How to exercise when you have a chronic condition or a disability

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“If you struggle with arthritis, increase the room temperature where you’ll be exercising,” said Borowiec, who has extensive experience working with clients who have disabilities or long-term injuries. Photo: Pexels


Many people struggle to maintain a regular workout regimen. Add in a disability, chronic condition or injury, and it can be even more challenging to incorporate exercise into a weekly routine. Yet it’s important to do so.

Adults with disabilities are three times more likely to develop serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer than those without disabilities, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the impact of these health conditions can be lessened or possibly even avoided with regular aerobic exercise, nearly half of adults ages 18 to 64 with a disability are not engaging in any, the CDC says.

“Regular exercise can provide many benefits for people with disabilities, including improved overall health, increased strength and endurance, better mobility, and improved mental health,” said Lalitha McSorley, owner and lead physical therapist at Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic in Calgary, Alberta.

Regular exercise can also help manage the symptoms associated with some disabilities. For example, exercise can reduce the pain and stiffness that often accompanies arthritis, and it can improve cognitive function in people with cognitive issues, she said. Additionally, a consistent workout routine can boost self-esteem and provide valuable socialization and community engagement. (…)

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