WEST ROXBURY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – Most people agree that exercise is good for you, but for people with neurodivergence, gyms can be an overwhelming and scary place.
For this reason, Greg Austin of Framingham has decided to quit his executive job and open Inclusive Fitness – a fitness center in West Roxbury specifically geared towards and dealing with people with autism, Down syndrome or other disorders with sensory overload can belong.
“”[The gym is] quietly – even the color was specially chosen to be soothing, “Austin said.” The lighting consists exclusively of dimmable LEDs, so that no sound can be heard. [it] has the right frequency. We have window films so that there are no things that distract from the outside. “
Austin said he was inspired by his autistic son Lucas to open the center.
“When we’ve done a good exercise routine with him – or a big hike or a bath – we’ve found that he’s like a completely different person,” Austin said.
Austin added that there are more than 500 fitness centers in the Boston area – but none that cater to the needs of its customers – despite the fact that there are tens of thousands of people with autism in the state.
“They can be overwhelmed by a lot of noise, by a lot of crowds, they can be overwhelmed by things that they can see outside the windows, television screens, a lot of people doing a class for example,” he said.
All Inclusive Fitness clients, some of whom are non-verbal, are labeled “athletes” – as Austin said, he wants to remind his trainees of the importance of positive self-talk and positive determination.
“”[One client] looked at me and he said, “I am an athlete?” and I said, “Well – you do jumps, you do overhead presses, you do all of these things Tom Brady does, right?” and he said “i am you are right!” and he got the biggest grin on his face and he realized it was him, “Austin said.
Suzanne Sausville from WBZ NewsRadio (@wbzsausville) Reports.