Top 5 Adaptive Sports for Staying Active With a Disability

Top 5 Adaptive Sports for Staying Active With a Disability

adaptive sports and recreation

Studies have shown that regular exercise, in conjunction with a healthy diet, can boost mood and energy levels. But staying active when you have a cognitive or physical disability can sometimes be difficult. Adaptive sports and recreation activities aim to make it easier for those with different abilities to reap the physical and mental benefits of exercise.

Due to all of these benefits, it’s important for those of all ages and all ability levels to find an exercise routine that works for them. Additionally, it is just as important for them to always consult with a doctor before beginning an exercise regimen. Check out this list of the top five adaptive sports for staying active with a disability, brought to you by our team at Social Security Disability Advocates USA. 

What Are Adaptive Sports and Recreation?

Adaptive sports are inclusively designed to match the abilities of different individuals. More specifically, existing sports and activities are modified in order to make them more accessible for people with different ability levels, both physical and mental.  

Adaptive sports include both competitive athletic events and purely recreational activities, meaning everyone—from professional athletes to workout novices—can enjoy the rewards of adaptive sports and recreation.


Swimming is a great low-impact sport. It’s also extremely easy to modify and adapt for varying levels of mobility and endurance. Another major benefit of swimming as an adaptive sport? It requires little to no adaptive equipment. Swimming also builds endurance and provides heart-healthy aerobic exercise. Swimming can be done one-on-one or in group aqua fitness classes, which often offer built-in modifications.

Horseback Riding

Equine-assisted therapy, also called hippotherapy, has been recognized as an invaluable resource for those suffering from physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities for more than half a century.

Those with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy and movement or balance disorders have been shown to benefit significantly from this type of exercise. Horseback riding also boosts coordination, muscle tone, and often provides a sense of relaxation and confidence in riders.


If you enjoy being on the water, paddling can be a very versatile adaptive sport. It includes canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and rowing. Many of these sports incorporate tandem riders, making it easier for those with disabilities to participate with their caretakers. Modifications to allow for adaptive grips or positioning are also easily accessible.


Cycling offers many benefits—exercise, the opportunity to appreciate the outdoors, and even an alternative form of transportation. Handcycles, recumbent bikes, two-wheelers, and tandem bikes make it possible for people with all kinds of ability levels to cycle, either solo or in a group. 

Those with visual impairments, balance issues, and limb mobility impairments can all take part in cycling. Amputees can also enjoy cycling, often only requiring slight modifications to utilize these types of bikes.

Sitting Volleyball

Sitting volleyball is a fun way to engage in competitive team sports and foster social bonds with others. In this adaptive sport, participants remain seated on the ground and use a shorter net and a smaller volleyball court. 

Aside from these modifications, no additional equipment is required, and players can get an excellent core and upper body workout. 

Have Questions About Your Social Security  Disability Benefits?

Through social security disability benefits, you may be able to offset the cost of adaptive equipment or membership fees to adaptive sports and recreation centers near you. For more on the ultimate disability secrets the Social Security Administration doesn’t want you to know about and how to get the most monthly compensation for your disability, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA. 

Wondering how to check on your SSDI application status? We’ve got you covered. You can reach us by phone at 602-952-3200, visit our office during regular business hours, submit the details of your case online, or chat with a live representative now. 

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

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