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Physical Limitations to Exercise

Physical Limitations to Exercise

What are some physical limitations to exercise?
Can I exercise if I have a physical limitation?

Girls with all kinds of physical abilities can take care of their health, play sports, and be active. If there are physical limitations on what you can do, it doesn't mean you can't exercise. You don't need two legs to ski. You don't need vision to do yoga. And a girl in a wheelchair can play basketball. But there are some precautions to keep in mind, whether your limitations are permanent or temporary. back to top

What are some physical limitations to exercise?
A physical limitation to exercise can be anything from being in a wheelchair to recovering from a sprained wrist. Other physical conditions that can affect exercise choices are:
  • obesity
  • having the use of only one arm or leg
  • fibromyalgia
  • malnutrition
  • blindness
  • spinal cord injury
  • allergies
  • broken bones
  • heart disease back to top
Can I exercise if I have a physical limitation?
If you have a physical limitation that you think might affect your fitness plans, talk with your health professional before you start any exercise. A health professional can give you guidance on:
  • What kinds of exercises to avoid. For example, a girl recovering from an ankle injury may need to avoid high-impact activities like jumping rope or volleyball.
  • The risks and benefits of exercising with your physical abilities. This information is important so that you can make educated decisions.
  • Signs to watch for while exercising that show something might be wrong. Knowing about possible problems in advance can help you exercise safely.
If you want to exercise, the most important thing is to find an activity you enjoy and are comfortable doing. If you don't want to go to a gym or exercise with other people around, set up your own home gym. Check out exercise videos at your video store, library, or on the Net. There are videos for people with physical limitations featuring exercises that can be done either standing up or sitting down. Yoga and t'ai chi are good choices for people with limited mobility.

If you're interested in competing against people with your kind of abilities, contact Disabled Sports USA, which organizes events around the country and sends athletes to the Paralympic Games.

Disabled Sports USA
National Headquarters
Suite 100, 451 Hungerford Dr.
Rockville, MD 20850
1-301-217-0960 back to top

Last Modified Date: 4/2/2001
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