Adaptive Fitness Classes Move Online

Many fitness facilities that offer training programs for people with disabilities have been forced to close because of the pandemic. This, combined with the fact that the support workers of people with disabilities may no longer be able to provide respite care due to the restrictions around the virus, has increased isolation issues for an already vulnerable group. Some adaptive fitness programs, however, are taking their classes online to try to alleviate isolation for people with disabilities during the pandemic.

The Active Souls Project in Kitchener, Ontario, is the largest adaptive training facility in the province. It was forced to close its doors in March due to the pandemic, but owner, founder and coach, Sascha King, has been working around the clock to keep her members moving and connected since then. She has been doing no-contact drop offs of gym equipment such as exercise mats, weights, and skipping ropes at no charge so members can still exercise at home. She also offers virtual training sessions to her members, which offer much needed interaction and socialization.

“They’re so used to seeing us every day or every week, their routines are so set in stone that their worlds are turned upside down right now,” King said of her members. “We’ve had to constantly reassure our kids and our adults with exceptional needs and adaptive needs that we haven’t left them.”

Similar virtual training is being offered here in British Columbia. The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC is now offering virtual adapted yoga, and dance without limits, with classes being held through Zoom.

Move Adapted Fitness in Victoria is offering customized exercise programs, video conferencing, and support from athletic therapists and kinesiologists.

Many other facilities, such as the YMCA, have created workout videos that can be followed at home, and many gyms and training facilities are loaning equipment out to members.

It may be worth giving your local facility a call to see what is being offered that can help you maintain your exercise and rehabilitation routine. While many programs are no longer able to proceed in person, many facilities are finding creative solutions to keep people fit, healthy and connected during this time of social distancing.

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Andrea Donaldson

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