Living with a disability can be a challenge, even on the best of days. Sometimes it seems as though nothing was made with you in mind, and it can be frustrating to have to find ways to maneuver around in rooms that are not built for wheelchairs, or gym equipment that doesn’t allow you to cater to your strengths.
It’s important, then, to find ways to get active that you’re comfortable with. Participating in a sport, trying out a new type of workout, and taking care of yourself can all help boost your self-esteem and can lead to a renewed energy level. Feeling good means feeling good about yourself, and what better way to do that than to seek out new ways to strengthen your body?
Since exercise is important every day, it’s a good idea to change things up so you don’t become bored with the routine. Here are some of the best ways you can get fit…and stay that way.
Get your pet involved
If you don’t have a pet, consider getting a service animal. These dogs are specially trained to help individuals with disabilities, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and many different types of physical and emotional disorders. While it will take a bit of commitment on your part, finding the right service animal can make a huge difference in your life and mental health, and they can have an impact on your physical health, too. Dogs are wonderful companions when it’s time for a workout, because they have seemingly boundless energy and are always ready for a trip around the block. Invest in a good leash or harness for your service animal and set out to explore the neighborhood one day, then head to the park the next for a trip down the trails.
Go for a swim
Swimming is a great exercise for just about anyone. Not only does it make mobility easier for many people, it’s also a relaxing exercise that works pretty much all the muscle groups. Check out your local YMCA to see if they offer water aerobics classes, and invite a friend to come along for even more fun.
Talk to a personal trainerWhile you’ll need to pay for their services, seeking the help of a personal trainer can be a huge benefit if you’re living with a disability, because he or she can assist you in finding the right exercises for your strengths and weaknesses. Just be sure to talk to a doctor before engaging in any new regimen, especially if you’re taking medication.
Think outside the box
You don’t have to belong to a fancy gym to get in shape. Look around the house for ways you can get active for thirty minutes or more each day. This can include doing landscaping or gardening, cleaning and vacuuming, or making your own home gym with inexpensive items like resistance bands and free weights.
Make self-care a part of your daily routine, the same way you do exercise. It can be anything from treating yourself to a pedicure to taking up a new sport; as long as it makes you happy in a healthy way, go for it. Keeping your mental and emotional wellbeing in mind as well as your physical health will help you stay focused and positive. Remember not to push yourself and take breaks anytime you feel you need to rest. Starting an active regimen can be overwhelming if you go too fast or jump into something new, so go easy on yourself and get some support from friends and family, which is very important when you’re making big changes in your life.