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 Iowa 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!

Fall Unified 5K Training

Special Olympics Iowa will be running, walking, and rolling again this fall with our Unified 5K program! All athletes, family members, coaches, neighbors, and friends that register will receive a training guide and tips for conquering the 5K distance. Special Olympics Iowa is partnering with the IMT Des Moines Marathon to provide a race day opportunity for athletes that are able to come to Des Moines for the Principal 5K to compete with an assigned Unified partner. There will be organized opportunities to communicate and potentially train with your partner throughout the program.  Those who cannot make it to Des Moines are invited to hold their own 5k race day with family, friends, teammates, neighbors, and supporters.

We challenge you to train hard and set new personal bests!

Training runs August 30 – October 17, 2021
Training Information

Have you earned a Fitbit Inspire HR through SOIA fitness programming 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

For more information about Special Olympics Iowa Fitness programs, contact:
Kara Enerson, Health and Fitness Coordinator