How to keep fit with a disability 

Keeping fit with a disability is easier than you may think. Fitness instructor Mike Lee explains why exercise is important to help prevent obesity and cardiovascular disease. He also gives tips on how to find the right gym or what to do from home if you don't want to pay for a gym. Also watch other disabled people describe why they want to keep active.

Disability sports boost

Transcript of How to keep fit with a disability

If you're disabled, it's more important to be healthy

because you're liable to cardiovascular problems,

heart conditions, diabetes, obesity.

If you've got that lifestyle, the chances are you will put on weight.

(man) I broke my back in 1972, so it was a long time ago.

In those days, there weren't a lot of facilities for disabled people.

Someone who's disabled, the challenges they will probably meet

will be restrictions of accessibility at the gym,

type of machines. What can and can't they use?

Years ago, it was difficult to get into fitness studios.

They were either upstairs or downstairs or the doors weren't wide enough.

But now, there are loads of places you can go.

There are IFI websites that look at disabled-accessible gyms.

They will tell you where gyms are in your area.

You can ring the gym and ask what equipment they have for your disability

and whether they can cater for you.

Make sure the gym instructor is qualified to deal with your condition.

I do a lot of pushing around round the streets

to get your cardiovascular going.

But I do use the fitness studio two or three times a week,

30 minutes or 40 minutes per session

just to build up the muscles in the top half of my body.

People with disability have a high risk of high blood pressure.

But most gyms should check their blood pressure before they start

and check their weight.

Exercise helps you release certain chemicals

and obviously it makes you feel better.

If you keep fit, you live longer,

but if you don't, then your body just relaxes.

If you're in a wheelchair, you tend to put a lot of weight on.

I know when I'm putting on. I find that I'm pushing a bit harder.

If you use your car a lot, you should leave the car in the car park or garage

and push your chair a lot more which is good exercise for your upper body.

Swimming is very good.

If you're mobility restricted, do frequent walking,

every day if you can.

Just find a sport that they like.

Try and keep fit and keep with the sport.

It doesn't matter if it's wheelchair basket, rugby, football, table tennis.

If you're not sure about the gym there are things you can buy at home.

There are plenty of books, videos, resistance bands.

There's a lot you can buy for home use. If you're not sure about the gym,

do stuff at home and get your confidence back.

Exercise is good for your mind. At the gym, you'll meet people.

It's good for getting out and meeting new friends

and getting more of a social life, so it's important for people.

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