Today’s post is from our Director of SEO and Social Media Marketing, Crystalyn, who has a mild case of Cerebral Palsy.
Most days, Cerebral Palsy isn’t something I think much about. I may type one-handed on my phone and fight with the buttons on my shirt’s right sleeve, but these are things I’m used to doing—in my own way.
But some days, I think a lot about CP. The days I have to try something new, or the days when I was pregnant and dealing with exaggerated muscle pain in my leg. I was born with an extremely mild case, but Cerebral Palsy still manages to put me on the struggle bus every so often. And it only gets worse if I’m not staying on top of my stretches and exercises.
If you have CP, you know it’s important to stay physically active, and you’ve probably learned some stretches and exercises from your doctors. But creating an active lifestyle and sticking to it can be difficult. The good news is, we can stay active in many different (and even fun) ways. Below, I’m going to list some of my favorites!
10 Ways to Stay Active When You Have Cerebral Palsy
Note: Exact stretches and exercises vary greatly depending on the person and what areas of the body are affected. Ask our office for guidance on what’s right for you.
- Walk (a lot)
- Dance! I’m not even talking about taking dancing lessons. I’m talking dorky dancing with your kids if you’re a parent or teacher, having yourself a dance party in the kitchen… you get it. Just dance and have fun, whether you take lessons or not!
- Go see your chiropractor. Our doctors at Health Connection keep me adjusted and on top of exercises that loosen tight muscles/improve posture!
- Find a sport you enjoy!
- Build strength. Ask our doctors and health coaches to help you make sure your form is correct! You don’t want to risk damaging any muscles. It can be difficult to get the right form, but with some practice and/or modifications, we can help you build muscle—effectively and safely.
- Don’t sit for long periods of time. Get up and walk, stretch, etc. Don’t give your muscles a chance to become tight from disuse.
- Cook and bake often. Being in the kitchen may not be the most physically demanding item on this list, but it’s a great way to get on your feet and move a little.
- Play with children. Kids don’t care how well you can move, they just care that someone wants to play with them!
No matter what you’re doing, relax and have fun! You are stronger than you realize. Physical activity can be discouraging when you have CP, but those of us who have it also have the unique ability to get back up again and keep working until we achieve more than we ever dreamed! You’ve got this.