Outdoor Fitness Activities for People with Limited Mobility

Gardening is one of the most popular outdoor activities for older people, and it's easy to see why.


is a great activity, as it can be adapted to different levels of mobility. It may involve hiking or simply sitting on a bench, with a guide in hand, and debating whether it is a yellow-tailed warbler or a flycatcher from the Pacific slopes. Either way, it's a good exercise for the body and mind. Bird watching can also be done from inside the house.

The installation of a bird feeder or bird drinker encourages feathered friends to come and visit. There are even window feeders that use suction cups to attach them directly to the window, allowing for easy viewing. Storing bird feeders during the winter is a great way to combat sad cold weather, and birds will appreciate having a reliable source of food. Fishing is another great way to relax outdoors. It's also a good opportunity to bond with family or friends.

If fishing from the shore or from a pier isn't enough, renting a pontoon is a good option, as it can be wider and more stable than most boats. Another aquatic activity, swimming is one of the best ways to exercise. Outdoor pools allow you to enjoy the sunlight while staying cool and cool. Being in the water reduces weight and relieves tension in muscles, bones and ligaments. Whether it's swimming or just lounging, going to a pool fits a variety of fitness and mobility levels.

For those who rely on a wheelchair, look for pools with a lift to help them get into the water. The indoor pools at Hebrew Seniorlife's Orchard Cove and NewBridge on the Charles have elevators, but if you're looking for an outdoor pool you can use any of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation pools, such as the Olsen pool in Hyde Park. Everyone needs physical activity to enjoy good health. However, less than half of American adults with severe difficulty walking or climbing stairs (mobility problems) say they are doing aerobic physical activity.


For those who are active, walking is the most common physical activity.


However, adults with disabilities report that there are more environmental barriers to walking than those without disabilities.


Here are some ways that people with disabilities can stay active and healthy.

Tai chi

uses slow, gentle and intentional movements to strengthen both the body and the mind. You can do tai chi anywhere, even outside.

In addition to reducing stress, this “meditation in motion” can improve upper and lower body strength, make you more flexible and increase your balance. Regular gardening allows you to go outdoors, to nature and to move your body enough to help you prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of suffering from certain diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression and heart disease. You can walk up to 4 miles during an 18-hole game of golf. Your heart works out even more if you wear clubs while you do it. Take care to stretch and use the proper position when balancing to avoid injury. Time on the tennis court helps build your cardiovascular endurance by increasing your breathing rate in short bursts.

Improves lung, heart and blood flow health. Find someone to play with who can match your skills and get down to business. If you have a health condition such as osteoporosis, check with your doctor first to make sure that a high-impact sport, such as tennis, is safe for you. When the weather is nice, taking a walk in an outdoor pool is a great way to improve your cardiovascular endurance and, at the same time, reduce the pressure on your body. You should even be able to do it safely if you're in cardiac rehabilitation after a heart problem. Aren't you a swimmer? Try walking by the pool in shallow water. Trail running is the perfect workout for your customers who love running and cardiovascular activities.

It's a great way to get off the sidewalk and enjoy a quieter, more picturesque run. Sloped trails will tone your glutes and quadriceps and build muscle strength. Not in the mood for an intense workout? Walking is one of the most basic forms of outdoor exercise, but its health benefits are unmatched. Walking is good for your joints: just one hour of walking a week helps relieve joint pain. Regular walking is also associated with a decreased risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).

The best part? You can do it pretty much anywhere. Decide what amount of physical activity is right for you and your fitness level, choose an activity that you enjoy such as working in the garden, doing household chores, riding in a wheelchair, brisk walking or dancing; look for ways to include your favorite physical activity in your daily life. If you're interested in collecting data about your exercise to achieve your overall fitness goals consider using a fitness tracker. Many adults with disabilities and chronic health problems can be physically active on a regular basis but it's important to see a health professional or physical activity specialist (for example; physical therapist or personal trainer) to understand how your disability or health condition affects your ability to perform physical activity safely. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans second edition pdf icon external icon physical activity can help control weight improve mental health and reduce the risk of premature death heart disease type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Being physically active outdoors can help improve your physical health as well as your mental health and well-being. For people with disabilities physical activity can help support activities of daily living and independence.

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