When your disabled setting and achieving fitness goals is more difficult than if you were abled. This past week I achieved a fitness goal that I have worked on since 2011, I can do a plank with proper form! You may be thinking that a plank is not that hard but for me, it was because of my disability keeping my foot in the proper position has been difficult since I do not have that much control in my lower body. Achieving your fitness goals is harder when you are disabled so I will give you some tips on how to stay motivated and how to properly set a goal so you are able to achieve them.
No pain no gain- I personally believe in pushing your body past your comfort zone but I don’t believe in the no pain no gain approach. If you have a physical disability, you may have to approach your workouts in a different way that is okay. When you are working out you want to push yourself past your comfort zone but you don’t want to do too much too soon. Know your limits, recovering from an injury that could have been avoided can be frustrating because it will make it so it takes longer to get to your goal!
Don’t be afraid of being a beginner- When you first start to work out you may be tempted to do the advanced moves. When I first started Blogilates I only did the advanced moves because I thought they burned more calories this may be true if you are doing them correctly but if you are doing them incorrectly they are not burning more calories! One of two things will happen when you take this approach you will either be exhausted all the time which is what happened to me or you will cause an injury that you could have avoided! Even athletes that you see doing crazy stunts were once beginners do not fear it!
Don’t give up- Whether you have a fitness goal or not, never give up because things got difficult. Think about the end result instead of what you are struggling with now!
Patience– Sometimes when you are disabled, you may set a goal that takes several years to achieve. The feeling you get after you have accomplished a goal that has taken several years to achieve is a very rewarding feeling. I was almost to the point when I almost gave up on my goal of achieving the plank! The last time I tried it I did it and was almost in tears because I didn’t think this was possible!
Smaller goals- When you set goals, you should have one big goal that may take a while to achieve and then smaller goals that help you get to the bigger goal!
Pick a goal that excites you- If you have to force yourself to do something chances are you will not continue! The same goes for goal setting if you set a goal that doesn’t excite you chances are you will give up!
Stop comparing yourself- If you are disabled and set a fitness goal one of the reasons so many people quit are because they compare their results to an abled person’s. Comparing your fitness level to an abled person’s is not going to be an accurate or even fair comparison because there will be things an abled person can do that you cannot! Instead of comparing yourself to an abled person set your own goals that way you won’t be disappointed because you were trying to achieve something that wasn’t possible!
Reward yourself– When you achieve a goal that has taken you years to accomplish buy yourself something that you wouldn’t normally buy if you haven’t achieved a goal! I personally have not done this yet, but I plan to!
Support system– If you set a goal, tell your friends and family about it they may be able to give you tips on how to get to your goal.
Some people with disabilities are not able to workout, and that is okay pick a goal that is not fitness related and work towards that! The feeling I had when I finally was able to do a plank is something I could not even describe! Your disability should not prevent you from setting goals they will just be different there is nothing wrong with that! If you have any questions about how to achieve your fitness goals when you are disabled please leave them in the comments below!
Life with Spina Bifida is a personal blog that is all about my life with a disability, chronic pain as well as encouraging hope and positivity for those who are suffering. You are not alone!