This is guest post written by Jess Silver of Flex for Access
Society as a whole is experiencing tremendously challenging times right now amidst the Covid-19 outbreak. Throughout times where the future is uncertain, there is one thing that is certain and it is that it most important to prioritize one’s health. This is even more important for those who have varying needs due to physical limitations and other challenges.
Individuals with varying needs related to physical disabilities, are the ones most in need of exercise for the following reasons every day and especially during times of adversity, when one has limited access to other things which are part of a routine and to maintain longevity.
Reasons Why Fitness and Sport are integral to the lifestyle management of individuals with physical disabilities and limitations:
- Need to move more frequently to prevent muscle atrophy and hyper-tonicity or hypo-tonicity (spasticity or low muscle tone)
- Movement decreases onset of cardiovascular disease and abnormality and other health risks such as obesity and diabetes
- Fitness and sport engagement, encourages social activity and develops/ builds soft skills like communication, openness to others, tolerance and coping skills
- Learning fitness and sport related skills reinforces focus and concentration skills, which help develop and strength self and external discipline.
During challenging and what can seem like turbulent times, it can be especially difficult for individuals who experience physical limitations and their support networks, to maintain focus, motivation and a sense of direction, originating from a point of optimism. Fitness and sports can act as the thing that creates and helps sustain the necessary motivation and sense of purpose. It is helpful not to view engaging in a fitness or sport related activity as a task, but instead to see it as
a release. It is an active method to release stress, anxiety, fear, sadness or frustration. Not only does engaging in physical activity through fitness and sport, help one in multiple ways to achieve physical capability, strength and improvement, but engaging in regular activity to improve motor control and coordination, flexibility and output of strength, also by extension teaches an individual, discipline, value of effort, commitment, patience and adaptability.
PickUP Sports and Jess Silver of Flex for Access, provide meaningful resources and insight into sport and fitness literacy for mainstream and adaptive populations.