People with disabilities need health programs and places to stay active for the same reasons anyone else does—to stay well, active, and a part of the community. Bladen County leaders have focused more on these needs over the past couple of years.
Having a disability does not mean a person is not healthy or that he or she cannot be healthy. Being healthy means the same thing for all of us—getting and staying well so we can lead full, active lives. That means having the tools and information to make healthy choices and knowing how to prevent injuries and illnesses.
People with disabilities can be at higher risk for injuries. It is important for parents, other family members, and community leaders to educate others on how to take action to keep people with disabilities safe.
The Bladen County Innovative Approaches Steering Committee and Bladen County Board of Commissioners assisted with the efforts by insuring a fence was installed around the county park on US Highway 701 South.
Charles Ray Peterson, Bladen County Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, stated, “The Board and I will do everything we can within our power to assist this group with their efforts. I really appreciate what they are doing and want to help them on a personal level as well as help them as a Commissioner.”
This week Commissioner Peterson shared some photos with BladenOnline.com of a child enjoying the fenced park in Bladen County.
Adults and children alike come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Everyone can benefit from being physically active, including those with disabilities.
Regular aerobic physical activity increases heart and lung functions; improves daily living activities and independence; decreases chances of developing chronic diseases; and improves mental health, according to the Center of Disease Control (CDC).
Adults with disabilities should try to get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (i.e., brisk walking; wheeling oneself in a wheelchair) or at least 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (i.e., jogging, wheelchair basketball) or a mix of both moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activities each week. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. They should avoid inactivity as some physical activity is better than none, the CDC recommends.
Muscle-strengthening activities should include moderate and high intensity, and involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week (i.e., working with resistance-band, adapted yoga) as these activities provide additional health benefits. All children and adolescents should do 1 hour (60 minutes) or more of physical activity each day, according to a report on the website of the CDC.
If a person with a disability is not able to meet the physical activity guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity based on their abilities and should avoid inactivity. Adults with disabilities should talk to their healthcare provider about the amounts and types of physical activity that are appropriate for their abilities, the CDC added.
The Bladen County recreation department has also started their summer camps to help children active. The Healthy Bladen Kids Summer Recreation Program is for ages 6 through 14. The four-week program will be held at five sites in Bladen County and all qualified aged children are invited to attend. The program is held Mondays through Thursdays. The program is free and snacks are offered each day.
The sites and times for each facility are below.
East Arcadia: 1-5 p.m.
Tar Heel Middle School: 9 a.m.-noon
Clarkton School of Discovery: 9 a.m.-noon
Bladenboro Middle School: 9 a.m.-noon
King Street Gym in Elizabethtown: 9 a.m.-noon
Participants must be dropped off and picked up by a parent or guardian each day. For information, contact the Bladen County Parks and Recreation Department at 862-6770.