We’ve all heard this saying: The family who plays together, stays together. But for some families, playing isn’t as easy as you may think. If your family has a member who has any form of physical disability, be it a parent on temporary medical disability due to injury or age or a child born with a physical impairment, you know how hard it can be to bond together with physical play. Although technology such as alternating pressure mattresses is extremely effective in preventing side effects of spending too much time in bed like bed sores, engaging in physical activity beyond the bed is encouraged for the whole family, including the physically impaired individual.
There are some strategies you can employ to make this idea both plausible and meaningful.
You don’t have to be able to stand or walk around in order to do sports as a family. In fact, many sports or sporting activities can be even more fun when done in a seated position, especially if every member of the family participates while sitting.
Some ideas for seated sports given by the UK’s National Health Service include wheelchair rugby and table tennis. You can also give other sports a try from a wheelchair or seated position, like basketball, baseball, volleyball and more. The idea is to find a sport that requires the majority of movement with the arms and hands so little of the sport is lost by doing it in a seated position.
Indoor Technological Play
With such amazing advances in technology, we can find ways to be fit even while staying at home and using our TV or other screens. One great way to use technology for indoor play is to get the family together for video game dancing or video game sports.
According to ThriftyFun.com, music is a great way to get people excited about movement when they otherwise wouldn’t be. With infections tunes and a fun way to participate in competition without being too physical, dancing video games are perfect for the whole family to enjoy together, physical disability or not.
Swimming or other water related activities are another way to encourage an active lifestyle for your entire family, even those who may have trouble with moving around. Because water is therapeutic, those with physical impairments may find that it’s easier and more enjoyable to do water activities than activities on dry land.
The American Center for Disease Control recommends water activities such as swimming laps or water aerobics for those looking to be active in the water. However, you can also try merely kicking your legs while holding onto a floaty or even just holding your breath underwater to help make you healthier. Both of these activities will increase your lung capacity while also relieving the body of pressure on joints.
While working around a physical disability can make being active as a family difficult, there are still plenty of ways that you can get creative, get your group together, and get your bodies moving to become and happier and healthier family.