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Ultimately, as with all our clients, exercise needs to be enjoyable, progressive and work towards our goals.

Benefits of exercise for people with Down Syndrome

There are so many health benefits to be seen with exercise, as there is for everyone. For those with Down Syndrome, the specifically important ones to note are improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and improved mental health.

This is really important, however, often the more motivating changes for our clients can come with improvements that engage them in activities they love and get them participating and feeling included. These include:

  • Increased strength and muscle mass
  • Improved posture
  • Improved stability and core function
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Improved ability to participate in recreational or sporting activities

Ideally types of exercise for a person with Down Syndrome should include aerobic exercise, resistance or strengthening exercise, and balance.

Ultimately exercise should be fun, and fun is different for all of us. Exercise could look like going for a walk, dancing, playing ball games, exercises from home, or, like Riley (below) coming to do exercises in a clinic or gym.

Get creative – think outside the square

Young man with down syndrome standing on balance ball throwing ball with exercise physiologist

As exercise physiologists, we are really good at creatively thinking about how we can change exercise to be engaging and fun. For many of us, being in a gym may not be appealing but we can adapt strength exercises for home, or at the park or beach if that’s preferred.

Things to be aware of – additional health concerns

People with Down Syndrome can have some additional complications or health issues which we need to know about. These can include heart problems, vision or hearing issues, and varying levels of intellectual disability.

Don’t worry, this is why we, as Accredited Exercise Physiologists, are here to support you and to make sure that the exercise we are doing is suitable and safe 

Come to see us for regular exercise and movement

We see clients through the NDIS and are really happy to support you or your family with your NDIS plan.

We understand that there can be challenges in seeking services which can include funding, support, transport, family logistics, etc. Please give us a call as we are happy to work with you to find a solution.

You can book an appointment by giving us a call on 0423 085 884 or email us at [email protected].

Author: Claire Neylon, Accredited Exercise Physiologist

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