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An instructor helping her client stretch

We look at what exercise options are out there to improve your wellbeing and what you might be able to access with your NDIS funding

Regular exercise has a powerful impact when it comes to treating mental health conditions, chronic health conditions and disabilities. But how do you find the right activity for you? The good news is there are lots of options out there and most can be customised to suit your needs, it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. 

What type of exercise can I use my funding for?

Firstly, it’s important to ensure the goals in your plan are aligned with what you want to achieve through regular exercise or exercise therapy. The NDIA encourages participants to improve health and wellbeing, engage in social or community participation and take steps to live a healthy lifestyle.

Exercise physiology could be an option for you, especially if you live with chronic pain, arthritis, metabolic or neurological conditions.

Gary Wang has seen the benefits of exercise physiology firsthand, suffering from a chronic illness – palindromic rheumatoid arthritis – since the age of 12. The benefits of exercise therapy have improved his quality of life and now he runs his own exercise physiology business based in NSW to help others see the benefits.

I don’t do that much exercise!

Most providers will work with you to customise the movements based on your own abilities. Some people take up exercise to challenge themselves, whereas others might just want to improve their walking, range of motion or build up core strength. Andrew Boustani, who founded Advanced Exercise Physiology in NSW, says he works with people who have Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis.

Andrew says that exercise physiology can help “improve the health and wellbeing as well as self-efficacy” of participants at their own pace.

What other options are there?

Have you heard of immersive therapy? Immersive therapy is about doing something that focuses your mind solely on the task at hand. Alex Harmon from Waves of Wellness (WOW) Foundation, a mental health surf therapy charity, says surfing is great for those new to immersive therapy.

“It’s an option for all fitness levels, it’s easy on your joints and it’s a fun way of getting active,” Alex says.

Delivering innovative support programs for people experiencing mental health challenges, Waves Of Wellness’s free learn to surf programs in QLD, VIC and NSW are designed for NDIS participants of all ages.

Image courtesy of Waves of Wellness

I’m lacking motivation

Motivation is always challenging when it comes to staying active, so sometimes having a one-on-one trainer can be a good way to motivate yourself to keep moving and have someone there to guide you through the process. Stephen Barbara, from Zen Raw Fitness in Victoria, helps NDIS participants reach their highest potential with training, nutritional advice and education. Stephen says he trains many NDIS clients and customises his program for each person so they can get back to living their best life. 

Interested in finding out more?

If you’re interested in health and wellbeing, have a look at your plan and make sure your goals support the types of activities you want to do. If you have a planning meeting coming up, read our top tips for setting NDIS plan goals where we talk about how to set goals in your plan with examples of how other clients are making the most of their funding to improve their life. You can also always contact us via phone or email if you need help in understanding what’s possible through your NDIS plan. 


My Plan Manager does not specifically recommend the providers mentioned in this article and we encourage all NDIS participants to research and choose their own providers. Read our article on finding and choosing providers.

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