A personal trainer can make exercise accessible for individuals with disabilities. Exercise is important for people of all abilities and can improve overall physical and cognitive health. In addition to improving strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance, exercise also offers mental health benefits. A personal trainer can tailor exercises to meet each client’s needs and can structure workouts in order to encourage progress in different areas of wellness.
At All Inclusive Health, our trainers work extensively with clients who have neurodevelopmental and physical disabilities. Let’s take a look at how an exercise regimen positively impacts individuals who have varying abilities:
Working with clients who have neurologically based physical disabilities
Exercise can promote strength, mobility, and physical development for those with neurologically based physical disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy or Spina Bifida. Exercise can also help maintain bone density, strengthen the immune system, build muscles, and it releases endorphins, which helps to fight depression. Although these conditions are non-progressive, meaning they do not grow more severe over time, the strain and stress that they can place on the body on a daily basis may result in premature aging, osteoporosis, and arthritis. This, in turn, can result in higher pain levels, which can prevent activity and aggravate other health problems such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes. Exercise can help mitigate these potential effects and lead to overall increased function, reduced pain and increased participation and improved quality of life.
Depression is also three to four times more common in individuals with disabilities like Cerebral Palsy. This does not appear to correlate with the severity of disability but rather with the emotional implications of navigating a world that is largely constructed for the benefit of able-bodied people.
With the assistance of a personal trainer, individuals with neurologically based physical disabilities can combat the onset of premature aging, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and improve mood. Your trainer will modify workout programs based on your functional mobility level, motor control, muscle strength, and balance. Your exercise regimen will target weak muscle groups to improve muscle tone and will be structured to accommodate the higher rates of energy expenditure in individuals with cerebral palsy. Your trainer will consistently adapt your workout regimen to changes in muscle tone and strength.
An Inclusive Personal Training Studio For Clients with Disabilities
Our studio at All Inclusive Health features equipment for limited mobility training. Many of our workout machines are designed specifically for low-impact workouts while augmenting strength, increasing range of motion, and releasing muscle tension. Our equipment enables us to design routines that will stabilize, assist limited range of motion, decrease impact, minimize weight bearing, stretch tight or inflexible muscles, and provide stable positioning for isometric strength training.
At All Inclusive Health, you will be paired with a personal trainer certified by the American College of Sports Medicine. Julie Joffrion, trainer and proprietor of All Inclusive Health, has spent almost twenty years working with clients who have physical and cognitive disabilities. In addition to her personal training certifications, she earned a B.A. in Special Education and Masters in Education in Severe and Profound Physical and Mental Disabilities. Julie is passionate about making exercise accessible, inclusive, and rewarding for all, regardless of ability.
The young man in the photos on this blog post is Bower. Bower is 14 years old and has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. If you or your loved one has neurologically based physical disabilities and you’re interested in signing up for personal training sessions, read what Bower’s mom had to say first.
“My 14-year son, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, has been strength training with Julie 4 times a week since July 2018. The benefits are clear, his back is straighter, his glutes and quads are stronger, he has more endurance and trunk strength than ever before and he has a lot fun. Julie is not only an excellent personal trainer, but she has a background in special education and was not afraid when I approached her 9 months ago to see if she would be willing to design and implement a full body strength training program for my son. She was excited for the challenge, took the time to read and follow up on the research/educational materials I provided her, and she ensured that she had the appropriate equipment and modifications to meet his needs. She tracks his progress, is constantly thinking about creative ways to challenge him, while also being flexible when he is having a tough day due to his physical challenges. Julie and my son have a very sweet relationship, she certainly has earned a spot in his heart and he always looks forward to seeing her. Thank you Julie for becoming an integral member of my son’s team.”
At All Inclusive Health, we work with you to determine a workout regimen that will help you succeed. If you’re ready to go All In, contact us today. We’re happy to help you figure out the next steps in your fitness journey.