The importance of exercise for people with disabilities is often overlooked but the benefits can be huge from increasing independence to helping manage pain and improving mobility.

While accessing exercise services that meet the needs of people with disabilities can be challenging, Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are a good option as they have extensive knowledge, skills and experience in clinical exercise delivery.

They can prescribe exercise to people who have chronic conditions, complex physical needs or have physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments and are university qualified.

NAPHL Health Hub AEP Aric Visentin (pictured) said a lack of physical activity can lead to a decreased life expectancy for people living with a disability.

“This is due to a lack of inclusion, negative social attitudes and a lack of societal attitudes and a lack of local opportunities,” he said.

“Structured exercise programs like those prescribed by an AEP can help in preventing a range of chronic conditions often associated with disability such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.”

The benefits of exercise for people with a disability include improving their quality of life, increasing life expectancy, improving cardiovascular fitness and decreasing symptoms of mental illness such as anxiety and depressions.

Exercise can also improve balance and mobility and increase muscular strength, while if exercise is delivered in a group setting, it also fosters social connections and feelings of belonging.

Mr Visentin said while starting exercise can be daunting, AEPs were specifically trained to help people of all abilities exercise safely.

“I can help NDIS participants or people with a disability to realise their goals and aspirations through individualised, evidence-based exercise programs,” he said.

“When working with NDIS participants I like to develop activities that will empower and support them with their daily living and independence, social inclusion and functional wellbeing.”

Exercise Physiologists at the NAPHL Health Hub can prescribe tailored exercise plans to NDIS participants and people with a disability.

Sessions can be conducted one-on-one or in small group classes in the NAPHL Health Hub’s private gym or at home. Video sessions are also available.

The NAPHL Health Hub is a registered NDIS provider.