According to the CDC, around one in four adults lives with a disability. If you are among the people who are suffering from a disability, you know that it can be challenging to maintain physical fitness and health. However, staying healthy and active with a disability doesn’t mean you can completely give up on being active and living a healthy lifestyle.
Remember that there are several health risks associated with disability. With this in mind, if you are suffering from a disability, you should take the necessary steps to improve your overall health and well-being without compromising your limitations. If you’re having difficulty coping with your disability, help is readily available.
For those needing assistance with daily living, community access, and many more, working with reliable disability services would be a good starting point.
Aside from assistance with daily living and other forms of support, here are several ways options for staying healthy and active with a disability.
1. Engage In Regular Exercise And Physical Activities
Adults require a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week, which can be achieved in various ways. However, individuals with disabilities may be unable to do this due to physical or cognitive barriers.
Some of the best physical activities for adults with disabilities include gardening, walking, swimming, or activities that can be done while seated or in a wheelchair. You can try these activities and see what works best for you. Almost any activity will do as long as it keeps the body moving. But, when doing exercises, it’s recommended to start at a minimal pace and steadily increase the sessions to lower the risk of injury.
Remember to always listen to your body while exercising. Physical activity shouldn’t cause any discomfort. Once you start to experience shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, or breaking out in a cold sweat, stop exercising and consult a doctor immediately.
Additionally, avoid comparing yourself to others. Most fall into the trap of comparing their exercise efforts to others, in which some end up discouraged or unmotivated. Sadly, some give up maintaining their health. Don’t let it happen to you, and keep a positive mind while keeping your well-being in check when staying healthy and active with a disability.
2. Follow A Well-Balanced Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet should be a priority for anyone, but even more so for those with disabilities. A good diet is key to boosting energy levels while promoting vitality so you can engage in activities you love.
When you eat balanced meals and stick with them, you’ll be energized and feel good while your body gets the necessary nourishment. If you have been eating unhealthy foods, your body may lack the nutrients your body needs to function optimally.
As part of your diet, make sure to include good-quality protein sources. Protein plays a key role in the healing process and immune function. Some excellent protein sources include dairy, fish, grass-fed meat, seeds, nuts, soy products, and tofu.
It’s also important to reduce sugar and refined carbs in your diet. If you have cravings for baked goods or sugary snacks, they can lead to a crash in your energy levels and mood. It may be time to change for the better by avoiding these unhealthy food choices.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. You’ll notice that your body works best if it’s well-hydrated. Water also helps flush out toxins and waste products.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Having a good-quality sleep every night is imperative. It helps reboot your body and flush out toxins while protecting your brain. Make it a priority to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Doing so ensures your body recuperates during the night and is ready for the next day’s activities.
You can dedicate the hours before your bedtime to relaxing activities such as bathing or performing a light stretching regimen. It’s also best to avoid using any devices, ideally an hour before bedtime.
4. Prioritize Mental Health
Staying healthy and active with a disability should also prioritize mental well-being to maintain good health. It’s crucial to note that adults with disabilities face a higher risk of experiencing mental distress. Fortunately, there are several wellness activities to promote good mental health, such as:
- Allot time for activities that allow you to unwind, such as reading, listening to music, or sewing.
- Form connections with community groups that offer support.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.
- Be socially active by maintaining open lines of communication with loved ones and friends
Some common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, can be considered disabilities. If this is your case, you should see a healthcare professional as early as possible.
Disability shouldn’t be a hindrance to achieving a healthy and active lifestyle. Depending on the type of disability you are suffering, you may be able to find ways to go through one with a few adjustments to your routine. These tips will serve as your guide in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle despite having limitations.