magic pill because it has the power to cure or prevent many conditions. 

Regular physical activity plays a crucial role in weight management. You only need 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week to maintain a stable, healthy weight (1). 

Physical activity also decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases, like heart attacks and strokes, and type 2 diabetes (1). Moreover, studies show that adults who engage in regular physical activity have a lower risk of developing certain cancers, like bladder, breast, colon, lung, and kidney cancers. 

Physical activity also plays a role in bone health. Regular exercise strengthens the bones and promotes healthy joints (1). It reduces the risk of hip fractures later in life, a serious health risk for older adults (1). 

Finally, physical activity reduces the risk of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression (2). 

As you can tell, physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. Disabled people can enjoy the same benefits when following an adapted fitness program. 

Physical activity also has additional benefits for disabled people specifically. For example, disabled people who are physically active often enjoy more independence in their daily living activities (2). It also reduces the mental health symptoms related to the societal isolation disabled people often experience (3). Finally, it increases community engagement (3).

Where Can You Get an Adapted Exercise Programme?

We hope we were able to define adapted fitness and its benefits clearly. If you want to start your journey but do not know where to begin, we would love to help! 

At TG fitness, our mission is to develop exercise training programmes for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses so that they too can enjoy the benefits of physical activity. You are in good hands with us as we have been working with children and adults with disabilities since 2010. Therefore, we have the expertise and abilities to help you reach your fitness goals safely. We offer many services, including personal training 1 to 1 or in a small group.

We also provide online sessions so you can exercise in the comfort of your own home. Not sure if you would enjoy our personal training sessions? No worries, we offer a free consultation so you can test our services before committing.

The Take-Home Message

Adapted fitness is training for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. The goal is to increase access to physical activity so everyone can enjoy its benefits. 

Trainers who specialise in adapted fitness create personalised workout routines for their clients, taking into consideration their needs and limitations. For example, they can suggest variations of traditional exercises or include wheelchair-friendly pieces of equipment in their programme.

References:

1) https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm

2) https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/features/physical-activity-for-all.html

3) https://www.passionatepeople.invacare.eu.com/health-well-being-benefits-of-exercise-for-disabled-people/

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