Physical Activity Resources for Veterans
|Associate Director, Amy Rauworth|
It is our goal at NCHPAD to serve all Americans, and this month I would like to offer a few resources that can assist veterans in leading active and healthy lifestyles.
Lead by Example
A recent example of three veterans' desires to compete in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon as part of the Operation Rebound team from the Challenged Athlete's Foundation is just one way that veterans with disabilities can find a venue for competition. They successfully completed the triathlon on June 3, 2007. To view a CBS video with interviews of the veteran athletes Rich Ingram, Andy Hatcher and Melissa Stockwell, go to: http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=2884832n and http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=2885076n.
Activity and Adventure
If competition is not of interest, Disabled Veteran's Summer Adventure Week, held June 11-15, 2007 in Telluride, Colorado offers programs that can provide the veteran with recreational activities for fun and leisure. Programs include rafting, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, golfing and more.
If you are looking for a way to stay in shape and maintain or achieve a healthy weight, a program offered by the VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP), a part of the Office of Patient Care Services, may be right for you. MOVE! is a national weight management program designed to help veterans lose weight, keep it off, and improve their health. The program asks veterans to complete a 23-item questionnaire that asks about weight, health, prior attempts at weight loss, and individual issues with losing weight and becoming more physically active. Following the questionnaire is a 4-6 page report designed to support specific needs. To learn more go to: http://www.move.va.gov/.
VA primary care providers give each veteran enrolled in MOVE! a pedometer, a brochure that explains how to use the pedometer, and an exercise prescription for recommended physical activity, such as a number of daily steps to walk.
If you want to learn more about pedometer use for people with disabilities check out our NCHPAD factsheet at: http://www.ncpad.org/368/2062/What~is~a~Pedometer~and~How~Can~I~Benefit~from~Using
To help you track your progress in your MOVE! Program, log onto MyNCHPAD (http://www.ncpad.org/myncpad/).
Resources for Fitness Professionals
If you are a fitness professional and want to support the HealthierUS Veterans effort, join the Fit for Life Veteran Volunteer Corps. The Fit for Life Corps is a volunteer group consisting of veterans, their families, friends, VSO groups and anyone interested in supporting the HealthierUS Veterans initiative.
Sporting Organizations for Veterans
If you found a kindred spirit in athletes Rich Ingram, Andy Hatcher or Melissa Stockwell, visit the Challenged Athlete's Foundation at http://www.challengedathletes.org/programs/operation_rebound.htm to learn more about Operation Rebound.
The Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project is a partnership between Disabled Sports USA and the Wounded Warrior Project, providing year round sports programs for wounded service members from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict and the Global War on Terrorism.
The 'Wounded Warriors' and their family members are provided these opportunities free of charge, including transportation, lodging, adaptive equipment and individualized instruction in over a dozen different winter and summer sports. Programs take place at sites throughout the U.S., offering Wounded Warriors the chance to re-build their lives through sport.
The Adapted Sports Center offers a full line of summer and winter outdoor activities ranging from skiing and rafting to wellness retreats and programs on a universally designed ropes course. To learn more about the programs offered through the Adapted Sports Center go to : http://www.adaptivesports.org/.
Sun Valley Adaptive Sports provides a program called Higher Ground (winter and summer). This program serves recently injured American veterans who served in Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts. The purpose of Higher Ground is to make a healthy, positive, and lifelong impact on the rehabilitation of veterans. It is also to help veterans integrate back into their communities. Higher Ground introduces veterans to, or reacquaints them with, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, sled hockey, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, cycling, and other Sun Valley activities using experienced coaches and recreational therapists. To view program offerings go to: http://www.svasp.org/programs.html.
The Adapted Sports Foundation in partnership with Disabled Sports USA, the Wounded Warrior Project and the New York City Fire Department has been offering programs to United States servicemen and women who have been injured in the Global War on Terrorism. To date, they have served over 70 soldiers and Marines with varied disabilities. To learn more go to: http://www.adaptivesportsfoundation.org/events/troops/.
A challenge to participation in physical activity for veterans with disabilities can be the cost of assistive technologies needed to participate. To find out about funding for assistive technologies go to http://www.watf.org/about_watf/about_watf.php.
To find more programs or organizations in your area search NCPAD's program and organization database at: http://www.ncpad.org/directories/15/Programs.
For the veteran who does not want to participate in an organized event, NCHPAD offers many resources that can be used in the comfort of your own home such as the Quick Series Guide on Exercise for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries: Tetraplegia a pocket-sized reference guide on exercise for individuals with tetraplegia. This is an excellent resource that can be used to complement the exercise video, or as a guide while exercising in your home or at the fitness center. Funding for this quick series booklet was provided by the Paralyzed Veterans of America: Education Foundation.
To view all NCHPAD products go to: http://www.ncpad.org/shop/.
For more information, contact NCHPAD at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-900-8086.
Amy Rauworth can be contacted at email@example.com.