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Why Physical Activity and Fitness is Beneficial for Adults with Learning Disabilities

Everyone needs physical activity and exercise to stay healthy, and this is still true for adults with learning disabilities. Encouraging physical activity and fitness not only has physical benefits but also has mental benefits that can improve your overall well-being. In this blog, we will discuss why physical activity is essential for people with learning disabilities.


Improves Physical Health

Physical activity and exercise are crucial for maintaining good physical health and preventing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Studies have shown that adults with learning disabilities have a higher risk of developing these conditions than the general population. Encouraging physical activity by incorporating daily exercises, outdoor games, and other physical activities into their routine can help prevent these diseases and promote healthy bones and muscles. Engaging adults with learning disabilities in physical activity can also help manage symptoms related to their disabilities such as motor difficulties and balance issues.


Reduces Sleep Problems

Many adults with learning disabilities struggle with sleep problems, including difficulty falling and staying asleep. Regular exercise can improve sleep quality by reducing stress, anxiety and reducing daytime sleepiness. A study conducted among adults with intellectual disabilities showed that regular physical activity helped to increase their sleep quality and reduce the amount of sleep medication they needed. Encouraging physical activity as part of their daily routine can help people with learning disabilities get the good night's sleep they need to function better during the day.


Improves Mental Health

Physical activity is not just beneficial for the body; it is also vital for mental health. Research has shown that regular exercise can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve overall mood. Encouraging adults with learning disabilities to engage in regular physical activities can help reduce feelings of isolation, stress, and anxiety. Exercise can also enhance feelings of self-efficacy and self-confidence, promoting independence and a sense of accomplishment.


Social Interaction

Physical activity offers a great opportunity for social interaction for adults with learning disabilities. Engaging in activities such as group exercise classes, sports, and other physical activities provides a chance to make new friends, maintain existing relationships, and build social skills. Encouraging social interaction can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence for people with learning disabilities.


Increase Independence

Encouraging physical activity promotes independence and empowerment for individuals with learning disabilities. Improving their physical abilities and mental health through exercise can help them participate more fully in their daily lives. By increasing independence, we can promote a better quality of life and improve their overall well-being.


Have Fun

And of course, doing exercise can also be lots of fun!  So find the form of exercise people enjoy most and can engage with the best. This can be anything you enjoy such as dancing, swimming, cycling, water aerobics, football, horse-riding, going to the gym or even just walking.

Overall, encouraging physical activity and fitness is beneficial for adults with learning disabilities. As a caregiver or family member, you can play an essential role in encouraging physical activity for your loved ones with learning disabilities. Remember to start slow and consult a healthcare provider to develop the right exercise routine that meets the needs of the individual. By making physical activity and exercise a priority, we can help adults with learning disabilities live healthy, fulfilling lives.

To find out more about Oak Lodge and how we can support you, visit to contact us today.

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