Special populations refer to people living with a disability and / or a chronic illness that limits participation in everyday activity. This includes the elderly, who generally are less active due to physical restrictions and the fear of further disability.
Research shows that special populations that are actively participating in physical activity are more functional and falls less often with the added benefit of improved cognitive abilities. Also included amongst these patients, are pregnant women as they have a risk of developing gestational diabetes as well as adults living with disabilities due to stroke or Cerebral Palsy. These are only a few populations of many that could directly benefit from supervised exercise management of these chronic conditions or possibly prevent a condition from becoming chronic.Alarmingly, the prevalence of chronic disease and subsequent disability in children and young adults is rising every year.
There are a variety of chronic conditions, such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Hepatitis C
- Kidney disease
- Raynaud’s phenomenon
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Every chronic disease presents different challenges, but there are common factors amongst them. Chronic diseases cause fatigue, pain which may be intermittent or constant and emotional distress, which may consume your life.
Maintaining health and functionality is important to ensure the quality of life. Exercise has been shown to improve on health-related quality of life because it reduces impairments of musculoskeletal or sensory functions and reduces limitations in activity and restrictions of participation.
The illness can directly affect the patient's emotions or have an insidious, indirect effect. The illness can start to consume your life, so our coaches take all of these factors into account. Their job is not to treat the illness; but to help you, as a whole person, cope with what the illness may be doing to you, and help you reclaim yourself.