6 Great Adapted Workouts and Series for Mobile Children
Exercise has great physical benefits for everyone. It maintains cardiovascular health (preventing conditions like stroke and heart disease), boosts mental health and self-esteem and assists our bodies in managing blood sugar and insulin levels, which can help with weight control.
Exercise has additional benefits for those with disabilities. Many young people with syndromes can have low tone (floppiness) in their muscles which leads to difficulties with some higher level functions such as climbing or running or playing sports. Exercise leading to improved strength, can negate the low tone and lead to improved function.
Because it’s not always possible to get out, exercising at home can be a nice option for our children. The Internet is a great place to start – there are lots of freely available exercise videos online, some of which are specifically aimed at children with additional needs. We share some of our favourites below.
Improves strength which leads to better gross motor skills and more independent living.
Protect joints by increasing muscle strength which takes pressure off the joints. This can prevent or reduce joint pain.
Improves sleep which can have a big impact on development.
Reduces fatigue and improves exercise tolerance so improving function and independence in every day tasks.
For those with tight muscles and joints, exercise can help to maintain or increase muscle length through active stretching – keeping ranges of motion in joints and enabling better gross motor skills and thus improved function and independence.
Reduces constipation – as the body moves, the muscles in the stomach contracts and helps move stomach contents to help with painful trapped wind and constipation.
The pull of muscles and weight bearing both increase bone density – reducing the risk of fractures.
Exercise and Workout Vidoes
Although not specifically adapted for disability, this series by Misha and Monkey may work for children with learning difficulties if you repeat them often.
This is a great series for keeping your younger children fit. There are some nice easy exercises which are well explained and demonstrated with lots of time to get it right. These are nice to do with your child.
This is a brilliant resource by Cosmic Kids is helpful to teach yoga and mindfulness to smaller children. There are lots of great themes to keep it fun and engaging for children with all interests. They use simple instructions so this may also work for some older children with learning difficulties.
This video uses drawings and lots of artwork to make this workout interesting for children.
Koo Koo Kanga Roo includes a very large series of videos.
They have some fun songs and some easy to follow dance moves or you can just do your own thing. There is something for any child’s taste.
This channel boasts “healthy music for a child’s heart, body and mind”.
It is aimed at toddlers and pre-school children with lots of songs to sing and dance along to.
Lovely simple movements so easy to follow or just freestyle dance to.
Joe Wicks is a popular fitness trainer. Over lockdown he ran live YouTube workout videos/PE classes for children. These were different every day so great for children who need lots of stimulation and variety. If your child is better with routine, these are stored on his YouTube channel so you can choose one to repeat.