Many people with intellectual disabilities live sedentary lives and have unhealthy eating habits. Data collected by Special Olympics shows that 80% of athletes with intellectual disabilities are overweight or obese.
To address this problem, Special Olympics provides a variety of fitness opportunities that get athletes to move more, plus eat more fruits and veggies. Both significantly reduce blood pressure and lower weight.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Special Olympics athlete Nick Borders moved home to be with his parents. This arrangement also offered a fitness advantage: Nick could use the land around their house for long walks and other exercise.
In addition, Nick’s mother taught him new healthy recipes, which he now enjoys cooking. As a result, Nick turned his pandemic-related isolation and frustration around—losing 50 pounds in the process.
Once Nick feels safe to move back to his own apartment, he’s already mapped out a route to continue his walks and to cook healthy meals.
He is determined to stay active and lose even more weight, motivating his teammates to do the same. His friend Louie, for example, started walking on his own and already lost 30 pounds!