Accessibility Options

Contact Information

Center for Disabilities Studies
University of Delaware
461 Wyoming Road
Newark DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-6974
TDD: 302-831-4689

Physical Activity

Importance of Physical Activity

Physical activity is movement of the body that requires energy. Physical activity is necessary in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Every person should have regular physical activity worked into their schedule daily. Regular physical activity includes activities such as walking, gardening, dancing, cleaning and many others. It is also important to engage in more intense physical activities, such as running, swimming, playing sports, weight lifting, aerobics, etc. Having physical activity in your life is important for your overall health and well being. People who exercise tend to have healthier bodies and minds! There are guidelines for how much physical activity is needed. These guidelines differ among age groups, from young children to older adults.

Children, aged 6-17 years of age need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Adults, aged 18-64 and older adults, 65+ years of age, require 75-150 minutes a week. Children need aerobic activity (regular/moderate); intense activity, muscle strengthening, bone strengthening at least 3 days/week as part of 60 minutes. Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly with muscle strengthening twice a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise weekly with muscle strengthening.

Moderate-Intensity Activity
Brisk walking (3 miles-per-hour or faster, but not race walking)
Water aerobics
Bicycle riding slower than 10 miles per hour
Ballroom dancing
General gardening

Vigorous-Intensity Activity
Race walking, jogging, or running
Swimming laps
Aerobic dancing
Bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster
Jumping rope
Heavy gardening (continuous with increase in heart rate)
Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack

Muscle-Strengthening Activity
Lifting weights
Working with resistance bands
Push-ups, sit-ups

Disabilities and Physical Activity

Keeping and being fit does not necessarily require you to follow an exercise format. It does however require you to be physically active on a regular basis. For people with disabilities, this can appear as a challenge but it does not have to be. People with disabilities can promote their optimum health just by keeping physically and mentally active on a regular basis.

The following are some suggestions to help people with disabilities incorporate fitness into daily life:

•Find a physical activity that you like and are able to achieve.
•Activities such as swimming, chair aerobics, gardening, house-cleaning, and using a wheel chair or walking on a walking path 30 minutes a day are all considered physical activities to help you stay fit.
•Consider trying a new physical activity. Trying a new activity will help you stay fit and build your confidence level.
•Join a health fitness facility. Many facilities are becoming more disability friendly environments in Delaware.

Physical activity can be incorporated into any person’s lifestyle, if the right resources are available. Each small step towards a healthier lifestyle is a step towards a healthier you! Before starting an exercise routine, talk to your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. For more information visit the sites below.

•National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability
•Disabled Sports USA (put on Recreation website too)
•Virtual Tour of an Accessible Fitness Center
•Videos on Strength Training