Filtered by category: Sports Clear Filter

Physical Activity versus Exercise: How Much Do We Need?

We are often told that we need to exercise but are not told HOW to exercise. First off, let’s differentiate the difference between physical activity and exercise.  Physical activity is any bodily movement that occurs as a result of musculoskeletal contraction that ultimately increases energy expenditure.  This is a fancy way of saying that physical activity is an action that requires energy to perform. An exercise is a structured form of physical activity.  But let’s not get caught up in the jargon because both are one and the same and are important for our mental and physical health.  

Man in a wheelchair lifting a kettlebell weight above his headThe American Heart Association currently recommends that adults accumulate greater than or equal to 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week while children should get at least 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity weekly.

So, what exactly is moderate vs. vigorous activity? While everyone has different abilities, here are some different ideas to get those recommended “moderate” minutes as classified by the American Council on Exercise that can be adapted to functionality: chores that I push off until the weekend (washing windows, washing my car, cleaning the garage, sweeping/vacuuming), general carpentry, walking 3-5 mph,  mowing the lawn, slow room ball dancing with that special someone, fishing, sailing your boat, canoeing/kayaking (3-5 mph), gardening, leisure biking/stationary bike, leisure swimming (what you consider “easy”), table tennis, shooting hoops, non-competitive volleyball, and golfing!  

Read More

Interview with Orlando Magic Wheels

Our intern, Alan Thach, interviewed Jim Moore and Javier Rodriguez, team representative of the Orlando Magic Wheels. The Orlando Magic Wheels (OMW) is a member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) where physically challenged athletes compete in fast moving basketball tournament play. 

Check out this informative YouTube video for more information about the team, it's history and their mission! 

Read More

NFL Football Players with Disabilities

Having a disability does not define what a person can or cannot do which is evident by the numerous examples that professional athletes have set. There are many professional athletes that have persevered through mental and physical disabilities in order to reach the highest positions in their profession. An example of this is Shaquem Griffin who was an outside linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks.

Griffin had his left hand amputated as a result of amniotic band syndrome and decided to continue his dream of playing football. Griffin was offered a scholarship to play at the University of Central Florida in which he was a critical part in bringing the program into the national spotlight. In Griffin’s final season at the University of Central Florida, he was the Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, an All American and 2018 Peach Bowl Defensive Most Valuable Player. He also helped University of Central Florida achieve an undefeated season in 2017 that led to a Peach Bowl victory against the University of Auburn.

Read More

US Disability Soccer Network

If you love the beautiful game and want to exercise more, playing soccer is something you should consider. The US Soccer Disability Committee created a network to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to play soccer. On their website, usdisabilitysoccernetwork.com, you'll find different organizations providing services, training, and competitions. These are some of the many categories of disability soccer that athletes can take part in at all different levels and ages:

Blind Soccer

Blind soccer, also known as football-5-a-side, is an official sport in the Paralympic Games. The rules of the traditional game have been modified and adapted for athletes with visual impairments. There are five players on each team, and the match is played on a solid surface. There is no offside rule, and players have to wear blindfolds. The ball contains small bells, helping players locate it based on its noise when it travels. Finally, the goalkeepers are usually sighted but are confined to the goal area. 

Read More

The Importance of Promoting the Participation of Children with Disabilities in Sports and Tips to Implement it at Home

An important part of childhood is participating in sports. Most of us grew up playing baseball, basketball or soccer with our friend from their neighborhood. Physical activity provides many benefits for children, including those with disabilities. According to the Institute on Disability/UCED, approximately 7% of the US population accounts for children with disability. However, there is a lack of opportunities for their participation in recreational sports and physical activities. In recent years, many efforts have been made from different international organizations to try to close this gap and create more opportunities. Despite these efforts, an increasing number of children with disabilities have reported low levels of cardiorespiratory strength, less muscular endurance, and higher rates of obesity than typical children.

Benefits of sport participation

The main reason to participate in sports is to increase physical activity to help reverse impaired mobility, optimize physical functioning, and increase overall well-being. Playing sports plays a fundamental role in the maintenance of normal muscle strength, flexibility and a better joint structure and function. Good levels of muscular strength and endurance help increase bone mass, reduce injuries from falls, and provide a greater ability to complete daily activities.
By participating in sports children can leave behind a sedentary lifestyle that leads to obesity and other health complications. Sports participation also enhances the psychological well-being of children with disabilities; it provides opportunities to make friends, be creative, develop self-identity and live a more meaningful life. For example, Special Olympics athletes show better self-esteem, physical competence, and peer acceptance when compared with non-participants. Finally, participation in regular physical activity can foster independence, coping abilities, competitiveness, and teamwork among children with disabilities.

Read More