Special Olympics Iowa encourages our athletes to pursue fitness outside of their competitive sports! Incorporating physical activity along with proper nutrition and hydration every day is important for preventing injury, achieving new personal bests, and maintaining overall optimal health. Special Olympics Fitness programming empowers athletes and their supporters to take charge of their own health and fitness by providing the necessary education, social support, opportunities and tracking of progress.  Let’s get fit!

Special Olympics North America Stride Challenge

Join fellow Special Olympics athletes from across the North America region in getting (or staying) fit this fall by participating in the SONA Stride Challenge! Participants will keep track of the distance they run, walk or roll in their wheelchair each week via Strava. Each Monday, participants will self-report their distance for the previous seven days via a SmartSheet survey, putting themselves in the running to earn a coveted spot on the region-wide leaderboard. Sign up as an individual, or join forces with a friend or family member to register distance as part of a Unified pair.

Join the SONA Stride Challenge
Step 1: Register!
Step 2: Download the Strava App to your phone or electronic device.
*Need some help getting started with Strava? Check out the quick start guide (smartphone or computer) or watch this video.
Step 3: Join the Special Olympics Iowa club within Strava
Step 4: Share that you’re joining the SONA Stride Challenge on social media.

Did you earn a Fitbit Inspire HR during the Steppin’ Through Summer Challenge and need assistance setting up or using the device?  Click on the link below for step by step instructions on everything from unboxing your Fitbit to using the Fitbit app.

Fitbit Inspire HR Instructions

Fit 5

Fit 5 is a fitness initiative based on the three simple goals of exercising 5 days per week, eating 5 total fruits and vegetables per day and drinking 5 water bottles of water per day. The Fit 5 cards and guide were designed to be utilized with flexibility, giving programs the opportunity to integrate and implement the resources in a way that aligns with their current goals and objectives.


School of Strength

School of Strength is a fun, engaging workout video series that features WWE Superstar Becky Lynch, as well as Special Olympics athletes from across the country. The workout series is made up of four videos that focus on strength, balance and endurance.  Video one is a great way to start things off before jumping into the harder workouts.   The difficulty of the exercises increases in videos two through four, see if you can work your way up to the “Master Trainer” level.

Video 1: Welcome and Warm-Up
Video 2: Ignite Your Endurance
Video 3: Getting Schooled on Strength
Video 4: Boost Your Balance 

To use this resource as a full fitness program, be sure to use the supplemental Caregiver’s Kit and Coach’s Playbook.  The Caregiver’s Kit gives fun nutrition tips and tricks that will encourage your athlete to begin making healthy choices on their own.  The Coach’s Playbook provides insight on how to make workouts fun and a list of exercises athletes can do on their own.

Caregiver’s Kit
Coach’s Playbook

Health and Fitness Tracker

Setting both long-term and short-term goals is important!  It helps keep us moving forward and striving to reach our full potential.  Use the below downloadable health and fitness tracker to check off daily health and fitness wins and keep yourself accountable throughout the week.

Health and Fitness Tracker

8-Week Fitness Challenge

1st 7-Week Challenge AthletesSpecial Olympics Iowa challenges teams to incorporate the Fit 5 program into their schedules with the 8-Week Fitness Challenge!  This challenge includes a Fitness Lifestyle Pre-Assessment, 6 weeks of exercise and nutrition lessons, and a Fitness Lifestyle Post-Assessment.  Weekly challenges and fitness tracking devices provide for an opportunity to win prizes for building healthy lifestyle habits!  This program can be incorporated in many ways, including quick 15 minute sessions during weekly Special Olympics sports practices.  All resources will be provided and lessons can be customized to fit the need of specific groups and individuals. Direct any Fitness Challenge questions or registration inquiries to

Fit Assessments

Free Fit Assessments will be available for all athletes at the 2020 Summer Games on Friday, May 22.  Athletes will have the chance to test their BMI, flexibility, balance, agility, power, and endurance before receiving feedback and suggestions from trained professionals.

For more information about Fitness Programs, contact:
Kara Neustrom, Health and Fitness Coordinator