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Exercise Your Options
Date: 05/31/2004
Author: Sharon Wallace, RD, CSP, CNSD, LDN

Did you know that the average young child views 3 hours of TV per day? Exercise should be a daily part of everybody?s lifestyle. Even small children under the age of five should be playing and moving at least 30 minutes per day.

Some parents may feel that their child with a disability may not be able to exercise regularly. Not so! The way that a child gets their exercise may be different, but more often than not there are activities that the child enjoys that can provide the needed exercise! Exercise improves a child?s ability to balance and walk, strengthens muscles, improves cardiac function and most of all, it is a great way to build self-esteem!

Below are some websites that highlight some physical activities specifically geared toward children with special needs. The National Disability Sports Alliance. This organization is responsible for creating rules and administration of sports programs for people with disabilities in the U.S. There are classifications based on age and degree of disability. The website for the North Carolina Special Olympics. -The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. This promotes the benefit of horseback riding for children with disabilities and lists centers across the country that participates in the program. -A service to help children with special needs receive therapeutic bicycles. A program that provides activities and teaching materials on how to adapt physical activity programs for children with special needs. A specific branch of little league designed for children with special needs. The National Center for Physical Activity and Disability

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