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eInsights - July 15, 2008

Let’s Get Physical

The summer has always been a time of family and fun. It is also a great time to start that exercise program that you have been putting off. A good program is key to losing those extra pounds. The disability community continues to see higher numbers of obesity among its 5.5 million children and adults, but with the rise in the availability of adaptive sports programs, this problem can be solved.

Many participants in adaptive sports say that they find these programs useful in fighting fatigue, depression, and social isolation. Children and adults with disabilities learn a variety of skills such as swimming, other aquatic exercises, tennis, and basketball, among others, to help gain strength and control.

According to Lane Jeppesen, Executive Director of Arizona Disabled Sports, some of the benefits of regular exercise include fewer medical problems, increased self-confidence, improved mood and coping, improved fine and gross motor skills, increased quality of life, and greater stamina in everyday activities.

“Exercise can be as simple as playing Nintendo Wii, cycling or wheeling in your neighborhood for 30 minutes or gardening for 45 minutes. The goal is to be active and the benefits are endless,” says Lane.

Whether you prefer water or land exercises, reap the benefits by developing a plan that works for you or for your child by encouraging activity on an ongoing basis.

Look for adaptive sports programs in your area and jump-start a summer of fun and exercise.

For a list of National resources (PDF)

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