11 Terrific Activities for Physically Disabled Adults

Individuals with a disability deserve a high quality of life just like anyone else. But, finding activities for those who have physical challenges is not easy to do. Physical activity is critical to the wellbeing of every person, including individuals who have disabilities.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that, for the 21 million adults in the country with a disability, physical exercise can help to reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.


For those who have family members that are physically disabled adults, or others looking for more activities to enjoy, consider a few key suggestions. First, be sure to speak to your loved one’s doctor to know any physical limitations the individual has. It is never a good idea to participate in an activity that could injure a loved one.

Engage in Adaptive Sports

Engaging in activities modified to meet the unique abilities of those who have disabilities is one of the best routes to take. These are fun programs – from swimming to aerobics programs – in a structured environment.


The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability offers insight into adaptive sports. These are programs available in many areas capable of helping individuals to obtain the physical exercise they need. It is possible to use the directories on this site to find local programs. Many recreational centers also offer these programs.

Consider Adaptive Yoga

Yoga is an excellent way to keep muscles flexible and strong. And, it is very versatile. It is possible to modify many yoga positions to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.


Adaptive yoga still works with all of the major muscle groups and can effectively help individuals to boost their immune system, improve the nervous system function, and reduce cardiovascular disease. Choose programs designed for the specific skills an individual has.

Visiting Local Parks

Many of today’s larger cities have parks designed to meet the needs of individuals in wheelchairs and with other disabilities. While visiting a local park may seem like a simple thing to do, get a bit deeper.


Explore the various plants and flowers there. Learn about the ecosystem and learn about various creatures in the area. Fish. Consider group activities in a park setting. Parks provide an opportunity to boost mental health as well. Being outdoors contributes to overall well-being.

Engaging in Dancing

Did you know many recreation centers and other community programs offer adaptive dancing programs? This includes ballroom dancing. These programs encourage individuals to develop skills at their own pace and within their physical limits. Yet, these types of activities are fantastic for developing social skills and interacting with others in a less formal setting.

Experience Horseback Riding

Another adaptive program available in most areas, horseback riding, can provide a sense of freedom for those who may not be able to walk or run on their own. And, it can be done very safely in most environments. The key to embracing this type of experience is to find a location willing to work with you and your loved one at a comfortable pace.

Aquatic Programs Offer Freedom

Some individuals who are unable to walk or move limbs freely benefit greatly from aquatic programs and experiences. In these situations, the individual is able to gain some freedom with movement.


These are adaptive programs, capable of keeping individuals safe in the water. Doing them in a group setting or with an instructor ensures safety but also opens the door to a way to express feelings and emotions. It’s also very good exercise for those who need it.

Cooking and Fitness Programs

For those who have physical limitations but are mentally fit, engaging in cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, and even fitness educational programs can be empowering.


Because weight management is so important to individuals who are unable to be easily physically mobile, learning to cook healthy, but tasty meals is important. Learning about fitness as well as adaptive solutions can also open the door to successes. These can also be informational, social events individuals can appreciate.

Embrace a Discovery Camp or Day Camp

Day camps provide an opportunity for people of all ages to embrace a higher quality of life. Individuals can pick and choose activities to be a part of. They can learn about themselves and push themselves to achieve new goals. More so, individuals who embrace discovery camps gain a sense of self and well-being beyond what their family can offer to them.

Enjoy Gardening

Being able to do activities that create a positive result is always a good thing for all people. For those who enjoy gardening or being outdoors, this can be an excellent way to explore new opportunities and to bring flowers and plants to life.


Some people also enjoy raising small farm animals. Though disabilities may limit some mobility, there are plenty of ways to make gardening adaptive to meet the needs of individuals.

Local Groups and Clubs

It is important not to feel restricted from embracing local clubs and organizations. For example, some individuals may benefit from joining a book club. Others may be better suited to a men’s group. The key here is to find others to interact with on a daily or weekly basis to build strong emotional ties. Recreation centers, churches, and community centers may offer some options.

Don’t Feel Limited

Perhaps the most important aspect of being active – including as a family – is to simply get out there and do things. From shopping to going to the movies, traveling across the country, and exploring local museums, individuals who have physical limitations can still embrace nearly any activity with a few modifications and updates. Call ahead to learn about access or limitations in some events. Then, get involved.


Physical activity, being outdoors, and embracing social events can help anyone in the family to enjoy a higher quality of life. It is good for you, and it can help to improve a person’s long-term outlook as well. Embracing new activities is an excellent place to start.


See how the residential living programs at The Brambles can help your loved one stay active and safe. You can also give us a call at 804-725-3800 or contact us online.


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