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Movement and Fitness Programs and Protocols

Chair exercises
submitted by Felicia Rodriguez, CTRS of The Children's Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies on April 27, 2009

Size of Group: any size

Equipment: chairs

Objective: To provide low impact physical exercise

- Sit in chair, take three deep breaths, lifting arms above head for inhale and down for exhale each time
- Reach one hand toward ceiling, hold for 5 seconds. Repeat with the opposite hand
- Relax your shoulders
- Shrug your shoulders 5 times
- Stretch arms to the sides, move in circles-10 times forwards, then 10 times backwards
- Relax your shoulders
- Place your hands on your shoulders and roll them forward 10 times, then backwards 10 times
- Keeping your shoulders relaxed and hands on your shoulders, touch your elbows together 10 times
- Reach both hands toward the ceiling, lean to the right and hold for 10 seconds. Then lean to the left and hold for 10 seconds, repeat
- Take three deep breaths
- Relax your shoulders, lean head to right shoulder, hold for 5 counts, then left shoulder
- Move your hand down your leg reaching toward your foot, and back up again. Repeat 5 times, switch to opposite leg
- Place your hands on your thighs, keep your back straight and lean forward and hold for 5 counts and back 5 times
- Stamp your feet 10 times
- Wiggle your toes for 10 counts
- Place your feet flat on the floor. Point your toes up toward the ceiling, hold for 5 counts. Repeat 5 times
- Lift your knees one at a time holding for 5 counts. Repeat 5 times each.
- Bend at waist, reaching hand to opposite toe. Hold for 5 counts. Repeat with opposite, hand 5 times.
- Wiggle your fingers for 10 counts
- Place hand on opposite knee and turn to look behind you, hold for 5 counts, repeat other side
- Cool down by taking three deep breaths, lifting arms above head for inhale and down for exhale each time
- Give yourself a hug and hold for 5 counts

Giant Inflatable Soccer Ball
Angela J.Hill - Giles of Lovingston Healthcare Center on July 08, 2005

Size: Any

Equipment: Giant inflatable Soccer ball can be purchased at Toys'R Us for about $6.00 also comes with the goals that are inflatable for about $16.00.This was a great find and alot more fun than we expected.

Objective: upper and lower extremity strenght and movement , stimulates the mind and body also aides in the prevention of agitation.

Description: place wheel chairs / chairs in a circle filling in the empty spaces so the ball is not able to get out of the circle. start off with a warm up tossing the ball to each participant to hit back to you then see who is actually able to catch the ball; the ball is so big that it is kinda hard to catch but it is also soft; (its made just like a beach ball except it is probably 4x the size of a beach ball,it has a soft cover on it that looks like a soccer ball.)Then put the ball on the f l oor and kick towards a participant then they kick it and so on. The size of the ball makes it really easy for the elderly to kick.You'll be surprised that even participants that you thought wouldn't respond will. We have a blast, and are looking at purchasing the basketball, baseball so the fun never stops.

Spring Reflections
Submitted by Jessica Dillon of Center for the Disabled on May 07, 2004

Size: 1-8

Equipment: Scarves or ribbons on sticks, taped background music (such as classical music), and your creativity!

Objective: To increase overall body awareness, gross motor skills, and self expression.

Description: ***This is an activity that was used successfully with disabled adults.***

Begin this activity by having the group wave/move their scarves or ribbons all around their bodies, such as over head, behind or in front of the body, to the side, and (bending) to the floor, as a warm-up. (2 min.)

Ask the group to think about what happens during the spring time. Mention the weather (sunshine, rain, wind), and growth (plants/flowers). Suggest that you would like to try to express these changes through movement with your scarf or ribbon sticks. (2 min.)

Start with sunshine as you direct each person to wave their scarves in an arch overhead, side to side. Repeat.

Transition to wind, waving your scarf wildly in big, gusting movements all over and around your body. Repeat.

Add rain by starting up high and 'sprinkling' your way to the floor. Repeat. Try light and heavy rain.

Finish with plants 'sprouting' up out of the ground. Try little ones (short)like grass or clover, and then really tall ones, like sun flowers, that seem to 'jump' into the air as they grow.

For more fun, after going through these in practice, sequence the movements into one flowing movement (performing each only once and then moving directly to the next), or ask the group to lead you through the moves without speaking (promting).

At the end of the group, be sure to ask the group what other things they think about when remembering spring. Put those thoughts into motion and have the group mirror each individual's contribution.

Imagination Jog
submitted by Seth Bittner of Action Karate on October 06, 2004

Size: any

Equipment: N/A

Objective: Warm up for physical activity. Also works on cognitive skills and memory recall.

Description: This activity is a basic exercise but works well for getting the group excited for events to come and gets them physically warmed up. Jogging in place, the leader will take the group through an imaginary trip. I use this at my karate studio with kids between the ages of 3-9 but can be adapted to any age. I use scenarios such as a jog through the jungle or a jog to the candy store. This is a great exercise because it can change every time that you do the exercise. While jogging, I will call out a verbal cue to do a certain physical activity. Examples are when I say log, we pretend that we jump over a log, and jump as high as possible. When I say duck, we pretend that we duck under a branch. You can use any physical activity that you choose, just use your imagination to tie it into the story. Other examples of verbal cues/physical exercise can be when leader says bear, the group will run as fast as possible pretending to run from a bear. When the leader says lake, the group drops down on the floor and pretends to swim across the lake. When the leader says bee, the group does jumping jacks pretending to swat bees away from them. The only limit that you have is your imagination. Have the group come up with their own. You will be surprised with what kind of ideas that they will have.

submitted by Trudy Hamilton on Friday, December 26, 2003 popercise

Size: unlimited

Equipment: bubble wrap of various sizes, music

Objective: this activity provides lots of fun at different levels of function.

Description: clear enough area of activity room to lay bubble wrap on the floor. have music on and let residents dance, walk, or jump on the bubble wrap to the beat of the music. you can use the smaller bubble wrap for residents that are unaable to walk/stand and have them pop as many at one time. have them start to twist the bubble wrap at one end and the activity director twist at the other end. lots of fun!

kick ball
submitted by crystal horne on October 13, 2002

Size: 10 with at least 2 care aides

Equipment: 10 chairs and 1 ball preferably a beach ball.

Objective: good exercise for the arms and legs,eye and hand coordination. and social activity. good to prevent agitation.

Description: place chairs in a close circle have residents seated. place ball in center and have them kick or hit the ball to other residents. this will keep them socially and mentally alert.p.s. walkers, ones in wheelchairs, can participate.

Event Exercise
submitted by Theresa Zaffini of Pine Knoll Convalescent Center on Monday, January 7, 2002

Size: 30-45 people

Equipment: Depending on the topic, ex. Exercises for a day on the farm: animal sound tape, pitch fork(which can be made)

Objective: This activity provides visual, tactile, and physical stimulation it is both for the high functioning and the low functioning residents

Description: Each day we plan a new topic for the next day and we make props that fit the ideas. We have a very large room and we sit the residents in a circle remove their restraints and we have 1 activity progessional and 1 rehab aide in the group. A residents sits in the center and tells the story of the activity and the different movements he expects the residents to do. The staff in the room provide 1:1 interaction to be sure that all residents are actively involved. It stimulates the mind as well as the 4 extremities. The residents enjoy looking forward to something different each day. For example: A day on the farm:
1. Everyone would get a straw hat
2. We would play music with animal sounds like "Down on the Farm"
3. They pitch Hay
4. Milk the cow
5. brush the horse
6. plant seeds
7. etc.

Action Faction
submitted by Debbie of Western Prairie Care Home on 12-12-98

Size: 3 - 20

Equipment: A super sized beach ball, or two depending on group size. One or more leaders, depending on group size

Objective: Stimulates mind, and body
good exercise for arms and legs

Description: People/residents/patients are seated in a circle with leader standing in the center of the circle.  The beach ball is tossed to participants, one by one and they HIT the ball back.  Each person hits 5 times..then ball is tossed to the next person.  Once around the circle, the ball is then ROLLED and residents KICK the ball back.  Make this a fun activity and they will come back for more.

Presidential Fitness Mile Lap Swim for Special Populations
submitted by Debra Corwith-Frieden, Presidential Fitness Mile Lap Swim for Special Populations, 3539 Ada Vista, Uniontown, Ohio 44685

: depends on # of volunteers: any

Equipment: Pool facility, coach, volunteers

Objective: Earn a Presidential Sports Award in Swimming, improve cardiovascular system, experience esteem/sense of personal achievement, develop independent aquatic skills, friendships, increase range of motion, directionality, social skills, community involvement, participate in other aquatic events (i.e. Special Olympics etc.)

Description: Over a four month period, perform 72 independent swim laps (one mile), primarily free style, but alternation of stroke is OK. Swim for a minimum of 1/2 but no longer than one hour, once or twice a week.

Send for Presidential Sports Award Personal Fitness Log by writing

Presidential Sports Award
Amateur Athletic Union
c/o Walt Disney World Resort
PO BOX 10000
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000

Pool Noodles
Submitted by Sherri Read of Ridge Meadows Hospital

Size of Group: 6-12

Equipment: graduated music (slowly begins - quickens - relaxation) pool "noodles"

Objective: increased mobility, flexibility, range of motion fun and enjoyment experience of play

Description: We use several different pieces of exercise equipment. For example:  bean bags, beach balls, exercise balls, therabands, etc. But the one piece of equipment that our residents really enjoy is using "pool noodles".  These are actually long, fluorescent sponge-like tubes used as flotation devices in swimming pools. They are brightly colored, lightweight, flexible, and very durable.

It seems that we are able to increase range of motion when we use the noodles as the participants try to reach a little higher, and stretch a little further.

There are many exercises that you can incorporate with the pool noodles.  Your only limitation is your imagination!

Precaution Note: Be aware of client limitations... exercise should not hurt and if clients are voicing pain, they may be exceeding their limit.

(Name of Facility) Walks across America!
Submitted by Sue Pollock of Havenwood-Heritage Heights

Size: unlimited

Equipment: Mapped out area of specific distance

Objective: To facilitate independent walking or self-propel in wheelchair teamwork, socialization

Description: Place a large United States Map in a central location. Residents are encouraged to walk daily and to keep track of their distance. For example 10 times up and down the hallway or around the loop equals 1/2 mile etc. Then 1x weekly you tally the mileage and start keeping track on the map! It is great fun to discuss destinations,stop overs in different cities, you can even show some travelogues to go along with your "walk"! A big party can conclude the event when you reach the other side of the country!

Prizes can be awarded for the most miles contributed! (new sneakers??)


Send in additional movement activities & protocols.

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