Tips for Healthy Living

Photograph of a group of friends sitting together outside

Our lives are busy and having a disability can add layer of complexity to it. Sometimes, it feels like it takes all we have just to make it through the day. It’s moments like that when we should stop and think about how healthy our life style is. Are there changes we can make in our diet that could give us more energy? Are we involved in physical activity or are we glued to our screens? How well are we sleeping? These are all factors that can affect how well we manage stress. But sometimes, we might need to apply other strategies to combat stress. Living and Working Well with a Disability promotes healthy living for people with disabilities. Here are some short guides with tips and resources about living healthy.


We all know that we should eat “healthy.” But what does that mean? A healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats. Eating these foods will gives you energy for the day and can help manage fatigue, anxiety or stress. They also can help protect you against many diseases. Eating the right types of food is important, but so is watching how much we eat. This factsheet provides guidelines on how to do both. This factsheet also provides tips on how to eat healthy on a tight budget.

Take the Nutrition Survey

Physical Activity

From a young age, we are told that exercise and active movement are good for our heart and help us stay strong. But did you know that regular physical activity can also prevent injury, reduced pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety, and improve your sleep? This fact sheet describes the different types of physical activity and the resources available from the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability.

Take the Physical Activity Survey


How often do you wish that you had gotten a better night sleep? Sleep issues have been linked to anxiety, pain, depressed mood, fatigue, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and weight problems. This fact sheet provides tips on developing good sleep habits and ways to help you fall asleep.

Take the Sleep Survey

Stress Management

No matter how old we are, we all deal with stress. Although stress is a normal part of life, there are times when it may affect how well we can cope with life emotionally, socially, intellectually, or physically. This fact sheet highlights several stress management techniques.

Take the Stress Management Survey
Take the Final Health Promotion Survey

About the Authors:

Dr. Catherine Ipsen is the Director of Rural Employment Research at the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC). Dr. Ipsen has 20 years of experience in disability research and evaluation. Bethany Rigles is a past employee of the RIIC and a current doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Casey Ruggiero completed her dissertation work at RIIC and is a practicing Clinical Psychologist.