By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Specialized gyms are offering sports and fitness programs for people with disabilities.

Harsh Thakkar was the victim of a violent crime 12 years ago that left him in a wheelchair. He didn’t know how he would keep his body in shape.

“It was difficult to understand how to work out…how I was still going to remain healthy,” said Thakkar.

Thakkar now coordinates a fitness program designed to help people who are disabled.

“Without this program I don’t know where I would be,” said Zandra Miller.

Trainers customize workouts for patients who have had strokes, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis and debilitating injuries. The goal is to help people who can’t stay active improve their strength and endurance.

“There are no limits to what people are capable of doing–that’s our motto here,” said Thakkar.

Ray Bourgeois, 66, is a quadriplegic after a snow-tubing accident. An electric stationary bike moves his legs for him, critical for rebuilding muscles.

“I followed up with therapy session as the hospital and I am determined to get out of my wheelchair,” said Bourgeous.

Zandra Miller says the program has helped her feel better physically and emotionally.

“It’s given me a second lease on life. It really has,” she says.


Stephanie Stahl