Fitness, Health

Should People with a Disability Play Sport?

As we have seen when watching the Paralympics, people with disability certainly can play sport and so, of course they should. In fact, this is one of the things they can do that they not only gets them out of the house, but is beneficial to them both physically and mentally.

Once they are focussed on what they can do – playing the game – instead of what they can’t do, they find their self esteem shoots up and their enjoyment of life increases exponentially. And if they win what a great way to celebrate being alive. If you’ve even pondered this question, you only have to watch the winners of gold medals to know what a great thing it is for them to play sport.

Disabled people are often not accepted into society simply because they are different and have to do some things differently. For instance, some people have to eat with their feet – unfortunately something that would draw attention if they dined out. Others find it difficult to communicate in a world where people don’t want to stop and listen, or bother to learn sign language.

There are so many things that we take for granted that they cannot do, it is a wonderful thing for them to play a sport of their choosing. Sport is such an acceptable thing that people who are not disabled can clap them when they win and even respect them for trying when they fail. It gives them a common interest and a topic they can talk about to their friends.

Playing sport gives them a goal and a reason to do the exercise that is essential to keep them healthy. Sitting in a wheelchair for hours poses many health problems, so playing sport – even in a wheelchair – helps them to exercise those parts of the body that they can move. The extra movement and exercise is also great to counteract the depression that must plague many disabled people, especially when they first have to deal with the results of the accident or illness that disabled them.

Exercise releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical, into the brain and so those disabled athletes have a way of getting to feel good about what they do and about life in general. This is much better than sitting around feeling sorry for themselves or watching television all day.

When the things they can do are so limited, they should always be encouraged to play some kind of sport, whether it is racing in their wheelchair or playing basketball or even tennis. You will certainly see a change for the better in those that get into sports of some kind. And there would be very few who couldn’t do some kind of sport.