Five Tips for Living Your Best Life

Five Tips for Living Your Best Life

Written by:
Darlene Klassen BN/RN
Nurse Dar Writes

Speed Skating athletes Beth (left) and Olivia (right) attend a healthy athlete session.

Individuals with intellectual disabilities will benefit both physically, mentally, and psychologically by following the same tips for a healthy lifestyle as generic athletes. Depending on the disability, adjustments may be required to optimally benefit each individual athlete.

Read on to find ways to make sure you’re in top shape, both on, and off, the playing field.

  1. Move your body!

Exercise helps to manage your weight, keep your brain healthy, strengthen your muscles and bones, boost energy, combat disease, and allow you to sleep better. Every little bit helps, and it all adds up!

Here are some easy tips to include in your daily routine:

However you choose to move your body, it can be done in small blocks of time. Encourage yourself, and your friends and family, to help you work up to 150 minutes a week.

That can look like 30 minutes five days per week. Sound hard? Look at it as  10 minutes of activity 2-3 times per day. All movement has benefits for your physical and mental health!

  1. Make healthy food choices.

Individuals with intellectual disabilities often have challenges with maintaining a healthy weight and with sleeping well. Evidence reveals that following a healthy diet may improve sleep and assist in maintaining and achieving a healthy weight. These are general dietary tips, and some foods may require alteration to accommodate different abilities. Food is fuel and to have a healthy body you need to give it quality food! Variety will keep it interesting and fun.

Try some of these tips below:

Canada's Food Guide

  1. Drink water!
  1. Sleep

Poor sleep is a common occurrence among Special Olympics athletes. There are numerous actions that can be done to increase and improve your quality of sleep. If you can, try for 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep every night – it will have you energized and bounding out of bed in the morning!

Here are some more tips for a restful night of sleep:

  1. Reduce Your Stress

There is a significant correlation between stress, anxiety, headaches, digestive issues, and mental illness, to name a few. Ridding your life of all stress would be impossible, but there are practices that will reduce it.

Athletes Taylor (left) and Regan (right) volunteer at a Healthy Athlete event.

Implementing these five tips will help set you on the right track to living and enjoying your best life. If you found this article helpful, make sure to share it with other athletes so we can all work on living a healthy and purposeful lifestyle!


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