How Wheelchair Users Move on the Aircraft

How Wheelchair Users Move on the Aircraft

samanta bullock wheelchair user model aircraft airplane move toilet
Aircraft

People are often curious as to how I travel on a plane.  This video gives you a little insight into how I get to my seat and how I get to the toilet on board.

I love to travel and share my experiences.  I learn so much by visiting new places and meeting people from different cultures.
There has been a lot of publicity about the challenges of disabled people travelling in the UK but the increased awareness will only help improve the services offered to disabled travellers.
I hope you take the opportunity to go out and explore the world.

Inclusive Sport  – A personal Perspective ‘Get Out Get Active’

Inclusive Sport – A personal Perspective ‘Get Out Get Active’

As You know I love to be active and lead a healthy lifestyle. Here is a blog is written by my husband on inclusive sport and the activities that we do together. 

Statistics show disabled people to be the least active group in the UK and it would seem logical that this is the case around the world.

 

The ‘Disabled People’s Lifestyle Report’ from September 2013 found that there is clear untapped demand for physical activity and sport within the community in the UK with 70 percent of the disabled people surveyed stating they would like to be more active. The report also found that 64 percent of the disabled people surveyed would prefer to take part in sport and physical activity with a mix of disabled and non-disabled people.  However, at the time of the report, only 51 percent did so.  The UK research highlighted a clear mismatch between people’s preferences and the availability of opportunities. Over 60 percent of those surveyed claimed that either a lack of awareness of opportunities or a lack of available opportunities is what prevents them from taking part in sport and physical activity.  Get Out Get Active is a project aimed at addressing these issues.

 

Get Out Get Active is a programme to encourage more disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together and has been introduced by a consortium of partners led by the English Federation of Disability Sport. The £4.5m programme concentrates on ‘fun and inclusive activities’ over a period of three years.

 

As the husband of a T12 paraplegic and somebody who has been involved in disability sport in various roles from volunteer to coach to administrator since 1991 I can relate very strongly to the finding that many disabled people want to take part in physical activity with a mix of disabled and non-disabled people.

 

My wife, Samanta, is a former no 1 Brazilian wheelchair tennis player and very active but the majority of her current activities are with non-disabled family and friends.  In her wheelchair tennis career, the competition was with other disabled people.  Outside of the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour and since retiring the vast majority of Sam’s physical activity and sport is done with non-disabled people.

samanta bullock acroyoga disabled yoga
Acroyoga X Wheelchair User

 

The list of activities and sports she has tried is extensive

Archery – Basketball –  Beach Tennis – Camping – Canoeing – Cycling – Dancing

Fitness classes – Golf – Gym – Netball – Roller skating – Snorkelling – Squash

Swimming- Surfing – Table Tennis –  Pushing/Walk – Trampolining – Yoga including Acroyoga

As a couple we want to do activities together and this certainly applies to our nieces who don’t see any barriers to the activities that we can do as a group.  When planning to go roller skating the question came up as to whether the venue would allow Sam to go round in her wheelchair. The younger niece who must have been 7 at the time said ‘Of course it will be ok as she already has wheels.’  Our nieces love to do activities with us as a group.  We cycle, run, push, attend fitness classes, go swimming and play tennis as a family.  We take part in these activities in the house, in the garden, in parks, in the countryside, in sports clubs & in leisure centres.

 

 

In the words of a 11-year-old niece ‘I like the challenge of going on cycling adventures with Sam and solving how we will get over and around obstacles like rough ground, up & down slopes, across narrow bridges over ditches & occasionally up & downstairs using teamwork.  When we go swimming I don’t notice Sam has a disability. She is such a good swimmer’

 

We believe strongly in the benefits of inclusive activity and sport but not just for the physical benefits.  Exercise and social interaction are beneficial for the wellbeing of all family members.  Exercise & sport for disabled people does not have to be in disability specific sessions.  People can go for a walk/push with non-disabled family and friends of a similar fitness level.  Some people may prefer to participate with people with a similar impairment.  Some may want a combination of both complementing time spent with family & friends with time with people with a similar impairment sharing thoughts and ideas.  The key is that the disabled person is in a position to make choices about the most suitable environment(s) for them to exercise and play sport.

 

To conclude everybody should Get Out and Get Active.  I am off for a run followed by some yoga.

 

My Amazing Experience with AcroYoga & Why You Should Try It!

My Amazing Experience with AcroYoga & Why You Should Try It!

samanta bullock acroyoga disabled yoga
Seating Position

Many people assume that being disabled means you are limited to what you can do, but let me tell you, the world is still your oyster. You can do whatever you put your mind to, and when you do put your mind to something, you’ll realise that you can achieve way more than you anticipate. Now, recently I’ve started taking AcroYoga classes to challenge myself, go beyond my potential and leave my comfort zone – I strongly urge you to do the same.

For those that don’t know, AcroYoga is essentially a wonderful harmony between partner acrobatics, Yoga and Thai massage. It involves a base person (on the ground), a flyer (off the ground), and a spotter (standing to ensure safety). I’ve currently had four sessions, and it’s very demanding; I have no feeling in my right leg, and can only move my left leg slightly, but that allows me to push myself even further.samanta bullock acroyoga disabled yoga

Moreover, AcroYoga is designed to build trust, but I’ve also found that it requires communication, love, care and effort between both partners. Personally, I attend classes with my husband, but if you want to go solo, then you’ll be able to meet new people, develop friendships, and find a friendly partner within the group.

Alongside having a spotter there to protect you, it’s best not to take any extreme risks that could result in injury. However, luckily there’s padded flooring which will soften the blow if you did fall, so there’s no need to worry.

samanta bullock acroyoga disabled yoga
Long talks – Love

Of course, having been just four times, I haven’t attempted any wild positions just yet, but just doing the basic ones is fantastic – it’s a brilliant feeling when you prove to yourself that you can do something that you once thought was impossible.

Although, I’m sure that we’ll start to incorporate more advanced moves as time goes on. It’s amazing to have that trust with your partner and witness the improvement in both of you each class. In my experience so far, my strength, balance, flexibility and mindset has evolved drastically, which is why I rate AcroYoga so highly. In combination with the massage aspect of it, it just makes you feel great for hours afterwards.

Ultimately, it’s a fun activity that everyone can get involved with, no matter what your circumstance. It will enhance physical, mental and interpersonal skills, but the main thing is that you’ll reach new heights as a person. Like I’ve already touched on, you never know what you can achieve in life, so just give it a try!

What have you got to lose?

5 of the Best Ways to Keep Your Skin Glowing

5 of the Best Ways to Keep Your Skin Glowing

The appearance of your skin is a huge factor when it comes to your overall appearance. Now, some people are blessed with genetically perfect skin, which stays clear all year round. However, others, like myself, need to do a little bit of maintenance to ensure the skin remains vibrant and healthy.

But, you don’t need to spend a substantial amount of money on expensive skincare products. I’ve been utilizing a few different methods for an extensive period of time, and they’re not only financially-friendly, but they’re also extremely effective. Here are 5 of the best…

  1. Thermal Water

I use this all the time, and that’s because it comes with a multitude of different benefits. Thermal water is essentially a variant of mineral water, and it is extracted from deep within the earth. Due to this, it is full of great minerals and CO2, and low in pollution and bacteria. These will soften the skin, reduce any inflammation and prevent any dryness.

Best Skin

Vitacid Plus

This one does need to be prescribed by a dermatologist, but that’s because it is a type of medicine that performs so well when it comes to the skin. It contributes heavily to the production of collagen, which subsequently lightens the skin, smooths any redness and gives it a radiating shine.

Sun Screen

When the temperatures rise, and the sun comes out, it is crucial that you apply plenty of sunscreen to places that are going to be exposed to the rays. Not only will this reduce your chances of developing skin cancer, the moisturizer within the screen will keep your skin glowing. Plus, it will prevent sunburn, so your skin won’t dry up, become sore and crack.

4. Water

Disabled fashion Samanta Bullock Wheelchair model
Skin Glowing

It is no secret that healthy, soft and beautiful skin is a result of it being well hydrated. That’s why drinking a lot of water every day is so advantageous; it will keep the skin hydrated and fight off any toxins. If you balance out the pH levels with a pinch of sodium, then this will further assist with maintaining superb skin. I aim for 1 liters of water every single day!

  1. Skinade 

This is a collagen drink that I absolutely love. It has been developed by scientists, and every ingredient is designed to help give your skin a gorgeous glow. Along with being full of active items that speed up the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen within your body, it also tastes delicious.

Extra Tip: For those of you that wear makeup, try removing it using natural coconut oil, rather than the typical chemical-based products. This will allow your skin to remain healthy, and will also help you with hands as you apply it to your face.

I hope you’ve found this article useful, and it would be great to know if you have any preferred methods to keep your skin glowing? If you do, please leave a comment below!

Check out the YouTube version of this article, and keep an eye out for more posts.

Love Sam x