The substantial research behind the benefits of exercise for general health and wellbeing in healthy populations right through to quality of life in end stage clinical populations has been well established. Guidelines have been set for many populations and people with a disability are no exception. Unfortunately, a significant majority are insufficiently active when it comes to meeting recommended physical activity levels, putting them at risk of developing a multitude of chronic disease conditions. Guidelines will vary dependent on the condition and individual needs, however for the majority, exercise should be a part of a weekly routine.
As part of an Exercise Physiologist’s (EP) role, we often attempt to enhance weekly physical activity with incidental exercise (exercise that is part of everyday living). Some classic examples include taking the stairs over the lift or parking further away from the shops. However, parking further away from the shops to encourage walking is a particularly easy alternative to palm off as general advice but how is this possible when disability parking spots are often the closest to the entrance? This brings a particular challenge to promoting incidental exercise for people with disabilities.
A pragmatic approach is required when developing exercise programs for people with disabilities. As a long-term goal for the individual, independent exercise regimes are highly desired. Here are several key points for developing self-managed physical activity routines in people with disabilities.
Are you an individual with a disability looking to commence an exercise program and would like to know more? START Training has NDIS registered Accredited Exercise Physiologists who would love to help you! We are conveniently located in Newmarket and the clinic facilities are wheelchair accessible. Feel free to call the clinic on 3356 9119 for more information!
By Loxlee Blacket – Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP); ESSAM