Staying in shape has always been important to Romana. But keeping fit is no easy task for anyone; for those with Down syndrome, the odds are stacked a bit higher. Among the troubling statistics: Adults with Down syndrome are three times more likely to be overweight or obese than adults without disabilities.
The resources were designed to be utilized with flexibility, giving Programs the opportunity to integrate and implement the resources in a way that aligns with their current goals and objectives.
For years, Romana has excelled in rhythmic gymnastics. In 2019, she and her local gymnastics club, along with Special Olympics Slovakia, participated in the first European Special Olympics Championship in Rhythmic Gymnastics. Romana’s performance and skill earned her a gold medal.
But she still wanted more. So she got involved with the Special Olympics Fit 5 program. Fit 5 educates and empowers athletes to live a healthy lifestyle by supporting them in three simple goals: 5 days of physical activity per week, 5 fruits and vegetables per day, and 5 bottles of water per day. There are also fitness cards and videos to highlight endurance, strength and flexibility exercises that athletes can do at home.
As Romana has proven, persistence and dedication can make a big difference: she has gone from 78 kg (171 lbs) to 60 kg (134 lbs), thanks to her hard work. She has set an example for her fellow athletes—with and without disabilities—and her community as well. Even her mom has taken note, followed Romana’s healthy eating example—and lost weight too!
Romana plans to keep active in the Fit 5 program, continue building her gymnastics skills, plus riding a bicycle and Zumba dancing. She is excited for anyone reading this to follow her example for a happy, healthy 2021!