Physical Activity

Individuals with disabilities can gain benefits from physical activity such as enhancing the functioning and health of their heart, lungs, muscles and bones. Flexibility, mobility and coordination can be improved, lessening the negative effects of some conditions or slowing the progression of others. Physical activity is fun and provides a chance to meet people and make new friends.

A little creativity, along with adaptive or customized equipment, can make almost any activity possible, including swimming, horseback riding, cycling, waterskiing, and even rock climbing. People with all types of disabilities–physical, cognitive or developmental can participate.

National Center on Physical Activity and Disability
A wealth of information on physical activity for people with disabilities including exercise guidelines, factsheets on many popular activites, games, recreational pursuits and sports that have been adapted to allow people with disabilities to participate as fully as they wish, how to find a certified inclusive fitness instructor and much more.

Promoting the Participation of Children with Disabilities in Sports, Recreation, and Physical Activities
Clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics discusses the importance of physical activity, recreation, and sports participation for children with disabilities and offers practical suggestions to pediatric health care professionals for the promotion of participation.

Adapted Physical Education Resource Manual
The purpose of this manual is to assist parents, educators, administrators, professionals, students, and other interested parties in finding resources related  to adapted physical education.

PE Central
Resources for teachers and school personnel on adapted physical education including skill assessment instruments, lesson plans, research, national standards and including physical education in students’ Individual Educational Plan.

Disabled Sports USA
Network of nationwide sports rehabilitation programs including winter skiing, water sports, summer and winter competitions, fitness and special sports events.

Physical Activity

Other Helpful Resources

National Ability Center: Adaptive Recreation for People with Disabilities
The National Ability Center is committed to the development of lifetime skills for people of all ages and abilities by providing affordable outdoor sports and recreational experiences in a nurturing environment.

Inclusive Fitness Coalition
The mission of the Inclusive Fitness Coalition is to facilitate an expanded coordination of organizations and individuals to address the complexity of personal, social, cultural, political, and economic factors that influence -positively and negatively – the participation of people with disabilities in physical activity, fitness, sports and recreation.