Fit with Down Syndrome

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This is a wellness program I developed in 2012 to help the growing number of young adults with Down syndrome combat obesity.  We combine 45 minutes of exercise (dance and strength training) with 45 minutes of interactive lecture.  To be honest, when we started I had no idea where to set my expectation and sadly at first it wasn't super high.  My assumption was poor eating habits, minimal activity, lack of balance/stability and low muscle tone would create difficulty.  Well, many of my clients you see pictured faced these obstacles, but wow did they overcome them fast!! After a few months I realized just how committed this group was to getting healthy.  Now almost 4 years later this program has almost 20 young adults (ages 15-46 years old) who have lost nearly 200 lbs!  Slow and steady wins the race.  And this group has managed just that!! In fact in October we also ran our second 2.5 mile trail run.  Last year we launched our second program called Rapid Runners.  Each week during the summer-fall we meet to train for a 5 k race.  Talk about inspiration!! They teach me each week about perseverance and celebrating the small victories.   A lesson we can all take notes on when the go and gets tough.   Contact me for details.

rapidRunnersRapid Runners

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adam_testimonialAdam started in Tabitha's Shape up Class a few years ago and hasn't stopped since.  He has certainly become much more fit and aware of nutrition and eating right.  Whatever Tabitha suggests he does it.  She has given Adam the tools to live a healthier lifestyle and he is really in great shape because of this.  Adam loves the Shape Up Class and won't miss it for anything.  With Tabitha's influence he also makes many healthy choices at home too both in his food choices and exercising at home, running, taking walks and doing yoga.  Two years ago when Tabitha started the Rapid Runners, Adam was right there to sigh up.  He trained each week in the summer and followed Tabitha's schedule to run at home.  With the help of his nephews and a great volunteer, Mike, Adam accomplished his goal in his second year of running 2.5 miles and beating his record of the year before.  He came in 2nd of all runners in his age group and has a shiny new metal to prove it. Adam loves this part of his life and how great it is to be so healthy. Truly this is a tribute to his Fitness Trainer Tabitha, and to the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan for seeing the potential in our kids and giving them opportunities by offering these classes.  We as Adam's parents are so proud of these accomplishments

The good news is that Joel moved into a rather independent living situation last summer. He now lives in a rental house with two other twenty-something guys. Things are going fairly well.
The bad news is that Joel experienced the "Freshmen 15" weight gain along with his new living situation. He is no longer under the watchful eye of his mother - who is a very good cook and always served healthy meals. Thanks to his participation in the Shape Up Program Tabitha was able to quickly flag the problem. She and Joel have been working on some healthy solutions. Joel's weight stabilized and now he is starting to loose weight. We really appreciate this program and Joel is learning to make better choices as he lives on his own.
Tom and Brenda, Joel's Parents

bradley_testimonBradley was at least 25 lbs lighter at this years Harvest Run 10/2015 than last years 10/2014.
When asked what Bradley enjoys most about Shape Up, he says, "The music and dancing."  He is happy to hear the Shape Up songs when they play on the car radio! Thanks so much for offering such a great class.
Barb and Jeff, Bradley's parents


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