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Increasing Activity Levels

This guide contains simple ways planning can increase your own activity levels or those you support.

Put simply, many Disabled people are not getting active, and the deficit between activity levels of Disabled and non-Disabled people continues to widen. Sport England’s shows that Disabled people struggled to get active during the pandemic, with activity levels dropping. You can access the full report from Sport England here.

We wanted to share the simple ways planning can increase your own activity levels or those you support.

Making plans and setting goals

Often, the hardest part is knowing how to start. Creating reliable habits takes time and energy. If you support someone to get active, helping them create a plan or set out personal goals can inspire them to be more active. This also works if you are looking to get active independently.

Setting goals could be part of the persons support plan, or you can do this separately – but ensure you keep a personalised approach in mind.

Creating a plan around how, when, and where you will get active can be really useful. It can mean your ideas turn into something more concrete!

It doesn’t have to look like a complex personal training programme. Focus on what you want to do a bit more or less of each day can make a difference. Doing activities at the same time every day can help to build activity into your routine.

You can also link physical activities to other outcomes that might be important to the person you work with, such as:

  • Visiting new environments
  • Connecting with others
  • Improving communication skills

If you are new to planning, maybe think about the following:

  • How you normally spend your day? What is most important to you? What do you enjoy?

  • Would you benefit from support? You might want to consider having someone come with you first or have limited space and resources to be active, so planning ahead is important.

  • Go at your own pace. Creating a good balance is what is important.

  • Set achievable and meaningful goals – be realistic and acknowledge there may be steps back, as well as forwards.

  • Set a plan for any new activity, to ensure it is realistic, motivates you, and provides a sense of achievement.

The planning stage is important because people are more likely to participate in physical activity if it involves something that interests and excites them. If you are supporting someone, you might create a list of different activities that will get their body moving in ways they enjoy.

Be creative in how you get active

Getting active doesn’t just mean going to your nearest gym. Here are a few examples that you may not initially think of when thinking about getting active:

  • Throwing a frisbee in a park
  • Try hula hooping
  • Trampolining
  • A video game that gets you moving
  • Gardening
  • Bowling

Next Steps

We want to hear from you! 

We’d love for you to share your experiences of getting active and having fun wherever you are. Please do get in touch to share your thoughts on the latest news or what sport and physical activity mean to you.

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