Excellent excellent excellent start. I'd love to see more such articles.
A couple of things to keep in mind... your "health care provider" is a good first step, however, keep in mind that folks with allopathic approaches are quite variable in their skills, interest and knowledge about both nutrition and exercise approaches. Keep in mind too that a very low percentage of people with disabilities are employed at their capacity (I'm an exception) and that means... less $ available for spendy consultations. If the doctor can't give substantive advice, physical therapists or people with training in kinesiology, which is "how muscles work together" (like chiropractors or even massage therapists) can sometimes provide thoughtful suggestions.
These exercises are excellent. Note that hatha yoga is hugely adaptable for any ability as "the best you can do is adequate" and improvements are progressive. Swimming or water exercises like ah chi may work well for some.
I will also share that this is my third year as a team leader for a virtual team for people with disabilities for the "president's fitness challenge" -- which includes activities for people with disabilities. The program offers options for everyone from sedentary people to marathoners (our team had everything from a 28 year old post heart attack participant (yes, cleared by her doctor) to a guy who had participated in 23 marathons in his wheelchair. And yes, we did occasionally adapt some of the suggested exercises (think about chopping firewood and hauling it to your house in your wheelchair, for instance!)
Thanks thanks thanks for addressing this issue. It would be fun to have a fitness video that features a disabled model (do keep in mind there are all sorts of disabilities out here!) One of my favorite images was of my boyfriend from some years ago running with a guide -- carrying the Olympic torch. Oh... yeah... he was blind. And he also was big into riding horses in the back country. He also threw me in the ocean once despite my resistance.
So... lotsa options out there. Exercise, whether isotonic or aerobic, can be a real healer and energy provider. Best regards and thanks again... Kathy aka Wallowa
- 2/2/2009 12:21:13 AM