Moderate exercise can help to keep your child active, manage their weight, and make them feel better psychologically, but some exercises may damage already weakened muscles.

Many experts recommend swimming or other exercise in water. This is sometimes called hydrotherapy, or aquatic therapy. The water can help protect against muscle strain and injury, while toning, and improving respiratory function. It may allow boys to perform exercises they may not be able to do on land as they are supported by the water. In addition, many children, parents and carers may find it a fun, safe way to exercise. It is important to try to encourage your child not to push themselves too far, or to exercise to the point of exhaustion.

Another recommended form of exercise is horse riding. This can allow boys to stretch and work muscles they may not be able to use on land. The organisation, Riding for the Disabled, will help you find an appropriate class or teacher near you.

Cycling is another good form of exercies. If your child struggles to use a regular bike, try using a low geared trike. Tomcat Trikes have a number of different options. http://tomcatspecialneeds.co.uk/about/

Don't be afraid to try new things with your children; some holiday companies now offer help for children with reduced mobility. Try contacting: http://www.ski2freedom.com/en/index

Exercises to avoid:  

Exercises that put undue strain on muscles, or that only exercise one side of the body should be avoided. These includes using scooters, trampolines and bouncy castles.

Published on 3 March 2016

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