Everyone knows about the health benefits of regular exercise, though many of us struggle to work out regularly. This is an especially big problem for disabled Americans. According to CNN, nearly half of adults aged 18-64 living with a disability never exercise.
Exercise options for disabled people
It’s understandable if you’re reluctant to work out because of chronic pain or physical limitations, especially if they are serious enough that you cannot work anymore. But there are still ways you can get a good workout despite a disability. Depending on what your disabilities are and how severe they are, you might be able to do at least one of these:
- Water aerobics or using an underwater treadmill
- Riding a bicycle or stationary bike
- Seated exercising, such as using a hand cycle or chair exercises
The chair exercises referred to above include weight training and bodyweight exercises like punching the air or leg kicks. Even modest exercise can benefit your health. Disability can make you up to three times as likely to develop life-threatening conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes or stroke. Regular exercise can reduce these risks, improve your mobility, reduce chronic pain and improve your mental health.
Not a cure-all
However, exercise alone usually is not enough to cure a disability. Some injuries, illnesses and conditions are so severe that they will affect your life for years and maybe the rest of your life. You might not be able to work at all, or at least not enough to earn enough income for yourself and your family. Social Security Disability is there for people who must give up working because of a chronic illness or disability.