How to Exercise and Stay Fit When You Have a Chronic Condition

How to Exercise and Stay Fit When You Have a Chronic Condition

Maintaining a regular workout routine can be difficult, but it can be even more challenging for people with injuries, disabilities or chronic conditions.

Then again, it’s crucial to incorporate exercise into your weekly routine as it can provide many benefits including:

Additionally, regular exercise can help manage the symptoms associated with certain disabilities.

The truth of the matter is that nearly half of adults aged 18 to 64 with a disability are not engaging in any physical activity, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Importance of Exercise for People with Chronic Conditions or Disabilities

People with disabilities are three times more likely to develop serious health conditions such as stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes than those without disabilities.

Regular aerobic exercise can lessen or even avoid the impact of these health conditions but over 80% of US adults aren’t meeting the muscle-strengthening guidelines of the federal government.

The guidelines for those with chronic conditions and disabilities are the same as the US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans for all adults:

Every week:

  • Do a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise
  • Or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
  • Or an equal combination of both

On top of this, you should also perform strengthening activities 1-2x per week.

Exercises Suitable for Those Chronic Conditions or Disabilities

The types of exercise appropriate and helpful for you will largely depend on your specific health situation. But generally speaking, walking, swimming, cycling, water aerobics and seated workouts will do you a lot of good.

Seated workouts like using a hand cycle and doing chair exercises are great. As for water activities, you can do pool running or water yoga. Regular yoga also helps maintain balance and flexibility.

Tips for Successful Workouts

No matter what form of exercise you decide on, whether you plan to exercise at home or in Anytime Fitness, several factors can help ensure your success:

  • Schedule your workouts for the time of day you tend to feel best.
  • It also helps to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible while exercising.
  • If you struggle with arthritis, increase the room temperature where you’ll be exercising.
  • Setting goals is also helpful as having a physical disability doesn’t mean you can’t make progress.
  • Focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t do.

It can be easy to focus on your limitations, but exercising can remind you of what your body can do, and it can give you a sense of empowerment and accomplishment that is valuable to your self-efficacy.

Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can provide many benefits for people with disabilities or chronic conditions. Exercise can improve overall health, increase endurance and strength, improve mental health and improve mobility.

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