Being active

Being active is important for everyone’s health. It helps you feel better and tackle physical challenges, whether it’s working in a part-time job or spending a day at a festival. Plus, research shows that staying active boosts your self-confidence and helps prevent future health problems like heart disease and osteoporosis. It is especially important in the transition phase to ensure that you stay active.

Regular movement offers a range of benefits, including:

  • Reducing stress
  • Boosting your mood
  • Increasing focus and concentration
  • Improving self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Building stronger bones and muscles
  • Enhancing overall fitness
  • Improving posture and balance
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Giving you more energy for the things you love
  • Managing muscle stiffness and fatigue
  • Making new friends through team or group activities
  • Improving balance, coordination, and flexibility

Basically, you’ll feel, think, and sleep better! The key message for everyone is: get moving, your way! There are lots of ways to include physical activity in your life, no matter your ability. You don’t need to be a sports champion to enjoy being active. Most of us can find something we enjoy and can do well enough to make it fun.

Here are some tips

  • Focus on activities you enjoy: whether it’s football, boccia or walking your dog. Doing something you like makes it easier to stick with it.
  • Start low and go slow: Start from where you are at the moment and make changes gradually. Being active for just 5 more minutes a day can make a difference.
  • Physical activity does not have to be sport or exercise: Physical activity is any movement we do that uses up energy. It includes everyday activities such as going to school or the shop as well as more structured activities like sport or an exercise class.
  • Find a supportive community: Find out if there are any group fitness classes in your area that are accessible to people with disabilities or connect with online communities.
  • Consult health professionals: Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist about any restrictions you might have with sports and activities (remember to ask why).
  • Explore adapted sports: If traditional sports aren’t a good fit, check out adapted sports options. Talk to your health professional about options.
  • Learn from others: Connect with others who have similar disabilities. They can share their favorite ways to stay active and offer tips that have worked for them.
  • Listen to your body: Do as much as is comfortable for you and think of it as part of your management.
  • It’s never too late: If you haven’t exercised in a while, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start!
  • Experiment and commit: Try different games or activities until you find something you enjoy. Once you do, go for it! Enjoy the process of discovering what works best for you.
  • Reduce your sedentary time: Sedentary time is when you do activities that use little energy like lying down and watching TV. Research shows that reducing sedentary time could be as important as increasing physical activity. Change your position in your chair or stand regularly.

Useful resources:

Visit the Sport Ireland website for more information on Sports Inclusion Disability Officers in your region.

Visit Up the Adult Cerebral Palsy Movement for more information on Being active with CP.

Visit the Irish Wheelchair Association for more information on Sports and Training and the IWA accessible gym.

Visit Cork Sports Partnership for information on inclusive & adaptive activity resources.

Visit Galway Speeders for information on sport in Galway City and County.

Visit the CP Football Development Academy for information about football training.

Check out the Five in Five: A customisable mini workout to help you move in a way that works for you from We Are Undefeatable.

Visit Get Ireland Active for a database of accessible physical activity options in Ireland.

>>Go to next page: Eating well