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Get Active This Summer

Updated on June 3, 2014

As the fast paced Latin vibes start thumping, Corina Gutirrez waves her arms, claps her hands and pumps her chest. The rest of her Zumba class follow what she does with admiration. As they spin, Corina turns her electronic wheelchair with a touch of the control.

Corina was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, and has been unable to walk since birth. She stands at three feet tall due to her severe scoliosis, but despite her physical obstacles, she persevered doing something that she loves, and received her license to teach Zumba in 2011.

Since then, she has become an inspiration to millions, through her classes, her ‘Internet Sensation’ YouTube status, and through her love and passion for what she does, regardless of her disability. She even reported on her Facebook page that she has maxed out the number of friends you’re allowed to have – talk about popular!

Her main aim wasn’t to change the world, but to help other wheelchair users like herself that were interested in physical exercise, but felt like they weren’t able enough. If you’re a wheelchair user, it’s easy to overlook physical fitness because of the many obstacles you may face, but getting active isn’t just fun, it can bring you important health benefits, and even help you in your day to day life!

There are other reasons why you need to keep active whilst using a wheelchair. Manoeuvering a wheelchair puts strains on particular muscles, which can cause strains or injuries. This is why upper-body activities such as Zumba are important to reduce the risk of these kinds of injuries.

Zumba became popular in America around ten years ago, and has since caught on with wheelchair users, because it can be easily adapted to suit any level of skill or physical ability. Corina began Zumba as a way to boost her overall fitness, and she had always liked dancing. She was hooked after one class, and soon started adapting the moves to suit her and her chair. She began filming her own choreography and uploading it to YouTube, where it was quickly picked up, receiving tens of thousands of hits.

Gutirrez, 35, from San Antonio, Texas, has become an online sensation through her unbreakable spirit. She says, "I love Zumba fitness because within three months of me doing [it], my health improved a great deal. My breathing, range of motion in my arms and legs and my strength have all improved a great deal. I am also a little taller now!”

She currently teaches classes twice a week at her local Community Centre in Texas, with aspirations to open her own studio, as well as attending every Zumba Instructor convention there is going, meeting the best in the business and spreading her enthusiasm and determination.

Corina is just one inspirational person who has helped change the way disabled people think about physical exercise. Her message is simple: “If I can do it, you can do it.”

Corina thrives on her independence, but understandably, when you have a disability, there are some things that you do need help with. Nobody takes care of these better than Yorkshire Care Equipment, a family company who are dedicated to taking care of you.

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