Persons with Down syndrome experience moderate to severe intellectual disability.
An additional chromosome 21 (3 instead of 2 chromosomes) causes Down syndrome. The facial features of a newborn at birth indicate the presence of the disability. It’s typical of a snub nose and upward slanting eyes.
Down syndrome has effects on an individual’s life. It can affect your life as follows:
- Social skills
Obesity is on the rise in America’s Down syndrome population. Persons with a disability have a higher risk of developing obesity than the nation’s general population.
This has been attributed to the population’s low physical activity levels. Other issues with the bodies of persons with the syndrome include:
- Low bone density
- Thinning hair and weak nails
- Higher muscle weakness prevalence
- Structural cardiac abnormalities
Physical Activities and Benefits of Exercise to Persons with Down Syndrome
Therefore, it’s important to encourage persons with Down syndrome to take part in physical activities that can boost their health. The activities recommended for persons with the condition include:
- Training programs
- Playing ball games
- Rope jumping
Whichever form of exercise or physical activity that a person with Down syndrome engages in offers various health benefits. The pros of exercise in the lives of persons with such special needs include:
- Enhancement in muscle strength and endurance
- Better aerobic capacity
- Enhanced gross motor functions
- Increased levels of participation
- Higher self-esteem
- Improved blood circulation and better balance
- Increased motion range
- Better participation in social and recreational activities
- Reduced pain levels
According to a study published on Intellectual Disability, evidence exists to prove the benefits of exercise and physical activity in the lives of persons with Down syndrome.
Whichever way you decide to exercise your body, consider the following workout equipment for persons with special needs.
Top 5 Workout Equipment to Benefit Persons with Special Needs
- The flex belt
Persons with special needs use the flex belt to stimulate and tone their abdominal muscles. It’s used daily to attain optimal results.
The best flex belt is FDA-approved, lightweight for use on the go, and lowers the risk of injury. So, for this reason, look out for anything close to a two-year warranty for a product guarantee.
However, a flex belt is best used with exercise and diet for optimal outcomes.
- Dumbbells/ cuff weights
Also known as cuff weights, dumbbells add resistance to your movement. It challenges you to enhance your workouts. Use them with your grip gloves for optimal performance.
Available in various types and brands, choose the best dumbbells for your unique needs.
- Medicine balls with/without handles
Do you need to work on your balance, core strength, general upper extremity, and coordination strengthening?
Medicine balls are designed to help persons with Down syndrome or any other special needs to boost their workout performance.
Use gripping gloves to support your hands in case they have certain disabilities and thus limit their use. You can use the balls with just one or both of your hands.
- Theraband for therapeutic use
Therapists offer therabands together with a program for home exercising to help you work out. Buy several roles of 25-yard therabands.
Color determines its resistance, with red standing for light resistance, yellow ultra-light resistance, blue medium-to-heavy resistance, heavy black resistance, and green mid-resistance.
If you’re a beginner looking for therabands for persons with special needs without prior experience, opt for the lightest workout equipment of this kind.
Work your way up the ladder of using advanced workout equipment.
- Heavy/ speed bags with stands
The heavy bag stand supports use while standing or from a wheelchair. Lower or keep it high to improve your motion range, hit overhead, and support muscle endurance.
Even when working on combinations, the heavy bag features trunk balance. Other workout equipment to consider include:
- A boxing fitness timer
- Total Gym XLS
- Wheelchair push gloves
- An Arm/UBE cycle
- A speed agility ladder
- Fitness machines
- Wrist and ankle weights
- Mini exercise bikes and jump ropes
- Griping aid and push gloves
Make sure the workout equipment you pick is ideal for your unique needs to exercise. Help your child with Down syndrome to cope with the challenges presented through routine workouts.
Finally, make sure you know how to use your new workout equipment for the best outcome.