Ideas and Tips
By Amy Rauworth
For many individuals, the words "exercise" or "workout" conjure up negative images which can prevent them from making exercise and their health a priority. Here are a few simple ideas to put the fun back in fitness.
Choose an activity that you enjoy. If the idea of structured exercise such as a stationary bike, arm ergometer, or a standard aerobics class is not appealing, then choose an activity that is pleasurable for you. Do you enjoy dancing? There are many types of exercise that incorporate music and various forms of dance such as salsa, zamba, or hip-hop. AXIS Dance Company (http://www.axisdance.org), for example, provides inclusive options for people with and without disabilities to experience dance together.
Find 5-10 minutes at a time in your daily schedule to increase your activity level. This might include taking a quick stroll around the block with a friend during your lunch hour or moving around your house during every commercial break of your favorite TV shows. Before you know it, you will be allocating at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to your health. Think of each minute as a deposit in your savings account for good health, as you never know when you might need to make a withdrawal!
Join a team. Organized sport is a great way to focus on fitness as fun and games, and it also gives you a chance to connect with your community, as it brings different people with various abilities together to create a social and fun environment. Join a team that prioritizes fun over winning!
Invest in a few inexpensive toys. Take a lesson from Fido: a simple tennis ball can provide all kinds of fun. Keep one at your desk or near your favorite chair and bounce it off a wall to maintain shoulder mobility or squeeze it to improve grip strength. Purchase a large exercise ball that you can sit on while you are talking on the phone, or a weighted ball, known as a medicine ball, that you can use to build strength. Think back to your childhood to recall other toys that you might have enjoyed, such as a hula hoop, a balloon, or Frisbee and incorporate them into your fitness activities.
Try a variety of activities. Does the mind-body aspect of fitness intrigue you? Experience yoga or Pilates. Many of these exercise methods can be introduced to you at no cost through a studio or gym that offers free introductory classes. Check out our inclusive yoga video to get you started.
Invest in your health, and be active every day!