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Top Five Sports Activities for People with Disabilities
29. 11. 2021
While finding exciting sports activities for wheelchair users used to be quite a challenge, the current offer of accessible sports activities is getting richer every day.
There is something for everyone, whether you are simply looking to make social contacts and improve your health or planning to approach it more seriously and take part in competitions.
Any adaptive sport will undoubtedly improve your health, increase your self-confidence, and help you meet other people and create lasting bonds. However, it is extremely important to consult with your physician before starting any new activity and get a professional opinion on whether it would actually be a good idea for you to try a certain sport.
If you feel uninspired and do not know which parasport would be the most appropriate for you, check out our list of top five sports for individuals with a physical disability.
Even if you have never been on skis in your life, do not get disheartened. Disabled skiing or snowboarding requires sheer determination and some skills even from people without disabilities but the latter can be easily learnt with the right instructors.
The only thing you have to do is to find an adaptive ski school in your area, rent equipment, and try it! Research says that, in general, people with disabilities are faced with no greater risks when engaging in snow sports than the general population. Moreover, some evidence states that skiing can have a positive influence on your self-esteem, balance, and gross motor function. So why not give it a try?
In case you do not come from a country where skiing is that popular or even possible, consider visiting some Alpine countries during your winter holidays. If you have no idea where to start, Slovenia’s ski resorts are the best place for beginner ski holidays in the Alps.
Spend your next winter skiing in Slovenia and enjoy your holidays to the fullest!
This small European country offers just the right conditions for you to enjoy skiing from December to April. Skiing is a Slovenian national sport and para-alpine skiing in Slovenia is getting more popular year by year so tour operators are also offering amazing packages that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest. You will also be able to rent all the necessary equipment so you do not have to buy it or bring it with you on your trip.
Para-climbing is another great sport to try despite your disability. It requires you to follow the climbing holds on the wall while being protected by a harness.
Climbing is one of the adaptive sports suitable for different disabilities, including vision or hearing impairment and different forms of physical disability. For some inspiration, watch a video including some of the highlights from the last world cup competition in para-climbing. Who knows, maybe you can be one of the competitors soon?
The benefits of para-climbing for your health are numerous, including positive effects on your core strength and muscle tone, increased strength in hands, arms, and legs as well as increased circulation. The range of motion activities related to climbing can also increase flexion and extension and consequently prevent muscle atrophy.
Climbing is a great adaptive sport if you want to work on your core strength and muscle tone.
Another advantage of para-climbing is that it does not require a big investment into the equipment. The only things you need are a special harness (depending on your type of disability), a rope, and climbing shoes. You will probably be able to rent all this at your climbing gym so you do not have to buy your own equipment straight away.
Cycling is yet another example of an adaptive sport for individuals with a physical disability. There are actually more ways to do this activity: from tandem cycling if you are visually impaired and handcycles for people with lower extremity disabilities to tricycles or standard bicycles for people with prosthetics. Finding the right fit for your needs and disability should therefore be pretty easy!
Find the right bicycle for your needs and enjoy some time in the fresh air!
A big advantage of para-cycling is that it does not require any special preparation—unlike skiing where you have to learn a certain skill or sports that follow complicated rules. You simply have to rent or buy a bicycle adapted to your needs, a helmet, and you are pretty much ready to go! Spending some time with an instructor is of course always a good idea as this will help you become more confident and increase your safety.
In case you would like to go on accessible holidays that include cycling, stay tuned for our new tour release that will take you around scenic roads of Western Slovenia, from high mountain passes, along magical Soča river, and along "wine roads". Coming soon!
If you are into more artistic forms of expression and the previously mentioned activities are not really your cup of tea, try adaptive dancing! Dancing offers so many different benefits for both your physical and mental health—helping you stay active, strengthening the heart, and also serving as great stress relief. Adaptive dancing is a great sport that will help you make new friends and raise your self-esteem.
Seeing yourself achieve something so elegant as a dancing routine, will undoubtedly also raise your self-esteem. Adaptive dancing does not require any specific equipment except for a wheelchair suitable for an activity such as dancesport. Such wheelchairs are generally smaller, lightweight and more compact.
If you find a dance school that offers dancing for the disabled in your area, they will probably be able to lend you a wheelchair for your training so you do not have to invest in buying one at the very beginning of your training.
Yes, we know that zip lining is not necessarily a sport, but it gives you the same adrenaline rush as other adaptive sports activities. It is simply another popular and easily adaptable adventure. Most zip lines are also easily accessible via a chair lift or trail that enables you to wheel to the start, get harnessed up, and have your wheelchair taken to the finish. Piece of cake!
Zip lining also offers you a unique way to discover a new country if you are travelling abroad. Ski flying facilities in Planica, Slovenia, are one of the most famous in the world and you can experience the same adrenaline rush as ski jumpers, only on a zip line.
Simply book a tour, relax, and enjoy the view from the top!
Get a move on ;)
Even if you find yourself confined to a wheelchair, it’s really important to stay active and try your best to get moving. At the end of the day, this is what counts - burning calories, having a good time and making sure you stay fit and healthy. Even if it’s just cruising around your hometown in your wheelchair or showing off with your funky dance moves at a party.
The point of accessible sports is that you move exactly how you want to, at the same time breaking down social barriers and combating the stigma associated with disabilities.
Luckily, breaking down social barriers associated has never been easier with the world of parasports becoming more and more accessible. We dare to say that nowadays, everyone can find an exciting activity to try out.Back
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