“If you have a body, you are an athlete”

That quote is from Nike founder Bill Bowerman and it’s inspired many people to get active. If you think your disability is keeping you from exercising, there are some amazing people who want to change your mind. From chair yoga to inclusive fitness centers, the right workout is waiting for you.

Inclusive fitness is a growing field, and a few trainers and instructors are leading the charge. Retired NFL linebacker David Vobora retooled his gym and training programs after meeting retired Staff Sgt.Travis Mills, a quadruple amputee. Vobora created the Adaptive Training Foundation, taking his skills in training elite athletes and focusing them on the crucial gap between basic rehabilitation and high performance functioning through personalized training. Matthew Sanford, a paraplegic since age 13, discovered hatha yoga and became an instructor. He opened one of the first accessible yoga studios and developed a teacher training program called Opening Yoga to Everyone, an adaptive yoga program. Watch Sanford and his students practice in his accessible studio.

Watching these people in action, you might decide that you have no excuse for putting off your next workout. But where do you start? How do you find an accessible fitness center? Are there online programs you can tap into?

Are you a trainer, fitness guru, or gym owner? Consider following Vobora and Sanford and opening your programs and facilities to people with disabilities.

Do you have a favorite workout program that meets your needs as an athlete with a disability? Have you found a great accessible gym, park, or trail? Please share them in the comments below!

Please note: You should always talk to your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. Be safe, be well, and be strong!

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