Updated: Jul 9
By Vriti Bajaj
Reading time 5 minutes ⏰
Exercise is an activity that can greatly benefit our mental and physical health. Individuals with dyspraxia often have difficulties in fine and gross motor skills that often make exercising a challenge for them. Individuals with dyspraxia are more likely to be obese than those without. This is particularly prevalent in females. They are more overweight than men with dyspraxia. Therefore, it is imperative we advocate the importance of physical activity and get people to engage in fitness from an earlier age.
When drafting an exercise plan for an individual with dyspraxia it is highly essential to consult a medical doctor and physiotherapists with sound knowledge of some of the balance immobilities caused by dyspraxia. Doing this will ensure safety and make sure one is not overtly straining themselves to achieve their exercise goals. It is also important to have fun and enjoy the process and find an activity with a social group that can give someone a good boost of energy, social benefits and anxiety release.
A few exercise guidelines for people with dyspraxia are moderate physical activity, vigorous physical activity or a mix of both. Moderate physical activity can include aerobic activities such as walking, cycling, swimming and jogging. These involve a “full body workout”. A vigorous physical activity could consist of strength exercises that build muscle and eliminate fat in certain areas of the body. A mix of the two would be doing a little of each and breaking it up based on comfort and progress. Having a gym trainer modify some exercises or use certain equipment will be beneficial in enjoying the activities safely and effectively. Another great idea is to try one’s hand at a sport that can have great benefits such as horseback riding, kayaking, bowling, canoeing, sailing etc to name a few. These activities are a little out of the ordinary and can make an individual active, fit and also help them learn new things. These must be done with caution and strongly advised with a skilled professional who has some experience with dyspraxia.
Know that it is not possible to excel at everything. Choosing an activity that one likes is a great start and measuring progress in small steps is the key.
Balance and coordination exercises can be done at home at any point in the day whenever one feels like alone or even in a group. There are no limitations!
The following are a few useful links that help with improving body movements, mobility and balance.
Research has shown that individuals who have been allowed to partake in physical activities such as boxing, hip hop dance and rugby are shown to have better movement and coordination as adults at later stages. Martial arts such as tai chi, has also shown to alleviate some of the anxiety symptoms caused by dyspraxia.
One cannot stress more on the importance of exercise. It is important that we all recognize its benefits. One way we can stay involved in the community is to host a dyspraxia social exercise club, marathon events for dyspraxia awareness, conduct events on dyspraxia awareness week (4th Oct) such as liaising with sports stores that also throw light to an important topic and make a manual for all of the exercises that would be of use for individual with dyspraxia and how they can be modified for safety and satisfaction.