Coronavirus: information and updates

Exercising from home

Doing some exercise, even a few times a week, can help you stay fit and healthy. There are lots of ways to exercise at home.

To help you do this, we’ve found some online exercise classes and workouts you could try. Start with finding the best workouts for you and getting into a routine.

It’s important to go at your own pace. Seek medical advice if you’re not sure.

Talking to a health professional

Before you start, talk to your GP, a specialist or health professional, like an occupational therapist (OT), if:

  • you’re not sure about what exercises you can do
  • you want to know what exercises are best for you to do
  • you need help making modifications to exercises
  • you need to get adaptations or specialist prosthetics

You could also talk to an organisation or charity for your condition or impairment.

Warning Make It Count

Make It Count is Scope’s new, accessible sports fundraising challenge coinciding with the Tokyo Paralympics (24 August to 5 September 2021).

Co-produced with disabled people, Make It Count is all about clocking up minutes getting active your way. That means anyone can design a challenge that’s right for them.

However you get moving, every minute counts.

Make It Count!

Exercise classes for disabled people

There is a range of classes designed for people with different access needs. Check charities and organisations supporting your condition or impairment to find out if they have any suggestions, resources or classes. You could also contact local charities. You could also try:

Being active at home (Activity Alliance) has a list of different exercise guides and home workouts for disabled people created by a range of organisations.

Accessible Activities (Change4Life)

We Are Undefeatable When you’re managing a long-term health condition, being active is about finding what works for you.

MovewithMencap YouTube videos show some exercises you can do with Andrew the dancer.

Health and Wellbeing #StayInWorkOut (CP Sport) offers CP health and guidance from a personal trainer and nutritionist.

Home workout with Kris (Parasport) are free videos on stretching and mobility.

Johnny Peacock’s top tips for staying active (Parasport)

You lean me up app has accessible workout programmes from a deaf online coach. 

Flamingo Chicks dance classes teach disabled children on YouTube.

The Vitality Coach provides low-impact, seated exercises for people who have breathing difficulties. 

Kakana has live accessible fitness classes.

Finding exercise classes online

Trying different types of programmes and classes can help you find out what exercises you can do. This can be particularly useful if you’re doing workouts that are not designed for disabled people.

You could try:

  • searching online and on YouTube for workouts
  • looking for live online classes that you join on video with others
  • getting an exercise programme from a personal trainer, physio or OT over a video call

You could also take a look at:

NHS pilates for beginners focuses on balance, posture, strength and flexibility. It's suitable for all ages and fitness levels and the videos range from 10 to 45 minutes.

Get active at home (Sport England) has a comprehensive list of paid online exercise subscriptions, free videos and home activities.

The body coach Joe Wicks has lots of classes on YouTube, from PE with Joe for families to a 7-minute ab workout or low-impact class for beginners.

Adapting workouts

You can often adapt workouts to suit your needs. You may also find some equipment can help you to adapt your workout, such as resistance bands and yoga belts or straps.

Apply to WheelPower for a set of resistance bands to help build muscle groups.

Resistance band exercises for wheelchair users (video from WheelPower) 

Adapting activities (Activity Alliance)

“I’m an upper-body amputee and I started doing yoga with a foam block to help me with the ‘on your hands’ moves. I struggled at first but 6 months later, I can do most of the moves. It wasn’t so much that I was missing a hand but needed time and practice!”

Exercise in gaming

Some gaming consoles and apps have games that help make exercising fun. Search for games on your console, such as:

Just Dance and Just Dance Now allow you to follow along with the dance moves for points to unlock more routines. You can get the game on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox, as well as through a phone app.

Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch has mini-games and individual workouts to focus on specific parts of your body.

Zombies, Run (Mobile) is a mobile running game.

Fitness Boxing is a workout with a virtual trainer, to punch and dodge and hook. Available on Nintendo Switch.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 24/03/2021

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