Physical activities keep the body in the best possible shape. With over 20 million Americans suffering from a physical disability, getting enough exercise can be a challenge. The amount of people with disabilities developing terminal illnesses has a correlation to how much physical activity they participate in. For instance, being disabled makes adults 300% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, stroke, or heart disease.

While getting exercise may be more difficult, there are activities that disabled adults can do to reduce the risk of other illnesses. When doctors recommend that their patients incorporate more physical activities into their routine, they are more likely to follow through. Some doctor recommended activities can include:

Swimming is a great physical activity for people with disabilities. In fact, it is in the top five aerobic activities in America. Three hours of swimming every week minimizes the risk of developing diseases and improving health issues that would otherwise occur while being sedentary. Swimming is also easier on the joints and muscles than exercising on dry land. If there is little to no access to public pools, installing an above-ground pool is a great alternative.

While it may be difficult for people with limited mobility to perform an intense workout, walking is a great alternative to engage the cardiovascular system. Walking gets the heart rate going and can still be paced to avoid overwhelming side effects. This is even great for people in wheelchairs or walkers. Walkers can be used for stability on a walk or people in wheelchairs can get their heart rate up by wheeling themselves around.

Improving flexibility is important, especially for people with limited mobility. Stretching, especially before any physical activity, will raise the range of motion while minimizing the risk of energy. Stretching also gets rid of pain and stiffness and helps to avoid developing muscular atrophy.

Gardening is great for a multitude of reasons. For one, it provides physical activity for people with disabilities. Gardening also helps people interact with others, which can help encourage them to regularly exercise as a group. The relaxation element is great for reducing stress levels being that excess stress can negatively impact the body. People also have the ability to grow healthy food. A healthy diet can relieve some of the symptoms and minimize the impact of the disability. In addition to the physical benefits, it’s great to go outside and get fresh air.

While it appears to be a greater issue in the older generations, physical disabilities in younger people are becoming common. These tips transcend every physical setback, including age, weight, and even gender. They are also effective ways to reduce or eliminate current and future ailments. Before attempting a new activity or workout regimen, talking to a health care provider is highly recommended. Until then, getting proper amounts of rest, reducing stress, and maintaining a healthy diet are great tips to getting ahead of physical disabilities.