Being diagnosed with a disability can be life-altering. However, it doesn't mean you shouldn't live your life to its fullest or take preventative action, The truth is, people with disabilities are just that - people. You need to eat right, stay active, and engage with friends and your community. You just need to do it in ways that accommodate your disability and that are appropriate for your unique situation. Whether you are concerned with health problems directly related to your disability or you are simply looking for ways to maximize overall health, it's time to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors and habits that can help.
1. Stay Physically Active
The American Heart Association recommends adults -including adults living with a disability- engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise every week. Guidelines also include at least two sessions of strength training each week.
Walking is a great way to get in both weight-bearing and cardiovascular exercise. It isn't your only option, however. So, if you don't enjoy walking just to move or it is painful for you, there are plenty of other activities to choose from. Check with local fitness facilities to see if they have classes or equipment that are suitable for you. If you prefer to be outside of a gym, you are limited only by your imagination. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking outside the box:
Chair volleyball Bicycles and tricycles -including recumbent models Swimming Yoga Water aerobics Tai Chi
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Proper nutrition is important for everyone, but when you live with a disability, it can make an even bigger impact. Plant-based diets like the Mediterranean and DASH diets are consistently ranked among the best for healthy eating, so check out recipes that adhere to those programs. The extra fiber in plants can help you feel fuller longer, and it gives a boost to gut health for an added benefit. Reading trustworthy reviews from supplements can help you attain a balanced diet, for example, Bio complete 3 reviews suggest that adding probiotics and supplements designed specifically for optimal gut health can also help regulate metabolic processes while improving overall health outcomes.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
Adults need, on average, between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Depending on your disability, age, and activity levels, you may need more. Listen to your body and increase the length of sleep to accommodate extra exercise, flare-ups, and periods of fatigue. Keep in mind that you may get tired quicker than others, or even than you used to, and look for cues that it's time to stop and rest. If you are struggling with sleep, try limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption, avoid screen time right before bed, and remove extra light sources for your room to promote a more restful environment. Many people also find that creating a bedtime routine can help get you mentally and physically prepared for the transition.
4. Educate Yourself
Hearing a diagnosis can be difficult, but it is an opening for you to start asking questions and researching your condition. Learn everything you can about it and how you can lessen its impact. Always turn to reputable sources, like medical professionals and clinical research studies. In fact, you may even find that participating in a study is a good way to learn more about the disability you have while also helping researchers to find treatments or a cure for it. Attend seminars and conferences sponsored by medical facilities to get information about new discoveries. Find a support group in your area that offers educational components and opportunities for advocacy.
5. Talk to Your Doctor
Your health care provider is your partner in managing your condition. The more honest and upfront you are about what is going on in your life, the better she will be prepared to help you manage your condition and life a full life.
Always talk to your healthcare provider about any special recommendations or restrictions you may need to follow. You may need to make adjustments or take extra precautions in your wellness efforts. However, by following a few tips for living with a disability, you can have a full, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Image credit: CEFutcher