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01 Dec 2021

New initiative will get neurodivergent people into fitness
BY Tom Walker

The programme will raise awareness of the importance of having fitness options available to the neurodiverse community

The programme will raise awareness of the importance of having fitness options available to the neurodiverse community
photo: Inclusive Fitness

Inclusive Fitness Boston, a health club created specifically for those with disabilities and their families, is launching a new programme to provide greater access to fitness programming for neurodivergent people – those with conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

It's estimated that about 40 million Americans have an intellectual disability or delay (IDD) and research has found that by nine years-of-age, most are much less active than their neurotypical peers. By the time they are 18, most get almost no daily physical exercise.

Inclusive Fitness has partnered with Doug Flutie Jr Foundation for Autism to help tackle the issue.

A pilot has been set up to raise awareness of the importance of having fitness options available to the neurodiverse community and to generate financial support for those impacted by the lack of access to effective fitness programmes.

The programme will include a scholarship fund offering monetary assistance to families in need, removing the financial barrier to access to fitness classes and activities.

The funded activities will take place at the Inclusive Fitness club, which offers an accessible and sensory-friendly training environment, specially trained coaches and evidence-based adaptive programming.

Open initially for people in the Boston area, if successful, the model could be expanded to other parts of the US.

"The enormous, but overlooked, gap in exercise programming for neurodivergent people is having a severe impact on their quality of life," said Greg Austin, founder of Inclusive Fitness.

"We're thrilled to have such a strong partner in the Flutie Foundation to help move this mission forward and offer greater access to quality strength and conditioning programming for neurodivergent people in the Boston area.

"With the support of the Foundation and other generous contributors, we will have a positive impact on many people's lives."

Nick Savarese, executive director for the Flutie Foundation, added: " "Inclusive Fitness is lowering barriers that have prevented neurodiverse people from participating in fitness programmes, where they can be actively engaged, respected and truly form a lifestyle that results in long-term health benefits and a much-improved quality of life."

Find out more here.




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