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Fitness and Exercise

"Exercise is For Everyone"

Exercise is good for everyone, regardless of the disability. Some people exercise to lose weight, others use it to get stronger, to build endurance and stamina, to help keep joints loose and flexible, to reduce stress, to get more restful sleep, or just because it makes them feel better. Whatever motivates you to exercise is a good reason.

There is an epidemic of obesity in the United States. Unfortunately, people with disabilities are even more prone to carrying excess weight this may be due to a combination of changed metabolism and decreased muscle mass, along with a generally lower activity level. Living healthy impacts how we look and our physical condition. It also affects our level of independence and our mental health. Living healthy can increase how long we live, the quality of our life, and our mental health.

It's never too late to get a fitness program going. According to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, people with disabilities are less likely to engage in regular moderate physical activity than people without disabilities. Yet everyone has similar needs to promote health and prevent unnecessary disease.

No matter your disability you can get involved in some level of fitness program. You can start in your home or neighborhood. Get out and walk or adapt exercises to your home or workplace.

Nearly every community has a recreation center that includes adaptive recreation. Exercise gyms offer opportunities to get exercise and meet new people, as well as burn calories and build muscles. Go to Tips for Modifying Exercise for more information on how to modify exercises to meet your needs.

For more information on recreation and exercise see the resources below or the Complete Work Ability Utah Resource List.

  • DBTAC Rocky Mountain ADA Center: Provides ADA information and guidelines for making public recreation areas accessible including play areas, amusement rides, boating facilities, fishing piers, miniature golf courses, golf courses, sports facilities, swimming pools and spas, forest service, trails, and campgrounds.
  • Fitness, Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center: A little bit of exercise does the body, and the mind, a world of good. Offers information on exercise for individuals with spinal cord injuries.
  • National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD): Promote substantial health benefits that can be gained from participating in regular physical activity. The slogan of NCPAD is Exercise is for EVERY body, and every person can gain some health benefit from being more physically active.
  • NCPAD: Disability/Condition: Intellectual Disabilities & Fitness.
  • Stretching Exercises - National Spina Bifida Association: Several projects to improve the lives of people with Spina bifida are under way through the Spina Bifida Association of America.

Utah Recreation Programs

  • Activity Reg: A link to all community recreation programs across the U.S. You just click on Utah to link to the community recreation centers in Utah.
  • Adaptive Ski & Sport Programs: Information on ski and sport programs available in Utah and resorts that offer accommodations for individuals with a disability.
  • Camp Kostopolus: Provides recreation opportunities for individuals ages 7 and up with mental or physical disabilities. They also have year- The round programs after school, evenings, and weekends. (801) 582-0700
  • Common Ground Outdoor Adventures: Common Ground Outdoor Adventures' mission is to provide life-enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities in the Logan area. It offers canoeing, river rafting, cycling, rock climbing, destination trips, skiing and more.
  • Courage Reins Therapeutic Riding Center: Offers riding lessons to people of all ages with any type of disability. (801) 756-8900
  • National Ability Center: Park City is committed to the development of lifetime skills for people of all ages and abilities by providing affordable outdoor sports and recreational experiences in a nurturing environment.
  • National Alliance for Accessible Golf: A national research and development project funded by the United States Golf Association Foundation, the PGA of America Foundation, and the PGA TOUR. The project is designed to be a comprehensive community based program, using the game of golf as the primary medium.
  • National Sports Center for the Disabled: Provides therapeutic recreation and competitive opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.
  • Recreation and Habilitation services (RAH) in Provo: RAH's mission is to provide developmentally disabled citizens with training to help them function effectively in society. RAH activities include: art workshops, roller-skating, singing in a chorus, and attending college football games and concerts. A network of friends, social skill instruction, education in dressing and grooming, sports and recreational activities, help in getting jobs, aid in becoming independent, education in getting along in society, and RAH van service to activities.
  • Salt Lake County Adaptive Recreation: Youth and adults with disabilities have a growing number of adaptive sports available to them through the Salt Lake County Recreation Program.
  • Special Olympics Utah: Developing skills, building self-esteem and having fun, all while particfipating in year-round sports training and competition is the life of a Special Olympics Utah athlete. Whatever their age or skill level, with 17 sports to choose from, Special Olympics Utah has something for every person with an intellectual disability.
  • SPLORE: Provides life-enhancing wilderness recreation and education to people of all abilities, including people with disabilities and special needs. They offer year-round activities in white water rafting, canoeing, rock climbing and Nordic skiing, with additional adventures including kayaking, dog sledding, and fly-fishing.
  • Therapeutic Recreation and Independent Lifestyles (TRAILS): A comprehensive outreach program that includes: Awareness of spinal cord injury, Adaptive recreation opportunities, Social activities, and much more!
  • Utah Centers for Independent Living: Each Center for Independent Living provides activities and information to assure inclusion of people with disabilities in recreation pursuits and other leisure activities.
  • Utah Foundation for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Dedicated to serving the blind children, youth, and young adults of Utah. We provide training and instructional programs in areas such as independent living, athletics, and recreation for the purpose of enhancing the lives and capabilities of those we serve.
  • Wasatch Adaptive Sports: Offers ski and summer programs for children and adults with special needs.