Staying active is essential to healthy lifestyle.
Exercising regularly is an important way to keep your body healthy.
Exercise is also a great way to manage your disability and other health conditions that you may have.
For example, if your ability to move is limited, exercise can help you to move better by keeping your muscles strong and flexible.
Exercise can help you to:
Feel better each day
Have fun through activity
Feel better about yourself
Planning ahead is an important step before you begin an exercise program.
Talk with your doctor before you begin.
Your doctor can help you and your support person to learn how you can exercise safely, based on your ability.
Your doctor or healthcare provider will help you develop an exercise plan just for you!
Some people with a developmental disability:
May have difficulty moving their body in certain ways
May need to adapt the way that they exercise, to prevent injury
May take medications that make them feel dizzy or tired.
Your doctor can help you and your support person learn about how to adapt your exercise.
Based on your abilities with movement
Your health condition
And your medications
Begin any exercise with stretching.
Examples of stretching include:
Extending your arms towards your toes
Reaching towards the sky
Stretch and keep it comfortable (it should not hurt) and then hold the stretch for 10 or more seconds.
Stretching helps prevent injuries such as a pulled muscles.
When you finish exercising, stretch again.
Stretching helps you achieve your exercise goal and also helps prevent injuries.
When you prepare for exercise, first by stretching, your body will learn to move in new and better ways.
Each time you exercise, your muscles get stronger.
Exercise makes your heart stronger!
Your heart is a muscle. Daily exercise makes your heart healthier and stronger.
A healthy heart makes you feel better in everything you do!
You should drink water everyday.
You should drink 8 glasses of water throughout the day everyday.
Having enough water in your body is called, “being hydrated”.
Being hydrated is very important when you exercise.
Then you can begin!
Exercise with a friend or support provider.
You can remind each other about the correct ways to do different exercises.
Exercising with a friend can also be fun!
When exercising, your body will tell you when you should take a break.
Taking breaks when you are tired will help to prevent injury.
You should stop exercising and tell someone if you feel:
Pain or discomfort
Dizziness or lightheadedness
An irregular heart beat
A shortness of breath
Occasionally when you exercise, injuries may occur.
The most common exercise injury is a strained or pulled muscle.
After exercise, your muscle is sometimes sore or hurts.
First aid for a strained or pulled muscle is to place an ice bag over the area that is sore.
Limit the ice to 15 minutes every hour.
Avoid placing ice directly on your skin (place a towel under the ice).
Another common exercise injury is a scrape, abrasion, or cut.
You can care for this injury by:
Keeping scrapes and cuts clean with soap and warm water
Using a bandage on cuts and scrapes
Calling a doctor if the injury is getting worse, or not getting better.
More serious exercise injuries can include:
Can occur when you twist your ankle
Broken bones, cuts, injury to your head, or loss of consciousness
If you, or someone you are with, experiences a serious injury while exercising, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room for immediate help.
Enjoy your exercise!
Exercise can be a fun experience!
Exercise will help you to move better by keeping your muscles strong and flexible.
You will feel better each day!
You will feel better about yourself!
Preparing for exercise will help keep you from being injured!
You and your support providers can learn more!
You can also learn more about common exercise injuries.
Last updated on June 21st, 2010