Health and Fitness

Health has a substantial impact on the quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) and affects each Special Olympics athlete’s ability to train and compete in sports effectively. Through free health exams for Special Olympics athletes, Special Olympics has amassed the world’s largest data set on the health status of people with ID, uncovering vast gaps in the health care of our athletes. There is a myth that the poor health of individuals with ID is unavoidable because it is an inherent part of their disability. Research has shown, however, that it is a result of a breakdown in health education, health promotion, and health care that can be addressed. For more myths and health facts click here.

Special Olympics Kansas is committed to providing health and wellness opportunities which will impact the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their supporters.

    Special Olympics Kansas Health and Fitness Programs

    Healthy Athletes

    This program provides free health screenings to registered SOKS athletes at competition venues and at selected stand alone events.  Offered in a welcoming, family friendly and fun environment, these screenings educate athletes on healthy life style choices  and attempt to identify potential health issues.  When health issues are discovered they are shared with guardians, and when asked SOKS will work with caregivers to develop a follow-up plan with a health professional.

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    Young Athletes

    Young Athletes™ is an innovative sports play program for children with intellectual disabilities, ages 3-7, designed to introduce them to the world of sports, prior to Special Olympics eligibility at age 8. The program focuses on the development of fundamental physical skills and the application of those skills through general fitness and recreational activities.

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    Virtual Health & Fitness

    Are you ready to live your healthiest life? Each week SOKS provides LIVE health and fitness sessions and more resources to help you in your journey! Our Virtual Health and FItness page contains our upcoming schedule and most recent videos. Stay well, healthy and safe!

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    Medical Directory

    Athletes might receive referrals for follow-up care from any of the Healthy Athletes screenings, and Special Olympics Kansas is committed to assisting them find the services and resources that they require when they return to their local communities.

    We have created a Directory with contact information of Providers. These Providers have signed an application agreeing to screen individuals with intellectual disabilities.

    View Here

    Health and Doctor’s Appointment Resources

    Provider Organizer – Click here to download and here to view the resource video.

    Appointment Organizing Guide – Click here to download and here to view the resource video.

    Common Insurance Terms & Definitions – Click here to download and here to view the resource video.

    Additional Resources

    Adaptive Products:

    Accessible Home Modifications:

    Brain Games – Improve focus, memory, and concentration online or on an app

    Health and Wellness Apps

    • Medisafe Medication Management
    • Nourishly – Track your hunger, activity, sleep, feelings, and more to help you identify patterns and build a more positive relationship with your body and food. You can also set goals and milestones based on your own needs.
    • Stop Breathe Think – Award-winning meditation and mindfulness app offers daily wellness check-ins and suggests personalized activities based on how you feel. Short activities help you stay on track and create a consistent practice. 
    • Smiling Mind – Practice quick meditation and mindfulness exercises for stress, sleep, focus, relationships, sports performance, mindful eating, or more. This app also covers the fundamentals if you’re new to meditation or mindfulness practices. 
    • Bearable – Have you ever wondered how your mood is impacted by different activities or habits? This app allows you to track your mood and symptoms alongside activities like sleep, medication, exercise, and more to provide insights about what makes you feel better (and what doesn’t).

    Inclusive Health Committee


    Special Olympics Kansas Health and Fitness Success Story

    Athlete Ashley Spriggs from our New Hope program in Pittsburg, KS  is a testament to the power of Special Olympics.  Ashley was featured in an article in SHAPE magazine about her weight loss as a result of her training for World Games. Below are before and after photos of Ashley. Read the article here.  

    Health and Fitness Partners