Inclusive Gyms


[Background music] I feel like $1 million after a workout. My brain is calm and
happy and just relaxed. That’s what fitness is …it’s
like a stress reliever. [Background music] So fitness is a part of our
mission in Special Olympics. We wanted to increase our athletes’
opportunity to engage in physical activity and improve their health outcomes at
the same time as improving their sports performance. Fitness is a part of what makes you
a healthy person and without physical activity, focusing on nutrition, making
sure that you are drinking water, all of those kind of healthy choices, then that’s really a negative
contribution on your health. When we look at the health statistics
for people with intellectual disabilities compared to people without
an intellectual disability, the results are staggering. We know that people with intellectual
disabilities are two times as likely to be obese. They’re two times as likely
to have cardiovascular disease. They are two to four times as
likely to be less physically active, five times as likely to have diabetes
and on average die 16 years younger than those without an intellectual disability. And that’s quite unfortunate because
that health inequity and health disparity doesn’t have to exist. It’s really a few different barriers
for people intellectual disabilities. Anytime Fitness recently became a partner
of Special Olympics to really be a gym chain that is focused on improving the
fitness and physical activity and health of people with intellectual disabilities
and particularly our Special Olympics athletes. Our workout today was so much fun. We
had a group of Special Olympic athletes. We took them through new exercises and
all of the athletes were just so eager to learn and so eager to move.
These athletes are so talented. It was fantastic and it’s great to see
their interactions with the trainers and how well they got along with them. They really wanted to learn new things
and they wanted to teach us things, which was really fun. Well, first off, I feel really good, like fabulous when
I work out. It’s fun to do it by myself, but fun to do it with people. I just love that everyone here was able
to talk to me and show me how things were and communicated with me more. If my peers were to ask how their gym,
their Anytime Fitness, their club, their training business
can be more inclusive, I would recommend that they look for
opportunities to get to know people with intellectual disabilities. I think that’s going to be the best place
to get the answers because it’s going to be the most authentic and it’s going
to be coming exactly from the audience that we want to feel just as welcome
as anybody else in our business. Everyone has the right to health. Partner with Special Olympics to make
your gym inclusive or share stories of inclusion at
www.inclusivehealthcenter.org.

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