Exercise & Fitness
Exercise Principles and Guidelines for Persons with Cerebral Palsy and Neuromuscular Disorders
Distributed by United Cerebral Palsy Associations, 1660 L Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
Health and well being are the result of many factors:
- Physical activity is one of these factors. Participation in activities of daily living is important for maintaining health;
examples are household activities, gardening, and leisurely
walking or wheeling.
- Physical Fitness is another factor such as sports, nutrition, and exercise. This is true for persons of all ages.
- Exercise is particularly important for persons with disabilities due to cerebral palsy and neuromuscular disorders.
Age: Exercise is not reserved for any age group. At all ages, exercise can strengthen bone, enhance mobility, build strength and improve coordination.
Trauma: An appropriate exercise program does not aggravate conditions that accompany cerebral palsy or neuromuscular disorders.
Fatigue: Exercise does utilize energy; however, by exercising regularly, people build stamina that makes it easier to meet daily demands.
Falls: Exercise does not cause falls or injuries; if done properly exercise improves balance, mobility, strength and coordination that protect against injury in activities of daily living.
- You can do it! Focus the exercise program on your goals.
- Exercise can be done at home and/or at an exercise facility.
- You may require specialized equipment or assistance from a person qualified on exercise programs for persons with disabilities due to neuromuscular disorders.
- Start modestly; each time, begin with a warm-up and
- Gradually increase exercise intensity, duration and
- End with a cool-down period.
- Be alert to danger signals and stop when they occur.
- An effective exercise program will be beneficial; a poorly
planned exercise program can be harmful.
- Enjoy exercise; however, don't overdo it.
The United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation, with assistance from:
Staff from other organizations and agencies provided technical
expertise. A list of contributing persons and organizations is
available on request.
©1999 UCP Research and Educational Foundation
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