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Hustle for Your Health

Physical fitness is important for everyone, including children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.  Running, a weight bearing aerobic activity, promotes cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, bone health, lower extremity strength and endurance, symmetry of movement in both upper and lower extremities, and emotional regulation.  Wheelchair racing promotes cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, upper extremity strength and endurance, and upper body symmetry.  These are all areas that children with special needs can improve on.  The format of this 10 week program will include a dynamic warm-up, outdoor aerobic activity in the form of running and walking or wheelchair propulsion, basic strengthening exercises, and stretching to cool-down. At the end of the program, participants will be prepared to complete a 5k distance and are encouraged to participate in a local race.

Who Can Benefit?

Children who are 9 years and older who are already able to run or propel their chair, but need work on endurance, strength, or form in order to go longer distances, will benefit from this programs.

  • Improve running/propulsion pattern to increase efficiency and decrease risk of injury.
  • Increase endurance to complete a 5K distance.
  • Develop running/chair propulsion as a skill for life-long physical fitness. 
  • Provide a transition for participation in community-based programs.
  • Provide an opportunity for social engagement with peers.

Criteria for Participation

  • At least 10 years of age
  • Able to follow 2 step directions
  • Able to stay with a group of people in an open outdoor environment, including while crossing the street
  • Already able to jog (or jog alternating with walk) or propel their wheelchair for at least 10 minutes without stopping
  • If ambulatory, already has a true running pattern with 2-foot swing phase (ask your treating PT or OT if you are unsure)
  • Postural alignment suitable for repetitive movement and impact of running without placing child at risk for musculoskeletal injury (check with your PT or physician)
  • Family commitment to do prescribed running /propulsion activities at least twice per week at hom

How Do I Get Started?

Getting started is easy! Contact our Intake Coordinator at 630.282.2026 to ask questions or schedule an appointment.

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