WEST ROXBURY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – A fitness center just south of Boston provides a space for intellectually disabled or delayed individuals to practice wellness.
Many people across the country deal with a neurodivergent disorder including Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or anxiety. Often times, these individuals face multiple barriers when trying to work out, like being overstimulated by excessive movement, sound and lights.
“People can be very overwhelmed from a sensory standpoint and a lot of our athletes could not bear to be there,” said Greg Austin founder, president and coach at Inclusive Fitness in West Roxbury.
He said there are limited opportunities for neurodivergent people to exercise.
“There are, I think, around 41,000 gyms in the country,” he said. “There are less than ten for people who are neurodivergent.”
So he decided to create Inclusive Fitness to help bridge the gap for neurodivergent athletes to exercise at their leisure. Partnered with the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation, the space is designed to transform the way that people think about health and fitness as well as give them the opportunity to learn how to exercise. This cause is personal for Austin, who’s 16-year-old son is autistic.
“What we noticed is that when Lucas exercise, he saw all sorts of benefits.”