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Cerebral Palsy and Physical Fitness

Updated on August 18, 2018

In childhood many with cerebral palsy spend a lot of time in physical therapy which is helpful to developing needed skills and promoting a stronger body for a youngster with this condition. Physical fitness for teens and adults with cerebral palsy still offers the ability to keep the body stronger, and to keep or even improve some mobility.

According to research the types of CP include symptoms of stiffness, awkward movement, and uncontrolled movements. While this makes standard physical exercise techniques difficult for those with this condition it is possible to modify exercises to fit both the need and physical condition of anyone.


Some of the most positive benefits of physical fitness for those with CP include flexibility training. In flexibility training the individual will use static stretches or slow stretches which are held for 30 seconds or less. By stretching all the muscle groups at least three days per week many people experience improvement in movement and an improved comfort level when performing ordinary tasks.

While endurance levels are different for everyone with Cerebral Palsy some cardio is also recommended. The benefits of regular aerobic exercise gives those with CP the same benefits as others in improved endurance and better cardiovascular health.

Researchers also believe that resistance training can help with range and muscle tone. Resistance exercises working the muscles of the spine, arms, hips, legs, feet and the body's core help not only physical fitness, but also give those with CP more confidence in experiencing new physical environments.

The issue that some individuals with CP is finding the right trainer who has experience working with of different needs. Seeing a physician first, and getting recommends regarding what exercises might be beneficial, and what to avoid is the best course of action, followed by a search for trainers who are capable of adjusting exercises to fit these demands.

Safety is one key element for anyone starting a new fitness program and this is true for those with CP. It's important to work hard at exercise, but no one should follow through with any exercise that seems unsafe, or one that causes immediate physical discomfort.

By finding a fitness program that works teens and adults with CP can improve their level of overall health. A better physical comfort level improves self confidence and gives most who keep to a program better peace of mind regarding their health.

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