Additional Exercise Guidelines for Adults with Disabilities

The following information is derived from the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

These guidelines are for adults in any of the following groups: stroke victims, people with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, limb amputations, mental illness, intellectual disability, and dementia.

Some people with disabilities are not able to follow the guidelines for adults, so they should work with their healthcare provider to create a program that is suitable for them.

Key Guidelines for Adults With Disabilities (as written in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans):

  • Adults with disabilities, who are able to, should get at least 150 minutes per week (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.
  • Adults with disabilities, who are able to, should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or high intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week as these activities provide additional health benefits.
  • When adults with disabilities are not able to meet the above guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity according to their abilities and should avoid inactivity.
  • Adults with disabilities should consult their healthcare providers about the amounts and types of physical activity that are appropriate for their abilities.

People with chronic health conditions should strive to have a regular exercise routine not just for the usual health benefits, but to help offset the risk of developing further health conditions.

Key Messages for People With Chronic Medical Conditions (as written in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans):

  • Adults with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, obtain important health benefits from regular physical activity.
  • When adults with chronic conditions do activity according to their abilities, physical activity is safe.
  • Adults with chronic conditions should be under the care of health-care providers. People with chronic conditions and symptoms should consult their health-care providers about the types and amounts of activity appropriate for them.

For more information, see The Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans.

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Last Modified Date: March 15, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.
Sources
  1. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx (Accessed 03/2013)
  2. Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. December 2010 vol. 33 no. 12 e147-e167 doi: 10.2337/dc10-9990. (Accessed 03/2013)

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