Disability and Your Health

Most physically disabled people realise the need to stay as fit as possible in order to get the most out of life. Fitness often equals health when you have a disability. That is not to say disabled people are not naturally healthy, but it is easier for them to suffer from certain health problems, once they become disabled.

For instance, having to sit for hours in a wheelchair can cause pressure sores, swollen feet and other problems. You will have to work really hard to keep yourself fit in order to prevent these problems. But there is more to it than meets the eye. Being healthy is not just a physical thing; it is also a mental and emotional one.

For instance exercise is good for the body physically, but it is also well known to be a way of preventing or alleviating depression, something that many disabled people suffer from. The very act of exercising releases chemical into the brain that make you feel much happier and brighter. Doing exercise also tends to get you out into a social atmosphere where you can make friends. This too, is a good way to cheer you up.

No one can stand to be alone without friends for any length of time. It’s just not good for us. But for the disabled person it is even worse because they are already struggling with their disability. Being able to get out and about and partake in some form of exercise with others is a good way to help you cope with the disability and even have some fun.

A good diet is another prerequisite of health for the disabled person. Without a good diet they will put on a lot of weight and end up feeling too lethargic and unfit to do any exercise. But a healthy diet will see them lose weight and then they will feel like doing more exercise – and become good at it, which is just as important to their self esteem.

Everyone should work on improving their self esteem, but a disabled person especially so, as they are likely to have very low self esteem due to their injury. Being able to play a sport is a great way to improve your self esteem. Having a job you like doing is another way – and helping others yet another way to improve self-esteem.

Many disabled people are quite capable of doing some kind of work and if not, are certainly able to help others with advice and encouragement. It doesn’t take very much effort to smile and say, “You can do it!” Disabled people who have had some experience with their disability should be able to help and inspire those who are more recently injured.