Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - 19

Not so fast. While it may be a
challenge to exercise with physical
limitations-whether permanent
or temporary-you can still do it.
And you absolutely should.
"Being active is beneficial for all
Americans, and even more so for people with chronic health conditions, to
maintain health and function," says
Amy Rauworth, associate director of
the National Center on Health, Physical
Activity and Disability. "The important
thing to remember is to look at the
ability and not the limit."
Of course, the limits can sometimes
be difficult to get past. Let's explore
some of the barriers you might encounter when working out and ways to
break through them.

balance and agility, consider working
with a trainer in the beginning to
learn proper form and get tips.
"Choose the right level of personal
trainer that motivates you and
understands your health conditions,"
Rauworth says.

BARRIER: You're not sure whether

will aggravate your condition.
What to do to break through:
Talk to your doctor.
"People have that fear that they're
going to do too much or that they can't
be physically active," Rauworth says.
"But they can. They just need to talk
to their doctor first. Most of the time,
the doctor will say, 'Yes, absolutely.'
Sometimes the doctor will say, 'Let's
run a couple of tests first.'"

facilities will be accessible.
What to do to break through: Even
though the Americans with Disabilities
Act has been in effect for more than a
quarter century, not all recreational
facilities make it easy for people with
disabilities to get around.
If you're thinking of joining a gym,
call ahead or schedule a tour to find
out whether it will meet your needs.
Does it have the equipment you require?
Is it accessible? Can you get around in
the changing areas?
If not, ask for what you need. You
might not get it in the time frame you
require, but it could mean breaking
down a barrier for someone else down
the line.
"The more you go out there and ask
for access, the more people will benefit,"
Rauworth says. "If we create an environment accessible by all, we're all going
to be more active."

BARRIER: You don't know where

BARRIER: You lack motivation.

BARRIER: You're worried exercise

to start.
What to do to break through: Your
doctor has given his or her blessing to
be active. But how should you go about
it? Rauworth recommends walking, if
you're able.
"Walking is always a great way to
start," she says. "It's inexpensive, and
if you can do it with a friend, it makes
the time pass quicker."
Rauworth suggests mapping out a
route ahead of time to identify places
to sit, use the bathroom or do whatever
your health condition might require.
If you're interested in strength training or functional exercises that simultaneously improve strength, endurance,

What to do to break through:
To stick with an exercise regimen, it
shouldn't feel like exercise.
"Find the types of things you like,"
Rauworth says. "If you're not going
to like riding a stationary bike in your
basement, don't do that." Instead, go for
a bike ride outside, take a belly dancing
class or sign up for tai chi in the park.

BARRIER: You fear failure.

What to do to break through: Start
slow and work your way up. Set realistic
goals and adjust as needed on a monthly,
weekly or daily basis.
Remember that any move in the right
direction is a good thing. And if your

ACCESSIBLE
ACTIVITIES
Physical limitations may mean basketball and downhill skiing are out. But
some activities are generally considered to be safe (with your doctor's
approval, of course). Here are a few
to consider, if you're able.
* Walking. It's cheap, it can be
done anywhere and it's something
you already know how to do. To get
aerobic benefits, walk at a pace that
gets your heart rate up but still allows
you to carry on a conversation.
* Water aerobics. Low to no
impact, swimming and water activities
are especially good for people with
orthopedic issues.
* Yoga. Easily adaptable to every
fitness level, yoga is ideal for all.
People with balance or mobility issues
can try chair yoga or concentrate on
floor positions while building strength
and endurance.

TOOL

Get Help Staying
Active as You Age
The National Institute on Aging
offers a free online tool, My
Go4Life, that helps people set
fitness goals, track progress and
create personalized exercise
plans. Visit go4life.nia.nih.gov/
mygo4life.

limitation is new, give yourself time to
adjust to your abilities.
"Recognize that you won't be able to
do the exact same exercise routine you
did before," Rauworth says. "Do what
you feel is comfortable for that day, and
remember every day is a new day." ■
FALL 2017

19


http://go4life.nia.nih.gov/mygo4life http://go4life.nia.nih.gov/mygo4life

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover3
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