Healthy Living for Women With a Disability
August 10, 2018 • By Holli Richmond, Executive Director, President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition
Regular moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity helps improve overall health and fitness and reduces risk for many chronic diseases. Unfortunately, compared with men and boys, women and girls are less likely to participate in the recommended levels of physical activity needed to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Additionally, individuals with a disability are less active than the general population.
The Office on Women’s Health and the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition (PCSFN) have partnered to ensure that women and girls with a disability have opportunities to be physically active and practice healthy eating behaviors through the I Can Do It! (ICDI) model. The ICDI model is used to assist schools and communities aiming to establish inclusive health promotion programs.
ICDI is a customizable, 8-week model that leverages Mentor-Mentee relationships to inspire individuals with a disability to lead lifestyles that include regular physical activity and healthy eating behaviors. Health promotion programs using the ICDI model serve Mentees of all abilities, engaging participants in a range of sport, recreation, fitness, and healthy eating activities. Through mentorship, ICDI encourages participants to:
- Learn about healthy eating
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Set weekly, personal physical activity and healthy eating goals
- Earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+)
ICDI can be implemented in multiple settings, including K–12 schools and school districts, colleges and universities, and community-based organizations. PCSFN supports ICDI sites nationwide by offering free resources and assistance during program planning, implementation, maintenance, and sustainability. The ICDI model is available for FREE. To learn more about ICDI or to become an ICDI site, visit www.fitness.gov/ICDI.