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Exercise and Diet for Adults with IDDs

Exercise and Diet for Adults with IDDs

Did you know that exercise and a healthy diet are important for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities? Proper nutrition can help maintain physical health, reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, and improve a person’s overall well-being. Similarly, exercise can help keep a person’s body functioning properly, improve fitness levels, reduce stress, and promote positive mental health. Let’s look at exercise and diet for adults with IDDs and how they can be incorporated into a daily routine.


Regular exercise is key to staying healthy and active as an adult with intellectual or developmental disabilities. It helps reduce stress, build strength, improve sleep patterns, increase metabolism, boost immunity, and even enhance cognitive health. However, traditional exercise options such as gym memberships or personal trainers may not be accessible due to cost or lack of available resources. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple and low-cost ways to stay active while still having fun! Here are some ideas that you can incorporate into your daily routine:

  • Take a walk around your neighborhood every day or a few times a week—get outside and enjoy the fresh air! You don’t need any special equipment; just comfortable shoes and clothes that won’t restrict movement.
  • Look into community-based activities such as yoga classes, dance classes, swimming lessons, adapted sports teams, or martial arts classes. Or if you prefer individual sports like tennis or basketball, look for local courts where you can play for free. If there are any specific medical conditions to consider when planning activities, it’s best to consult with a doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.
  • Find ways to stay active during leisure time by playing card games, board games, video games, or outdoor games with friends and family.


Eating healthy is just as important as exercising regularly in order to maintain good physical health. For adults with IDDs, it is especially important to make sure they get enough essential vitamins and minerals each day in order to stay strong and energized—especially if they are participating in physical activities regularly. Eating nutritious meals helps regulate blood sugar levels which in turn boosts energy levels throughout the day so you can stay alert and productive. Here are some tips on how you can make small changes that will help improve your diet:

  • Start by making simple swaps—replace processed snacks like chips with healthier alternatives like unsalted nuts; replace sugary sodas with carbonated water and fruit juice; replace fried foods with grilled or boiled meals.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables—they are packed full of vitamins and minerals, which help keep our bodies functioning properly! Try adding them to salads or smoothies for easy snacking throughout the day.
  • Drink plenty of water—this helps flush out toxins from our bodies which leads to better overall health! Aim for eight glasses a day.
  • Reduce your intake of processed foods—these often contain high amounts of sugar and salt, which can lead to weight gain or diabetes if consumed in excess over time.
  • Limit saturated fats—these are found in red meat and dairy products, so try to include leaner proteins like fish and chicken whenever possible!

Staying physically active and eating healthy meals is essential for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities who want to maintain their well-being long-term. Regular exercise helps reduce stress levels while promoting positive mental health benefits as well as physical ones like increased strength and mobility. Meanwhile, eating nutritious meals will help regulate blood sugar levels and boost energy levels throughout the day so that you can remain productive and alert no matter what activity comes your way! Both exercise and diet for adults with IDDs require dedication and commitment but the rewards are worth it.

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