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The new year is upon us and one of the most common and most failed goals that people make in the beginning of the year has something to do with fitness or nutrition. The problem isn’t that people are incapable reaching their fitness goals and it is because you are creating goals that are impossible to achieve in a year or aren’t motived to work towards them. Fitness is just as important for disabled people as it is for abled people but it is harder when you have a disablity because workouts are designed for people with physical disabilities. Disabled people that are able to work out should but often people don’t because it’s hard to create a accessible fitness routine. Some disabled people want to start a fitness journey but because there are so little resources out there for disabled people sometimes people don’t know where to start or how to even make a fitness goal. In this post, I am going to give a few ideas of fitness goals that you can make in the New Year if you have physical disability.
Improve your strength- Fitness is hard enough for disabled people because accessible routines are like finding a needle in a haystack. I have never been the type of person to work out for vanity reasons because working out is not all about looks and you should do it for better health. As a disabled person I don’t get full body transformations after doing a couple of hard workouts because I can’t decide that I am going to bench press thirty pounds due to the fact, not all my muscles work and I wouldn’t be able to lift something that heavy unless I had been training really hard for years. My goals as a disabled person are not to be able to lift heavier than my abled friends and it always had been to improve my strength because if I am able to do more shoulder presses with a heavier weight than I did last month I consider that a win. I do have weightlifting goals of how much I want to lift but my main focus isn’t about how much I am lifting and it’s getting stronger! There are tons of workouts like Pilates and weightlifting that disabled people can do and modify to fit their specific needs that will help them get stronger because it’s not always about your physical appearance and sometimes you need to not care that and work on improving yourself.
Focus on improving your nutrition– People sometimes are very consistent with their workouts but nutrition is often overlooked because people tend to think that if you work out you can eat whatever you want. People that go to the gym regularly often can eat more junk food without it negatively impacting their weight than people who can’t work out but you still should eat healthy regardless of how often you weight lift. . If you are disabled and can’t exercise you still can reach your goals because seventy to eighty percent of how you look and feel comes down to the foods you eat. Take a look at your diet and ask yourself what can I do better to improve my nutrition because sometimes feeling awful all the time has nothing to do with the workouts you are doing and it has everything to do with not fueling your body properly. Health isn’t just about all the things you can take out of your diet and it’s more about what can you add to it, for better nutrition. Focus on eating more healthy foods in the new year and stop those highly restrictive diets that tell you to cut major food groups from your diet and only last two weeks!
Improve your flexibility- When people think of flexibility often the first thing that comes to people’s mind is Yoga poses that put your body in weird positions. As a disabled person, I am not going to make my flexibility goal to do a split because it’s highly painful when you have dislocated hips and I don’t understand why anyone would want to stretch their bodies. Some disabled people may be able to do crazy stretches that put your body in weird positions but for most of us it’s impossible and we couldn’t them safely. Disabled people who benefit from flexibility training should still stretch because you don’t have to do insane stretches to improve your flexibility but you can do light ones and work up to something harder. I have to be honest that I am terrible at doing my stretches but I am trying to get better at it because when you stretch it improve your performance in your workouts.
Improve your endurance- Abled-bodied people often will do more cardio than any disabled person would even think of doing. Cardio is really hard when you have a physical disability because a lot of the cardio moves that abled people can do involve walking long distance or jumping and I can do neither of those things. My goal since my hip surgery has not been to be able to walk a certain distance and it has always been to improve my endurance so I can do more for myself without needing help. If you are disabled and struggle with having energy to do basic tasks, move a little each day and focus on improving your endurance rather than the distance you are able to walk. Disabled people with physical disabilities are usually not going to be walk as far as abled people without getting tired and that is okay because our bodies are not designed that way.
Fitness is a common goal people make in the New Year but unfortunately, most fitness goals will fail by February and only nine percent of New Years’ Resolutions will be successful. Fitness goals can be a little bit intimidating when you are new but it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. If you are disabled and have fitness goals, do not compare your fitness goals to an abled person because people without disabilities will be able to do more than disabled people can and you will feel discouraged when you compare your fitness to someone who doesn’t have a disability to consider. Fitness is harder as a disabled person because workouts are not designed for people with disabilities and sometimes you may have to modify inaccessible workouts to best fit your needs but you can reach your fitness goals as a disabled person if you’re honest with yourself and make realistic goals. I am a believer in setting goals because that is how we improve ourselves but I don’t necessarily make new goals in January and that is okay. You don’t have to make New Years’ Resolutions if you don’t want to but I don’t think you should if you have no intentions of working toward them. What are you doing for New Years and do you make New Years Resolutions?
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