In full transparency the photo and the press release were submitted to SOURCE media.
The enormous, but overlooked, gap in exercise programming for neurodivergent people in Boston and across the U.S. is having a severe impact on their quality of life. It is estimated that about forty million Americans have an intellectual disability or delay (IDD).
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.
The consequences of such a profound lack of physical activity results in higher rates of many preventable conditions (including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis) and injury from accidents that could potentially be avoided or be less severe if people had greater strength, stamina, and stability.
Inclusive Fitness – a West Roxbury-based fitness and wellness facility – whose mission is to create and maintain healthy lifestyles for neurodiverse people as well as their support systems – has partnered with the Flutie Foundation to raise awareness of the importance of having fitness options available to the neurodiverse community while generating needed financial support for some of the millions impacted by the lack of access to effective fitness programs.
Inclusive Fitness and the Flutie Foundation are dedicated to helping neurodivergent people achieve their physical fitness goals through this newly created scholarship fund which offers monetary assistance to families in need, thereby removing the financial barrier to access.
What makes the approach at Inclusive Fitness unique is a combination of highly trained and experienced coaches, evidence-based adaptive programming, and a beautiful, accessible and sensory-friendly training environment where Inclusive Fitness athletes can learn, challenge themselves and succeed long-term.
“The Flutie Foundation shares our commitment to creating fitness and wellness solutions for the neurodiverse community,” said Greg Austin, founder of Inclusive Fitness. “We are thrilled to have such a strong partner 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 Flutie Foundation and other generous contributors, we will have a positive impact on many people’s lives.”
“Physical fitness is a critical component to helping people and families affected by autism live life to its fullest,” said Nick Savarese, Executive Director for the Flutie Foundation. “Inclusive Fitness is lowering barriers that have prevented neurodiverse people from participating in fitness programs, 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.
Inclusive Fitness and the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism are determined to address the fitness gap that exists for the neurodiverse community, remove barriers that prevent people from living healthy lifestyles, and to raise the bar on what is possible for neurodivergent people everywhere. To learn more, please visit www.InclusiveFitness.com/donate
Former NFL Quarterback, Doug Flutie, and his wife Laurie started the Doug Flutie, Jr. Flutie Foundation for Autism in 1998 after their son, Dougie, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Their personal experience of raising a son on the autism spectrum inspired them to help others on an equally long and challenging journey. Over its 20-year history, the Flutie Foundation has distributed over $15 million to schools and organizations who provide clinical therapies, respite services, recreational programs, social skills training, job supports and more for people affected by autism. The Flutie Foundation also provides education technology tools, adaptive camp scholarships, safety equipment, and direct family support through its partnerships and special initiatives.
Inclusive Fitness creates healthy lifestyles for neurodivergent people, their families, and communities by offering high-quality one-on-one and small group strength and conditioning training, both virtually and in-person. Greg and Kristina Austin, both avid exercisers and amateur endurance athletes, saw first-hand how exercise helped their autistic son Lucas become more focused, relaxed, confident, active, and able to do physical activities with more ease. They also saw the enormous gap in the availability of adaptive exercise programs for the approximately 40 million Americans with intellectual disabilities and delays (IDDs). Their lifelong appreciation of the power of exercise to help both body and mind – and their recognition of the need to bridge this gap – led them to develop the idea of Inclusive Fitness.