SMILE Mass has plans to open an adaptive and inclusive gym. The gym would be a facility offering fitness training to able-bodied individuals as well as individuals with disabilities.
SMILE Mass has plans to open an adaptive and inclusive gym. The gym would be a facility offering fitness training to able-bodied individuals as well as individuals with disabilities. This gym will look like any other gym, except that it will be a little larger than most typical gyms to give appropriate, accessible space for all parties. It will be run on a membership basis, just like any other gym.
The goal of the gym would be to invite families raising children and adults with disabilities to join a gym in their community, just like anyone else. The clients we are targeting will be given the same opportunities as their peers. But perhaps the biggest gift we can give these families is an opportunity to fit in and do something the rest of us take for granted.
We realize we don’t specialize in running a gym, and we certainly are not qualified to train clients. Therefore, we have partnered with The Fieldhouse in Sudbury! The trainers from The Fieldhouse will be trained by Brendan Aylward using his AdaptX Certification Program. This will allow the trainers the ability to provide a great work out to the differently abled community. AdaptX training will give the trainers the ability to teach someone simple movements, within the client’s limitations that could ultimately better their overall health.
The Fieldhouse staff will run the gym and the training programs. SMILE Mass will be a silent partner regarding the typically healthy gym members, but we will be involved with disabled clientele. The Fieldhouse trainers will tailor an exercise program to each client’s abilities; strengthening and conditioning their bodies, to the extent that they are able, will give all of the clients better overall health.
Partnering with The Fieldhouse opening an inclusive gym will allow able-bodied individuals as well as individuals with disabilities a place to train side-by-side. It will foster a better understanding of the disabled world to typically healthy individuals, removing some negative stereotypes and, hopefully, fostering friendships.
When someone has a disability, learning to use their muscle tone and strength to the best of their ability not only Increases someone’s self-esteem, but their overall health will improve, both physically and mentally. But, perhaps the greatest gift for children and adults with disabilities is that they now have the same opportunity as everyone else, belonging to a gym, right in their own community. And perhaps, with a little luck, they will even meet like-minded people who love to work out and be active, making new friends.
By providing a barrier-free environment like a gym, one could only hope the person with the disability is not defined by the disability, but by the person they are.