Building More than the Body: Benefits of Physical Activity
Physical activity not only benefits the body, but it also supports the mind and can help with the development of important social skills.
Exercise will always be important, and it is essential for people with disabilities. Research shows that physical activity has a moderate to large impact on a variety of outcomes, including the development of manipulative skills, locomotor skills, skill-related fitness, social functioning, and muscular strength and endurance. Physical activity is an evidence-based strategy for youth with autism (U.S National Library of Medicine, 2018).
According to Dr. Sean Healy, many individuals with autism have lower balance, body coordination, visual-motor control and other mobility skills. Physical activity is not just for increasing muscle, gaining strength or losing weight. It develops skills that people can incorporate into their daily lives.
Yoga Classes at iCan Dream Center Benefit Mind, Body, Soul
To encourage the development of these skills, the iCan Dream Center provides social yoga classes weekly. Yoga benefits the mind, body and soul. Our yoga classes encourage students to consider how their body feels at the time.
Yoga also provides our students with the opportunity to encourage each other as they engage in different poses. They constantly and consistently practice their social skills.
When designed appropriately, physical activity programs can provide a fun, safe setting for students to interact with each other and practice social skills (Dr. Sean Healy).
At the iCan Dream Center, we encourage our students to not only practice yoga at the center but to practice at home or with their family members. We want to make sure our students are gaining the physical, mental, emotional, and social skills physical activity can build both in and out of the building.
C;, Healy S;Nacario A;Braithwaite RE;Hopper. “The Effect of Physical Activity Interventions on Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis.” Autism Research : Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 28 Apr. 2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29693781/.
Healy, Sean. “Does Physical Activity Have Special Benefits for People with Autism?” Autism Speaks, Sept. 2018, www.autismspeaks.org/expert-opinion/does-physical-activity-have-special-benefits-people-autism.