The NHS says that people who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.
People with disabilities may find it more challenging to do regular exercise and may need extra support to get started or maintain an active lifestyle. The NHS Live Well website has lots of general advice about keeping fit and active as well as specific information for people with disabilities and fitness advice for wheelchair users.
Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing the risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Case study – Adventure bound, not house bound
Tom Pales is the founder of Freetrike Rehab Cycling offering cycle coaching to people with disabilities. He picks them up from their home, transports them to their nearest traffic-free cycle path and delivers 2 hours of 1-to-1 supported exercise on adapted trikes, bikes and tandems. He gives them the freedom to challenge their disability and re-engage with the outdoors.
Watch our video below to see an example of Tom’s great work.
AbleThrive is US-based but has lots of useful information for people with disabilities about being active generally. It also focuses on disabled fitness and individual and team sports.
Specialised activity groups or holidays are a great way for people with disabilities to get active and share experiences with others. National disability charity Scope has details of accessible leisure and activity providers and holidays.