New year, new plans to be active?
It’s that time of year again. For many it’s a time to focus on New Year’s resolutions - perhaps take up a new exercise regime. For many disabled people, starting of an active lifestyle can be more challenging. Going from inactive to active can involve breaking down physical, logistical or psychological barriers. Here, we explore some top tips from disabled people.
Research tells us that disabled people are twice as likely to be inactive as non-disabled people. However, it also shows a clear desire from a significant number of disabled people, who want to be more active. Our Me Being Active videos are a great way to hear disabled people’s experiences. They highlight the various mental and physical health benefits they gain from their activity.
There are many ways to start enjoying an active lifestyle. This includes adapted sports for people with specific impairments. Many providers put on inclusive sessions where disabled and non-disabled people can take part together.
In our first Me Being Active series, viewers meet Cassie, Cath, Chandni, Hannah and Wolf.
Wolf - Starting to become more active
Keen cyclist Wolf tells us how he gradually increased his cycling miles.
“When I first started cycling I could only do a mile. That was fine for me.”
"You don’t have to do the full works. For me, for cycling: one mile! You can walk that. But I decided to cycle it and expand from that.”
Chandni - Finding the right support
Chandni is a fitness fanatic, without the support she gets from her local gym she wouldn't be able to exercise.
“For a long time I have just focused on my career. For a good few years I didn't focus on my health. But if you find a gym then just force yourself, push yourself to go in. You'll see the difference it can make to your life.
"At the end of the day, yes I have a disability. But I just need to get on. I need to look after myself and make myself feel good and positive.”
Watch Cassie, Cath, Chandni, Hannah and Wolf’s stories on Activity Alliance's YouTube channel.
In our most recent Me Being Active video series, viewers meet Anoushé, Evie, Richard, Sam, Shona, Tesfai and Zac.
Richard - Building confidence
Richard says karate gives him purpose routine and structure to his daily life.
"Karate is about continuous improvement. So you go at your own pace. I worked on a lot of basics (Kihon) to build my stamina up. Regained my confidence to be able to teach a whole class.
“Being active is a key part of managing my disability, health and wellbeing. I am passionate about Karate and would love to think that I can train as long as possible, with age and disability not being a barrier.”
Anoushé - Making new friends
Anoushé has a head for heights. She says climbing is a great challenge for her body and mind. From learning to balance and jump on a wall to making new friends and socialising at the climbing centre - the benefits of being active are endless.
“Activity is one of the biggest tools you have in your own toolkit that you can actually take control of. I hated going to the gym, that’s why I started out climbing.
“The climbing spirit and community is something that I’ve not experienced anywhere else.”
Watch all eight stories on Activity Alliance's YouTube channel.
Being Active Guide
Our Me Being Active stories echo advice within our Being Active Guide.
The Guide was created with Disability Rights UK. It is for everyone with lived experience of disability of health-conditions. It provides information in a quick and easy format on how to start enjoying an active lifestyle. Read our Being Active Guide to see how you can get started.
Top tips on how to start
If you are not as active as you would like to be or you know someone who isn't, we have lots of resources or contacts to help you on your way. Visit our How to start page.