Whenever my abled friends are talking about fitness they always stop talking about it when I enter the room because they think my fitness regime is totally different from theirs’s and that I can’t relate to it. Yes, there may be some things I may not be able to relate to but there are a lot of things both abled and disabled people can both relate to! A lot of exercises that abled people do disabled people are also able to do but we just modify as needed! I am very passionate about fitness and enjoy talking about it and although my goals may be different from an abled person there are plenty of things we both can relate to.
Muscle soreness- If you have never experienced muscle soreness and you workout consistently you are probably not working out hard enough and may need to increase your intensity just a little bit in order to start seeing those results. With that said anyone who works out consistently will experience muscle soreness at some point even disabled people. That is a way of your body telling you that you have done something that your body is not used to and both abled and disabled people experience it. Our workouts may be different from yours and we may get sore in different muscle groups but that does not mean our workouts are easy because we still experience muscle soreness just like you!
Struggles of finding the right workout- Finding the workout is never easy and is challenging for both abled and disabled people! Disabled people may face a lot of physical challenges while working out while abled people may have some difficulty finding the time and staying motivated. Finding the time and staying motivated can also be difficult for a lot of disabled people because even though we may have a disability that may have a lot of physical challenges it does not mean we have tons of extra time. Disabled people work jobs just like most abled people do and may struggle with finding the time and motivation to get stuff done as much as an abled person would.
Hitting Plateaus– Have you ever just stopped making progress in your workout and just couldn’t figure out why! One of the reasons I changed my workout routine is because I hit a plateau and just stopped making progress and I didn’t see a point in continuing it but instead of giving up I found a new workout routine that I have made more progress than I have ever thought was possible. So yes disabled people hit plateaus in their workouts just like abled people do. When you hit a plateau seriously look at your routine and ask yourself when was the last time I changed something about it? Is my nutrition on point? If you have never changed up your workout routine or aren’t taking your nutrition seriously then that could be the reason you hit a plateau!
Getting injured– When was the last time you overdid in your workout and got injured? With any workout, there is always the possibility of getting injured and if you don’t focus on proper form instead of how many reps you are doing you will increase the chances of getting injured! Disabled people may have different workout routines but we still can get injured if we have sloppy form when we are working out! Always be mindful of your form when you are working out and if you aren’t sure if your form is off, do exercises in front of a mirror.
What we can’t relate to
Problems you face at the gym- Most people who are physically disabled don’t work out in a gym and if they do they can’t use nearly as much equipment in the gym as an abled person can. Gyms are not very accessible for a physically disabled person and usually, if we want to work out in a gym we are limited to using their mats and weights. Both of those things you can purchase at home and it would probably be much cheaper than a gym membership. Most gym equipment is not set up so a person with a physical disability can easily use them so most people do not even bother using them. We may not be familiar with most gym equipment so talking about all the problems you face at the gym may be a better conversation to have with your abled friends because your disabled friends may not know what you are talking about and you may just end up boring them to tears!
Your Gains- When you are physically disabled there are some muscle groups that just do not work and because of that getting gains in our workouts is a little bit harder! We are not able to work out certain muscle groups because they don’t work so getting gains in certain areas is impossible! I am so happy that you are making gains in your workouts but bragging about all your booty gains to a person with a physical disability who cannot do butt workouts and that may struggle with body confidence may not be a good idea! An abled person may be more appreciative of your gains because they will understand what it takes to get there and a disabled person may just get annoyed.
Disabled people may face more physical challenges when we are working out but for the most part, a lot of the challenges you face while in the gym are the same for both abled and disabled people. Disabled people experience muscle soreness, get injured if they aren’t paying attention to their form and for many, they really struggle to just do any sort of workout just like many abled people do! Yes, there may be some things about fitness disabled people can’t relate to but there is a lot of things we can and not including us in your conversations because you think we can’t relate to it can make us feel like we aren’t included and hurt our feelings.
Disabled people can relate to more about fitness than you think we can and if you are talking about something that we can’t relate to or that is making us uncomfortable we will tell you otherwise there is no need to change the subject. A lot of disabled people have no one to talk to about their fitness goals and accomplishments and getting and staying on track of their goals may not come as easily than if you had a support system. When you are disabled you may not be able to achieve as much physically but when you crush a goal(no matter how small) you should be proud and never embarrassed to share these accomplishments with your abled friends! Staying motivated can be really difficult if you do not have anyone supporting your fitness goals so if you are struggling, find someone who will listen and be supportive of your goals! If you have any questions on what disabled people can relate to about fitness please leave them in the comments below.