Physical activity for people with chronic disease, disabilities and large adults
If you have a chronic disease or a disability, getting started being physically active may seem like a tough thing to do. However, the benefits can be significant. Regular physical activity can improve physical function and provide therapeutic benefits for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, arthritis, lung disease and other chronic diseases. Regular physical activity can also help reduce stress and break the cycle of pain, anxiety and depression which often accompanies a chronic disease or disability.
Photo by UW Health Promotion Research Center
There are a wide variety of physical activity programs for people with chronic disease or disability. Check with your local community or recreation center and ask what is available. For example, some swimming pools provide a warmer water temperature for people with arthritis. They also provide ramps and lifts for people with limited mobility. Finding the right program can help start you on your way to becoming more physically active and improving your health, or keep you motivated if you have already begun a physical activity program.
- Specialized Programs, Seattle Parks and Recreation: year-round activities for people with disabilities
- Resource Guide for Children and Adults With Developmental Disabilities Living in King County, the Arc of King County
- SKIFORALL: provides instruction and outdoor activities including cycling, hiking, in-line skating, river rafting, canoeing & kayaking, day camps, water skiing, rock-climbing, camping and custom events
- The Arthritis Foundation: guide to physical activity for people with arthritis
- American Diabetes Association: guide to physical activity for people with diabetes
- American Heart Association: physical activity and a healthy heart
- United States Paralympics
- The National Center on Physical activity and Disability
It can be challenging for larger adults to become physically active. The Weight Control Information Network has developed some tips to help get you started. Check with your local community or recreation center for classes and programs.