Staying active is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, even if you have cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can make it challenging to get moving, but a regular exercise routine can help you manage your symptoms while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke. Staying active also positively impacts your mental health and reduces any physical pain from your condition.
Working out can be fun, especially when you’re with friends! These cerebral palsy exercises will help you get in shape and have a great time doing it.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
The term “cerebral palsy” refers to a group of disorders that impact an individual’s ability to move or maintain balance and posture. Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most prevalent motor disability, and about 18 million people worldwide have cerebral palsy. There are four primary types of cerebral palsy including:
5 Exercises for People with Cerebral Palsy
You’ll need to work with a qualified healthcare professional before beginning a new exercise program to ensure that your fitness regime is safe and effective. These fun exercises will help you get started on your fitness journey!
1. Joint Rotations
If you have cerebral palsy, you probably struggle with tight muscles and a limited range of motion. In this case, joint rotations are a great way to alleviate your symptoms. During this cerebral palsy exercise, you will perform rotations on your neck and all of your major joints, such as the following:
Cerebral palsy can make it challenging to maintain postural control, but regular stretching can ease stiff muscles and make it easier to stay balanced throughout your daily life. The right cerebral palsy exercises will promote circulation while reducing spasticity. Make sure you stretch the following muscles on a regular basis:
3. Wheelchair Aerobics
When you’re working out with adaptive fitness specialists, they have the expertise necessary to adapt almost any exercise program to your motor impairments. Even if you have cerebral palsy, it’s essential to get your cardio exercise a few times a week to maintain healthy blood pressure.
If your cerebral palsy mostly affects one side of your body or your legs, wheelchair aerobics is the ideal cerebral palsy exercise because it allows you to perform upper body movements while seated.
4. Resistance Band Training
Cerebral palsy exercises that improve strength provide unparalleled benefits for increased muscle power, better posture, and improved balance. When you begin working out with adaptive fitness specialists, they recommend starting at a low level and gradually increasing the intensity as your fitness improves.
There are plenty of effective cerebral palsy exercises that incorporate resistance bands. For instance, you could perform seated upper body training to strengthen your upper back and shoulders. You can also use resistance bands to build muscle in your chest and core to improve balance.
5. Aquatic Exercises
Aquatic therapy is a specific type of rehabilitative therapy that takes place in a swimming pool, and it can be customized to minimize your specific symptoms. Aquatic therapy is the ideal tool for several water-based cerebral palsy exercises, such as the following:
Finding a Cerebral Palsy Exercise Group
When you have cerebral palsy or another ambulatory condition, finding fitness instructors that understand your needs can be challenging. Consequently, you may get most of your exercise in physical therapy and other clinical settings.
The great news is there are plenty of ways to get moving and get in shape with adaptive fitness specialists while making a few friends along the way! At Let’s Go Fitness, we create a safe space where differently-abled people can connect while getting in shape.
Let’s Go Fitness
At Let's Go Fitness, we strive to create a welcoming environment where you can make friends, get in shape, and have fun doing it! Our adaptive fitness specialists will guide you every step of the way. Whether you need accommodations, modifications, or simply an understanding listener, we'll help you reach your goals.
Are you ready to start your fitness journey? Contact Let's Go Fitness today to learn more about our membership packages!