athlete with handicap

Fit And Active: Finding Inspiration From Parapan Am Athletes

In Wellness by Alnoor Ladhani, Chiropodist

Seeing the athletes in the Parapan AM games can be inspiring to anybody living with a disability, but it can often be challenging to see yourself in their place while you struggle to stay physically active. The important thing to keep in mind is that each of us have our own goals to reach.

athlete with handicap

Mind over matter

The foundation of any healthy lifestyle is always going to be the right mindset. Staying inspired and motivated is going to allow you to push yourself past your limitations and reach whatever goal you set for yourself. It may be tough to see the Paralympic athletes in peak physical shape performing outstanding feats, while you struggle to stay mobile, but the important thing is to keep matters in perspective.

Every athlete has had their own share of hurdles to overcome in order to get where they are today. You’re no different; identifying your goals, naming your obstacles, and working toward them is the only way to succeed. Maybe your goal is to jog a half hour each day, or maybe it is just to stay mobile enough to maintain your independence. In either case you will have your own specific challenges to overcome.

Getting started

If you are facing special challenges that stand in the way of your physical activities there are a few tools that can help you. Figuring out the right ones to use will be an important step.

Compression socks

A great way to improve blood flow and reduce impact vibration is to use compression socks while exercising. They are specially designed stockings which gently squeeze the lower leg and are used in treating a variety of different circulatory and neurological disorders. On a basic level, they just offer the support you need to keep your legs strong and your blood flowing, giving a boost to your physical stamina and endurance.


Look for shoes that offer good arch support and durability. Jogging in flat-soled or otherwise improper footwear can actually result in further foot and leg complications. Orthopaedic shoes are the perfect choice to ensure good support, boosted pain resistance, and healthy blood flow. Over time, they can even correct foot problems!

Foot braces

Either off the shelf, or custom-made, foot braces and orthotics are a way to encourage proper growth, healing, and protection of your feet. They work just like a cast, providing a rigid structure around your foot and ankle which protects and supports. They come in many shapes and sizes, for all different purposes, so finding one to suit your specific needs should be no problem.

With these and other solutions at your fingertips, it all comes down to persistence, and setting the right lifestyle habits for yourself. Keep your goals in mind and you can achieve them sooner than you might think. Book an appointment with the Step By Step team today so that we can help you reach your goals sooner.