When you live your life in a wheelchair, it is easy to believe that how you live your life has already been decided for you. However, these days there are so many ways to lead an active life — even from the seat of a wheelchair!
Have you ever looked into wheelchair sports? There are a number of athletes from all over the world who had a chance to participate in the Summer Paralympic Games this past summer in Rio who are a great example of how far a person can go when they dedicate themselves to wheelchair sports. From archery to powerlifting to rowing, there were well over 20 sports available to physically disabled athletes. Whether you want to compete in the Paralympic games, or just play as a member of a local recreational team, there are a number of benefits to participating in wheelchair sports.
#1 Playing wheelchair sports creates a sense of belonging.
Unfortunately, all spaces are not accessible to people in wheelchairs. However, when you participate in a sport that is designed for wheelchairs, there is a feeling of belonging that you may not have in other spaces. When you know that you belong, you are able to relax and enjoy yourself.
#2 Participating in wheelchair sports can reduce stress and depression.
Let’s face it – stress is difficult to avoid in this fast-paced world. As a result, it is up to us to find activities that help us to manage that stress. Raising your heart rate, getting a good laugh and learning how to be competitive with others are all healthy benefits of participating in wheelchair sports.
#3 Success in sports carries over to other areas in life.
You don’t have to be an international sports superstar to gain benefits from participating in wheelchair sports. When you learn how to be successful in a sport, even if it is only recreational, you are also able to create success at work and at home.
#4 Learn personal and team leadership skills.
Playing wheelchair sports requires that your best self commits to showing up and putting in the work necessary to play the game. It is important to remember that all your teammates are depending on you to put forth your best effort so you can work together to win the game.
#5 Improve your physical ability.
Just because you have lost some ability in part of your body does not mean that you should ignore a healthy and fun lifestyle! As a matter of fact, your other muscles will learn to compensate and gain strength with every workout or practice you attend.
Participating in wheelchair sports is a great way to improve your quality of life. If you have been looking for a way to become more active, then you should take some time to find out how you can participate in wheelchair sports in your city and state. Check out the Wheelchair Sports Federation for local opportunities in your area!