19th June 2017 geri

Staying active

Don’t despair if you were a very active and sporty person before your accident and now you feel lost for activities to do.

Don’t worry there are ways and means to stay active, fit and healthy which is now more important than ever for weight management for transfers, bed mobility, pressure sores, not to mention body image and self-confidence.

You just have to know where to look.

Step one

First thing to do is to contact your local sports and recreational officer. I found mine in Sligo via good old google: http://www.sligosportandrecreation.ie/contact-us/

 They organise sports open days to come and try different events, they may be able to organise volunteers who can assist you with transport or the use of equipment or finally they can give you much needed information.

Step two

If there is a college in your area they more than likely have a sports and recreational officer that may give you information even if you are not attending the college itself.


Step three

Next contact local gyms and sports halls. They could suggest times that they might be less busy to give you more assistance with equipment or help you make out adapted workout programs. There may also be a swimming pool present. In Sligo pool, they have a seat you can lower into the pool. You could suggest this to the local gym or even fundraise to get one installed.

Your local IWA can facilitate with activities such as outings and transport, etc. IWA Sligo, have been excellent with providing me with transport to get me back to work and getting to activities as wheelchair taxis are so expensive.

Step four

Finally, look online. Pick something you like doing and contact clubs and see will they help you try it. Chances are they will. I’ve tried horseriding thanks to Eilish Divine at Keash, stand up paddle boarding (or sit down as the case may be) thanks to Dave O’Hara, boat trip outings on Lough Gill, Wheelchair basketball thanks to Shane Hayes and volunteer Bríd Ní Threinfhir and handcycling thanks to Steve Boyle and keep in mind I’m paralyzed from above my chest with little hand function. If I can do it so can you just keep the faith.

Physical activity such as a 40min/day low intensity stroll, helps prevent secondary conditions of paralysis such as heart disease, diabetes, pressure sores, carpal tunnel syndrome, obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, urinary tract infections and respiratory disease. It helps to build strength, endurance and stamina, to keep joints loose and flexible, to aid bladder and bowel function, to reduce stress, to get more restful sleep and it just makes you feel better and gives you a more positive attitude. So start small and get moving!

Adapted horseriding

Adapted paddle boarding

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