Physical Activity for All – National Physical Fitness & Sports Month
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month and with the snow melting and weather in North Dakota improving, it is a great time to find ways new ways to be active. Physical activity is paramount for good health. It helps with weight control, mental health, and lowers the risk for many health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. There are many barriers to certain types of physical activity. Access may be limited for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, physical ability, time, resources, and finances. The general rule of thumb is any physical activity is better than no physical activity.
For people with disabilities or chronic health conditions, participating in regular physical activity is still encouraged, however, it is important to talk with a health care professional to have an understanding of how your disability or health condition affects your ability to be physically active in a safe way. Health and safety should go hand in hand.
Here are some ideas for people of all abilities to get active, in the home or outside the home.
Activity in the Home
Some resources to help you get physical activity in your home:
- The National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD) made a playlist of exercise-from-home videos that includes options for people of all abilities and ages.
- NCHPAD also offers a 14-week program that is free, personalized, and web-based. The program is specifically targeted for those with disabilities and chronic health conditions. You can reach that program here.
- The Special Olympics has its “Fit 5” resources that include fitness cards and videos that offer at-home exercises.
Activity in the Neighborhood
Outdoor physical activity is great for both physical and mental health. Many people can engage in physical activity through walking, including people with disabilities who are able to walk or move with the use of assistive devices (wheelchairs, walkers, etc.).
Checkout these CDC resources that help promote the development of supportive walking environments for people with disabilities.
Other Forms of Physical Activity for in the Home or Outside
- Stretch while watching TV
- Doing Laundry
- Doing Dishes
Remember: Some physical activity is better than no physical activity, but listen to your body and don’t overexert yourself.