The following article and its links are from the NHS website. It’s a great place to start if you are thinking about getting involved in a sport. And there has never been a better time to try sport if you are disabled, with the Paralympics in London in 2012, giving disabled sport a massive boost in this country.
When it comes to exercise, disabled people have pretty much the same options – everything from simply getting out a bit more to playing team sports.
- If you can walk, there’s no easier way to increase your activity levels. Try to include walking in your daily routine. Find a friend to walk with or join a walking group for some extra motivation.
- Cycling – there are tricycles, quadcycles, recumbants, hand-powered bikes called handcycles, and power-assisted bicycles, all of which are alternatives for those unable to ride a regular bicycle. Find out more at British Cycling, the Handcycling Association, Companion Cycling and Race Running.
- Take up running – if you’re just starting out, try our popular Couch to 5K running plan.
- Get moving with Strength and Flex, a 5-week exercise plan to increase your strength and flexibility (not suitable for wheelchair users).
- Split activity up throughout the day. You can achieve your target in bouts of 10 minutes or more – try these 10-minute workouts. Talk to a health professional or ask an organisation for people with your disability about what the best exercises are for you.
- Low-impact exercises such as yoga, pilates and tai chi have been adapted to suit the needs of people with different types of disabilities. Get advice first, however, particularly if you have a physical disability – exercises not suited to your disability may be harmful.
- Choose a gym from more than 400 Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) accredited gyms. Find an opportunity near to you on Activity Alliance’s website.
- Swimming can feel quite liberating if you have a physical disability, as your body is mostly supported by the water. Many pools offer classes and sessions that cater specifically for disabled people. Find out more at swimming.org.
- Adapted sports – many sports can be played by disabled people on the same basis as non-disabled people. Some, such as blind football, have also been adapted to make them more disability-friendly.