Adapt to Perform
What are the benefits of exercise?
Exercise is the single greatest thing we can do for our long term health. Whether that’s improving our cardiovascular health, muscular strength, or joint stability has the potential to help prevent serious health conditions and improve our quality of life. It can also positively affect our mental health and our social lives.
As a wheelchair user and personal trainer, I regularly train individuals like myself and see/experience the massive benefits of leading a more active lifestyle. These range from being more competitive in a sporting environment to living a more independent lifestyle. Even one client can pick their daughter up to play with them on their lap!
How much should I do?
Exercise comes in many different forms, each with pros and cons depending on numerous factors. But the most important thing for you to find is a form of exercise that means that you’re going to be consistent with it over a long time. Consistency is key and looks different for everyone.
Yes, training 7 days a week for 2 hours each time will have great results but not if you can only do it for 3 weeks and give up with it being too difficult or unmanageable. A better program would be doing just 2-3 times a week but keeping it up all year.
What should I be doing?
Enjoyment is an important thing to look at with exercise. Not everyone likes going to the gym 5 times a week and lifting weights, and luckily you don’t have to! There are so many aspects to fitness, from the gym to yoga and sports to social fitness activities, you’re bound to find the right fit for you.
Finding something that’s both safe and brings you back more often is always the best way to go!
Do I need any equipment?
There’s a huge variety of ways to get fit and healthy. Some of which requires some equipment and some of which you can do without. Needing equipment doesn’t mean it’s a better workout. It just offers more variety.
Gyms often come stocked with a wide variety of equipment, some of which can be easily used depending on your ability level. If your disability affects your grip. One organisation that I can recommend is the team at Active Hands, who provide fantastic aides.
If you’re looking to work out from home, I’d recommend starting with what you already have. For example, a broom handle can make for a great cardio exercise when pretending to kayak. Then once you want more, a resistance band or small dumbbells can add lots of variety into a small package.
Where can I find exercises to do?
Finding a sports provider
There’s a great network of clubs and activities out there for Disabled people. The aggression and teamwork of Wheelchair rugby might entice you. Or the technical aspects of badminton that makes you excited. Many places cater to what you want to do!
Check out the Paralympics GB website and if you’re not sure what you like, just try it all!
Search for an inclusive gym
Gyms and fitness centres are not allowed to use health and safety as an excuse to not make their offering accessible to you. The law allows Disabled people to make choices about what to try. If you want to use a facility, you have a right to ask and expect people to make “reasonable adjustments” to accommodate you.
You can visit the Activity Alliance website for a list of gyms already doing the right thing.
Try getting active at home
Let’s say you want to get in the gym or do some workouts from home. Where do you start? Well, that’s where I was 4 years ago, looking for YouTube videos on getting fit and healthy but with not much luck!
So I decided to take it upon myself to make it. With over 300 videos, including live fitness sessions, I help guide you through all aspects of fitness, including cardio, resistance training, stretching and even yoga! Check out my Youtube channel here.
Looking to work out alongside others? Wheelpower runs 3 free zoom fitness classes each week, some in-person fitness days, and free resistance bands for UK residents!
Work with Adapt to Perform!
If you want something more structured and detailed but can’t afford a gym membership or a personal trainer, then Adapt to Perform might be able to help!
There are over 250 sessions and programs designed for various ability levels, with more added all the time. You get started with a 14-day free trial today!
In this story, Cameron talks about how getting active through dance has changed her life.
In this moving piece Roberto writes about the misconceptions and barriers he faces when getting active as a Disabled person.
In this blog, Lizzi shares a powerful story of how sport has changed her life.