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Blog: “It’s all about adapting in order to achieve your goal”

As the sport and activity sector gets ready to open its doors again, Activity Alliance remains committed to ensuring disabled people can be and stay active. We are especially mindful that there will be even more disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, who feel isolated and less active. Our blogs explore the different ways disabled people are moving and staying active, while at home.

Kian swimming

Until the sport and activity sectors open back up, there are many ways to continue enjoying an active lifestyle. This includes adapting activities so everyone in the household, disabled and non-disabled, can take part together, or on their own. We’ll be sharing experiences of disabled people and how they are staying active during this time.

Today we hear from Kian. He tells us how he adapts his exercises to stay fit and healthy.

Kian smiling to cameraKian's blog

Hi I’m Kian, I am an International Qualifier for swimming and have been part of the Talent Programme for swimming for five years. My highest achievement in medals is winning Gold and Bronze at the National-Para-Championships.

I have always enjoyed swimming from a very young age. My mum and dad would both agree that I learnt to swim before I could walk. I’m missing swimming so much at the moment. We have a very tight community at our club and I am missing my friends that have supported me throughout my medical journey and through my swimming career. I’m blind in my right eye, partially sighted and have Neurofibromatosis Type 2.

I haven’t found it to hard training at home as I have just recovered from major brain surgery. So, I haven’t been in the water for six months. Also, I do regular training anyway to build my strength. All that has been taken from me currently is the water part.

Strength and conditioning have been a part of my main exercises. I have had to re-build my strength and stamina back to its normal capacity. I mainly do a 5km run in the morning with my mum and dad and then do an hour of HIIT training or a general workout. I have joined a few online sessions mainly British Blind Sport’s #StayInWorkout sessions too.

I use a stepper for box jumps and steps, kettlebells for kettlebell swings, dumbbells for biceps curls and mats for floor exercises like planks, press ups and sit ups.

All of my household family join in on the afternoon workout and it has become a part of our daily routine. We are all considering carrying the sessions on after lockdown to keep us even more fit and healthy.

Being active has always benefited me, not just in lockdown and this uncertain period. I have had numerous medical issues in the past and I’ve still been active. 

Being active has helped me overcome these barriers. For example, every four weeks I am on chemotherapy for my Neurofibromatosis Type 2 but I will always go swimming on the same day. This is because I know it is good for me and my doctors and nurses have always told me that I wouldn’t have coped with my treatment if it wasn’t for how active I am.

My advice to disabled people is to always remember a saying that I religiously live by; “If you believe, you can achieve no matter how greater the odds.”  If you don’t have a specific piece of equipment find another way to do that exercise. Most people will know what part of their body they are working on. Also, I knew from when we started that my house was too small to do exercise, so I do it outside on the patio. When it’s raining I do it in the kitchen. It’s all about adapting in order to achieve your goal and if you believe you will succeed.    

Support on staying active

As the sport and activity sector make plans to open back up, there’s lots of ways to stay active at home. If you are not as active as you would like to be or you know someone who isn't we have complied a list to support you to be active at home. Visit our Get Active at Home page to find a list of exercise advice, workouts, videos and activity guides for disabled people.