Participating in exercise is a part of a balanced lifestyle. Joining a fitness centre or pool is a great way to get exercise. Before joining a centre, take a tour. Make sure the fitness equipment is accessible and you feel comfortable getting around. Here are some things to consider while choosing a centre:
Costs: Are there special needs subsidies or discounted rates available?
Accessibility: Is the fitness equipment wheelchair accessible? Do the fitness station seats move to the side? Can you use the fitness equipment from your wheelchair?
Change Rooms: Are the change rooms and washrooms wheelchair accessible? Is a mechanical lift available? Are there large padded benches to change on?
Attendants: Are there attendants available to help you with dressing, undressing and transferring? Can your attendant get in for free?
Staff Support: Are fitness assessments offered by staff? Do they offer education on how to use the fitness equipment properly? Does the staff have experience working with special needs populations?
Pool: Is the pool wheelchair accessible? Is there a ramp or mechanical lift to get into the pool? Are there water wheelchairs available? Is the pool a therapeutic pool (88oF/31oC and above) or a regular heated pool?
Pool Supervision: Are water safety assessments offered by staff? Do they provide flotation devices, water shoes, or supervision while in the pool?
Medical: Does a doctor release form need to be completed for a membership?
When not to access a therapeutic pool:
- If you have any open wounds/skin lesions.
- If you bowel and/or bladder is not well managed.
- If you are feeling sick.
- If you are having stomach problems.