Decrease Secondary Condition Risk by Celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day with Exercise
|Jennifer Rowland, Ph.D.|
Kathy has found that when she does not exercise, there is increased risk of secondary conditions that become functionally limiting, specifically spasticity and weakness. Pain is also a common secondary condition for Kathy, as well as for many other people with disabilities (Houlihan et al., 2004; Law et al., 2006). Kathy manages her pain by performing stretching and breathing/meditation exercises. Research examining quality of life and participation limitations for people with disabilities also identifies pain as a common limitation to initiating and maintaining an exercise program. For Kathy, although the pain is present throughout her exercise program, her focus on activities such as stretching and the variety and enjoyment of participating in sit-skiing and a high ropes challenge course have allowed her to minimize its effect on her exercise routine.
Kathy's story provides evidence that choosing and adapting engaging exercise programs is essential to maintaining a life-long interest, and participation in exercise can prevent or decrease the risk for certain secondary conditions. Celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day this month by selecting an engaging exercise for yourself!
- Houlihan, C.M., O'Donnell, M., Conaway, M., & Stevenson, R.D. (2004). Bodily pain and health-related quality of life in children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 46, 305-310.
- Law, M., King, G., King, S., Kertoy, M., Hurley, P., Rosenbaum, P., Young, N., & Hanna, S. (2006). Patterns of participation in recreational and leisure activities among children with complex physical disabilities. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 48, 337-342.
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