INSIDE SOSC: Athletes, Volunteers Stay Fit, Eat Smart With Healthy Lifestyle Challenge

Healthy Lifestyle Challenge helps athletes and volunteers stay fit, eat smart, and have fun while they are safer at home.

Inside SOSCSpecial Olympics Southern California athletes and volunteers are used to rising to the occasion and pushing through in less than ideal circumstances. Many in the community are now showing that they aren’t fazed by an adjusted spring season, either.

More than 730 athletes, family members, school participants and volunteers have so far signed up to take SOSC’s Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, according to registration numbers as of Monday, April 13.

What is the challenge?

In lieu of a traditional spring sports season affected by the COVID-19 health crisis, SOSC created a Virtual Spring Season focused on health and fitness via daily lifestyle and video challenges that allows for participation from all facets of the community. Thus, any willing coaches, family members, schools and volunteers may take part in the same activities alongside the athletes–well, virtually.

The challenge, which launched April 6 and runs through June 7, is designed to not only help set healthy patterns and routines for all in their daily lives, but also bring in a fun, competitive element that a sport typically provides. If you know any SOSC athletes, they are always game for a competition…and strive to win.

Interested participants can sign up online at any point during the 9-week challenge under one of the following three categories: SOSC athlete, family/friend/volunteer or school program.

How the challenge works

After signing up, participants will then complete daily lifestyle challenges posted on the site’s calendar that will be updated throughout the duration. Three challenges–of fitness, hydration and nutrition variety–are posted per day, Monday through Friday.

In addition, daily pre-recorded fitness and nutrition/hydration video challenges hosted by a variety of athletes, coaches, SOSC staff members and volunteers are posted to the video section of the site every weekday at 10 a.m. Each video will also contain a code word for participants to remember and log along with the daily point tally.

In order to earn points in the challenge, participants must attempt the challenge and watch the daily videos for the code word.

A participation log may be downloaded here and points will be submitted through this link. There are even printable materials for people who do not have access to internet or smartphones with cellular service.

“I have been doing the workouts daily,” said athlete and Global Messenger Jenny Skinner, who added that she does additional workouts with the help of videos sent from her trainer at 24 Hour Fitness.

Why it matters

SOSC remains committed to helping its athletes stay in shape for the traditional sports seasons, as well as the promotion of year-round healthy lifestyle choices. Even in a time when terms like social distancing are the current norm, the health and well-being of the athletes must not be sidelined; in fact, it’s more crucial than ever.

Like the Healthy Athletes stations typically seen at year-round competitions, the challenge helps stress the importance of self-care, finding social activities, and having fun.

Inside the SOSC is a blog managed by staff member Tracy McDannald. It is a more feature-style approach to looking inside what makes Special Olympics Southern California so unique, so special. It is meant to explore the people and their stories. One word at a time.

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