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This Education in Motion resource is also available as a printable PDF.
Leading an active lifestyle is important for everyone. Being active puts you in a good mood, positively affects your health and encourages you to lead healthy habits. Taking part in activities also enables you to be social and make new friends with similar interests. Activities for people with disabilities are particularly important on a physical and psychological level. Physical recreational activities and exercise can help to burn calories and maintain muscle tone. Even a low intensity activity will be beneficial and help to boost metabolism and circulation and improve sleep. On a psychological level activity increases the ability to concentrate and reduce stress.
Activities for all
Adapted sports, such as tennis, basketball, rugby and cycling, are some of the most popular activities for people with disabilities with clubs and groups available throughout the country.
Travelling is another common interest and with the increasing availability of adapted travel services the opportunity for accessible travel is becoming more widespread.
Travel offers many physical and emotional advantages: cultural enrichment through the opportunity to visit museums and heritage sites, some of which offer adapted exhibits for people with sensory disabilities.
Beyond sports, trips and excursions there are many other available opportunities, regardless of age or degree of disability. Do a bit of research and you’re sure to find some activities available in your local area that will benefit your health and allow you to stay active. Here are just a few suggestions:
Thinking of travelling? Check out our blog post on the key points to consider when travelling by aeroplane in a wheelchair or find out about 6 wheelchair accessible cities.
Music provides a great opportunity to let your hair down. Music therapy, which includes dancing, singing, body expression or playing an instrument, takes things a stage further by providing an opportunity to boost self-esteem, aid communication and explore emotions.
On a physical level, it can help to reduce pain and maintain and improve motor functions through movement and coordination exercises.
Video games have vast potential on a cognitive level, as well as serving as a great rehabilitation tool. Consoles, such as the Wii, incorporate peripherals such as a Balance Board to allow the improvement of mobility in the joints, balance, visual coordination, physical resistance and reflexes.
Some games also allow for group participation of people with different disabilities. To make the most of its potential Wii therapy should be practiced in local health centres, or similar environments, and always under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
Therapeutic gardens and allotments are used as a therapeutic and recreational activity which can relieve tension and stress.
Water has long been used as a therapeutic remedy and the practice of aquatic activities is linked to the improvement of health in all aspects.
Aqua aerobics, swimming, passive stretching and therapeutic hydrotherapy are some of the examples of activities that significantly improve the functional ability, motor skills and physical condition of participants.
These activities are especially useful in the rehabilitation or treatment of neurological disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, head trauma, cerebrovascular accidents, degenerative diseases of the neurological system, spinal atrophies or spina bifida.
Find out more about adapted swimming on our blog post.
What will you do?
Often taking up a new activity can feel daunting but by doing some research in advance and finding appropriate activities through foundations, associations, health centres and local councils you can find the right activity for you. The opportunity for a brand new hobby could be just a few clicks away. What are you waiting for?
Take on those activities in style with a manual or powered wheelchair from Sunrise Medical.