Disabilities Are No Obstacle

Walk, Wheel or Move This Way: Disabilities Are No Obstacle for HealthMiles

“Exercise is for everybody,” writes the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability. Although individuals with physical disabilities or certain medical conditions may not be able to participate in traditional forms of exercise (i.e., jogging, walking or biking), being active is still an important part of a healthy lifestyle; it helps maintain the highest levels of energy and vitality. In addition, exercise has been shown to reduce pain, increase energy levels and improve physical functioning in individuals who have a variety of physical challenges, illnesses and disabilities.

Unequal Ability—Equal Opportunity

The Virgin HealthMiles physical activity program recognizes that not all participants have equal physical abilities. HealthMiles is designed to help all HealthFlex participants and covered spouses increase their activity levels, regardless of their starting point.

Does a medical condition prevent you from walking 7,000 steps a day? Does a health condition prevent you from safely working toward an ideal blood pressure, body weight or body fat percentage? No problem—you can still receive rewards for increasing your activity to improve your well-being. Just contact Virgin HealthMiles customer service at 1-866-852-6898 for details on alternative ways to participate in the HealthMiles program.

In order to modify the HealthMiles program to meet your unique health needs, you must submit a Physician Verification form, signed by your doctor, which is available from Virgin HealthMiles customer service. This form allows your health care provider to indicate that a medical condition prevents you from reasonably completing a moderate exercise session of 7,000 steps daily.

Pushing Toward Improvement

Having health challenges doesn’t mean you can’t push yourself to be more active! Enter your physical activity (e.g., physical therapist home exercise programs, seated exercises or stretching) in your HealthMiles Activity Journal and you’ll receive full credit—that’s 60 HealthMiles for your self-entered activities with a submitted verification form! You still have to log in to the HealthMiles Web site regularly to keep track of your activities, and you still have to do some sort of activity to be more active in order to get credit. But you can choose the activity that safely and effectively meets your personal health and fitness goals.

Speak with your doctor or other primary health care provider to determine activities in which you can safely participate when planning to increase your activity level. You might need to work with a physical therapist to develop an exercise program customized for your physical abilities.

Every step you take toward better health makes sense. You can participate in the HealthMiles activity program, brought to you by HealthFlex and the Center for Health, even if those “steps” don’t register on a pedometer. The bottom line: Everybody should move more because with HealthMiles, every step makes cents!