Top 10 Adaptive Activities to Try This Spring
By: Chris Gaspar
As the weather gets warmer our thoughts turn to ways we can become more active, expand our social circle and get outdoors this spring. With that in mind, here are 10 great activities you can try this season to get the exercise that plays a huge part in a healthy lifestyle!
Queen’s Quay Disabled Sailing is an organization in Toronto that gives people with physical disabilities a chance to learn how to sail on Lake Ontario off the Queens Quay harbour area. Their sailboats use adaptive technology so people with physical disabilities can learn to navigate. I tried this activity one year and it was a great way to enjoy the water and be out in the fresh air.
Handcycling is a form of cycling which prioritizes upper body strength to propel the bike forward. It’s become a popular adaptive sport since it was first developed in the 1980s. If you’re looking for some cardio exercise this summer, handcycling could be the answer!
Are you interested in gardening but not sure what you need and where to start? There’s a great organization in Mississauga called The Riverwood Conservancy, that has an adapted program for people with disabilities called The Enabling Garden. Learn activities such as seed-starting, flower and vegetable planting, and safe tool use.
Wheelchair tennis has been integrated into many of the community tennis courts around Canada. The size of the court, net height, rackets, are all the same, so it’s easy to start playing today.
Channel your inner artist by taking up photography. Want to take pictures but you’re not sure where the best accessible spots may be? Photographer Maayan Ziv has developed an app called AccessNow that uses crowdsourcing to collect and share accessible spots around the city which give people the freedom to find new ways to capture that perfect moment.
Like Soccer, golf is one of those activities people can’t wait to get back into as soon as the snow melts. Like many popular sports, golf is no exception when it comes to being adaptive for people with disabilities. Golf Canada has developed modified rules for players with disabilities who are interested in learning the game.
Swimming is the perfect way to cool down during a heat wave. If you’re interested in learning how to swim or want to improve your skills call or visit your regional recreation centre for information on accessible options close to home. AccessNow can also help you find local swimming locations.
Bocce comes from a family of games known as Boules that date back to Ancient Greece. The modern sport was developed in Italy, where the object is to roll a bocce ball on the floor closest to the target ball, called a palina. The pace of bocce is relaxed, so anyone can join the fun.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to fish, but you weren’t quite sure where to go? Then you’re in luck! ParaSport Ontario has an adaptive fishing program to help make the sport accessible for everyone, with equipment like stable and motorized rods and adaptive devices for threading hooks, tying knots, and cutting the line.
Rugby is an intense sport that will help you get into shape this spring and summer. It’s also another activity that has been adapted to include people of all abilities. For people with spinal cord injuries, Wheelchair Rugby is a popular sport that combines the skills of basketball, rugby, and hockey.
Whatever activities you feel like trying, there’s a lot of opportunities out there that will help you stay fit and have fun this coming spring.