Everyone needs to stay physically active, even with a chronic condition such as a sensory disability. Exercise provides innumerable health benefits for people of all ages and skill levels, especially those with sensory disabilities.
Since people with sensory impairments typically don't exercise as much as their peers, it's extremely important that they stay active. A healthy lifestyle instills confidence in people with sensory disabilities while improving their physical health and allowing them to become more independent. Today, we'll discuss the importance of exercise for people with sensory disabilities and go over a few activities that everyone can do!
What are Sensory Disabilities?
Sensory disabilities are impairments that affect a person's senses, such as sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. It's important to remember that people with sensory disabilities are just like everyone else, and their impairments often vary greatly in severity. While some people are born with sensory disabilities, others develop their condition from disease, injury, and aging.
A few examples of sensory disabilities include:
Oftentimes, people with sensory disabilities have another condition, such as autism or Down syndrome. However, people with sensory disabilities can still live healthy, happy lives, especially with a solid support system!
The Best Exercises for Sensory Disabilities
Differently-abled people with sensory impairments often get less physical activity than their peers, but there are still options to get in shape and lead healthier lives! If you have a sensory disability, make sure that you speak with a healthcare provider before starting a new fitness regime.
These fun exercises can help you get in shape; even with a sensory disability, let's go!
Walking or Running on a Treadmill
There are plenty of studies showing that running has the power to increase your lifespan, with one stating that running regularly can increase a person's lifespan by about three years. We can attribute this to the fact that runners have better cardiovascular, body composition, and even neurological functioning.
Although people with sensory disabilities may find it challenging to participate in sports requiring sight or visual communication with teammates, running on a treadmill is a great way to get active! If you're new to the fitness world, start with a brisk walk on the treadmill to get your blood flowing.
People who aren't active enough can develop joint pain and decreased muscular endurance and flexibility. However, water aerobics is a fun way to combat the effects of inactivity and live a more active lifestyle. Since people with sensory disabilities may not get enough exercise, water aerobics allows them to fit in their daily hours without putting too much stress on their joints.
Differently-abled people can partake in water aerobics, especially if they modify the exercises to suit their abilities. For instance, someone with a visual impairment may need to count the number of strokes to cover the length of the pool. Water aerobics classes are also great for people with sensory disabilities because the activities are restricted to a specific area of the pool.
Group Fitness Classes
People with sensory disabilities often find it challenging to make friends and meet new people like them. Group fitness classes led by adaptive fitness specialists present an opportunity for differently-abled people to get in shape and have fun along the way!
Working out with a community of like-minded individuals will make it much easier to stick to a new fitness regime. A 2016 study found that people who work out with others are more active than those that do not. Also, adaptive fitness specialists will ensure that the entire group can work out properly and stay motivated!
When it comes to exercises for people with sensory disabilities, adaptive rowing is one of the most popular. Instead of using a boat and going out on the water, adaptive rowing uses an indoor rower to meet the needs of people with diverse abilities. Most people think that adaptive rowing only works the upper body, but it also engages muscles in the legs.
And the best part is adaptive rowing is perfectly safe for people with sensory disabilities! In fact, a 2015 study found that people with low vision could increase their overall physical fitness by rowing five days a week. If you need help figuring out where to start, consider working with an adaptive fitness specialist that can guide you through a new fitness regime.
Whether it's calisthenics or weight lifting, strength training is an effective way for people with sensory disabilities to enhance their physical fitness. The right strength training exercises will help differently abled people improve their strength and care for themselves independently. Physical strength can make a world of difference for people with sensory disabilities by allowing them to live a more enjoyable lifestyle.
While sensory disabilities may affect a person's ability to see, taste, hear, or touch, they don't impact someone's ability to gain strength! Just remember to take it slowly in the beginning and start with bodyweight exercises to build strength gradually over time.
Get Moving with Let’s Go Fitness
If you’re looking for a special needs fitness program but you’re not sure where to start, our team at Let’s Go Fitness is here to help. We provide special needs fitness programs for differently-abled individuals.
At Let's Go Fitness, we strive to create a welcoming environment where anyone can make friends, get in shape, and have fun doing it! Our adaptive fitness specialists guide participants every step of the way. Whether our athletes need accommodations, modifications, or simply an understanding listener, we'll help everyone reach their goals.
Are you ready to start a fitness journey for yourself or a loved one? Contact Let's Go Fitness today to learn more about our membership packages!