Exercise & Disability

What is intellectual disability?   Intellectual disability is an umbrella term that refers to a neurological condition that substantially limits and restricts learning behaviours and intellectual functioning. This includes conditions such as autism, Down’s syndrome, Prader Willi syndrome, etc. ID affects approximately 3% of the Australian population. People living with ID are less likely than their peers to be physically active and typically engage in high levels of sedentary behaviour, which increases the risk of developing secondary health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.   Why is exercise so important?   Exercise can protect against secondary health conditions, and lead to improvements in cardiovascular...

If I had to choose one thing that working in the exercise and disability field for 15 years has taught me, it would be: “Focus on the ABILITY not the disability”.   We all know the benefits of exercise such as increased cardiovascular fitness, strength/endurance and flexibility, decreased risk of developing/managing chronic disease, weight control, and improved mental health. However the benefits of exercising in people with disability are even more important due to a more sedentary lifestyle. Additionally there are social benefits of getting out into the community reducing social isolation. Here are some real life examples of how exercise has made a...