- A Seasonal Circuit Series, Pumpkin Style
- Outdoor Fall Fitness and Wellness for the Entire Family
- The Road that Needs to be Built - Connecting Rehab to Physical Activity
- Gadget Season
- Osteoarthritis and Exercise
- Effects of Resistance and Endurance Training in Paraplegia
- Opening Doors: Why Fitness Facilities Should Make Room for People With Disabilities
- What I Have Learned This Month: Program and Fitness Professional Awareness
- The Importance of Fitness for People with Disabilities
- People with Disabilities Need to Start Out with Higher Levels of Fitness
- Don't Stay on the Sidelines: Find an Accessible Exercise Facility
by Candace Bennett
For the past six and a half years, I have worked as a writer and editor, focusing on assistive technology devices for people with disabilities. It's been gratifying helping others access life's activities, but I also benefit because I have a disability. I've had multiple sclerosis for more than half my life. As my ability to ambulate has receded, I've needed to devise creative ways to accomplish tasks. I mostly use a motorized scooter, and for short trips around my house, I use a walker. That means that I accomplish as much as possible while seated, i.e., shopping, cooking, and bathing. I even got married sitting down
For me, finding appropriate exercises is very difficult. Since I must stand to ease the continuous strain on my back, working out in a swimming pool is an excellent activity. I use the water's buoyancy, plus a flotation device or two such as a noodle, a kickboard, or a flotation belt, and I can stand up easily. Yet, if I don't make time to swim, I experience much more back pain.
Recently I moved from a house to a condominium for greater access to the city. From my new location, I called a NCHPAD Information Specialist to learn about the location of accessible pools. Then I searched NCPAD's Web site. It provides information on adaptive equipment, programs, and how-to videos, as well as demonstration video clips. This is very reassuring as it demonstrates that I have many more options from which to choose than repetitive movements or low-impact water aerobics. NCHPAD fact sheets and other materials have helped me to learn water yoga, martial arts, water pilates, yogalates, and adapted land sports. I now can be fit and have a lot of fun!