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Accessible sport and fitness tips
The following sport and fitness tips have been contributed by members of our online community: we hope they will give you some ideas to try. If you have any concerns about your health or the wellbeing of someone you are caring for, please consult a doctor or qualified professional. And if you have any tips of your own, we'd love to hear them!
The English Federation of Disability Sport
The English Federation of Disability Sport runs an Inclusive Fitness Initiative, a scheme that ensures gyms are accessible for disabled people. Find an IFI gym near you.
Parasport self-assessment wizard
Parasport is an organisation dedicated to helping disabled people get involved in sports. You can use their Parasport self-assessment wizard to find a sport activity that suits you.
Wheelchair hand bike
I missed being out on my bike and so I now use a handbike that attaches to my wheelchair, electric assistance hub is so helpful. Great for exercise and when I feel too unwell to push I use it just on battery power.
Mix it up
We walk, run, dance, play footy, trampoline, horse ride (parent of 6 year old boy with hemiplegia) - all great ways of keeping active!
Keeping fit to help manage young people
It seems so hard to believe, but my cuddly baby boy is now almost seventeen, six foot tall and weighing well over 100 kilos. Managing his behaviour as well as his drop seizures is tricky to say the least. As he grew up to become obvious that he responded better to men and as a woman, and particularly one on the small side, I was in danger of not being able to control him. As a result, I've spent a lot of time doing cardio exercise which has given me the physical confidence to manage him in public. I can block his way and stop him from charging across roads and help support him if he has seizures in the street. It has also helped me keep a more confident and positive outlook about my son.
Leg exercise tip
I do a specific leg exercise (recommended by a health professional), where I sit-up at against a wall, and straightening-out my legs, as much as possible, by pushing down on my knees, so I can attempt to keep them straight for as long as possible, which in turn, helps keep them straight for as long as possible, which in turn, helps keep them malleable and therefore easier for me to walk. You may need to consult a health professional, before you try this, as it’s important to be able to do it comfortably and without harming yourself.
I try and walk as much and as long as possible, as it keeps my legs active, which is very important, as it can and does reduce the stiffness and increases my stamina too.
I workout my legs at the gym, and because I have Cerebral Palsy, it helps me manage it, by strengthening my muscles in that area. I use the leg press and leg extension. I also use a stationary bike, to help with my stamina, as I can get tired easily.
Over the last 2 and a half years I've lost 4 stone and I've found exercise and eating a healthy diet has really helped my mobility as well as improving my CP. I've found to start off slowly is the key don't push yourself too hard at first, I started off my doing simple things like small movements e.g punching mid air and stretches slow movements and building up will get your body used to exercise before hitting the gym. Before starting the gym I thought there would be hardly anything I could do but to my great surprise a lot of gyms have a lot of accessible equipment e.g hand cycle, step/handles to get on treadmill, which means attending the gym is made easy and safe. In terms of food one of the best foods I've found since eating healthy is cottage cheese - this food is amazing high in protein, low in fat and yummy! Most of all though guys just enjoy getting out there and be active
The only real all terrain wheelchair that can climb a mountain!
Have you seen the mountain trike, it is incredible, it will help you get out and about and go places you perhaps weren't able to before, while also getting a little fitter.
Try a Wii fit board to improve co-ordination skills and balance
Try a Wii fit board to improve co-ordination skills and balance, it really does work, and is fun and engaging, and much safer than the old conventional wobble boards.
You can find more online community tips here, and be sure to let us know if there's anything you'd like to add!