The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability promotes walking as the number one physical activity for people of all abilities including those in wheel chairs. https://www.nchpad.org/howiwalk/.
Walking programs are important because they
promote physical activity without being overly complicated or intense
help to build a goal setting mentality
show the community that people with disabilities belong in everyday activities
Each Monday through Thursday, the River's Way YMCA program includes one hour of walking as a critical piece of the program. Each person in our walking program sets a goal for the number of laps that they will walk around the YMCA. We track these goals which range from a little over a mile to close to three miles. Our participants are proud of their efforts and we review their progress each day.
We do not limit walking to our Y program. In our Outside Alive summer camp at Sugar Hollow park, we walk laps on the roads and we hike in the forested areas. On Monday mornings we walk downtown. We have started weekly walking programs in several area schools including Tennessee High School, Virginia High School, and Vance Middle School. With obesity rates for people with disabilities being 58% higher than the general population, we think walking and paying attention to healthy eating habits are two of the most important activities that we do.
For more information on community based walking programs, see these sites: