Benefits of Exercise for Persons with Disabilities

Whether you have a disability or a chronic condition that limits your mobility, exercise doesn't have to be out of reach or even painful. In fact, depending on your condition, your health care provider has probably recommended that you increase your physical activity. That may have you wondering, "How am I supposed to move more when I have these limitations?"

Exercise provides so many health benefits, from decreased risk for heart disease to a better ability to maintain a healthy weight, and even a more positive body image and outlook—and these benefits extend to individuals with limitations as well. In fact, exercise may even help alleviate pain and degenerative symptoms associated with chronic conditions like arthritis, helping many people increase their mobility and independence while decreasing pain.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular exercise can be of huge benefit, including:

  • Improving stamina and muscle strength - this may really help with some forms of disability.

  • When we exercise, the brain releases endorphins that delivers a feel-good high. This can help ease anxiety and depression.

  • Exercising in a group is a great way to try something different, meet new people and become part of the community.  

  • You'll gain the ability to maintain a higher level of independence, sense of freedom and quality of life.

  • Exercise can control joint swelling, and help alleviate pain in the process.

Benefis of exercise

It has long been known that there are significant health advantages associated with physical activity. Benefits of cardiovascular exercise contribute to better mental and physical health. Physical activity also helps to improve muscle strength, have more energy, and increased stamina. Benefits can be obtained in 30-40 minutes of moderate activities, such as wheeling oneself in a wheelchair or more intense exercise like playing wheelchair basketball for 20 minutes. Wheelchair users have an increased demand in use of the upper body and shoulders. This area needs to stay strong to prevent injury. You can also exercise the areas that are paralyzed, for example with an EF250 to move your legs for better blood circulation. This is extremely important. Exercises for the leg muscles are just as important for people with paralysis as they are for able-bodied people.


Dangers of Poor Fitness or Inactivity in Disabled

  • Physical inactivity may increase the risks of certain cancers.

  • Physical inactivity may contribute to anxiety and depression.

  • Physical inactivity has been shown to be a risk factor for certain cardiovascular diseases.

  • People who engage in more physical activity are less likely to develop coronary heart disease.

  • People who are more active are less likely to be overweight or obese.

  • Sitting too much may cause a decrease in skeletal muscle mass.

  • Physical inactivity is linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.