August 26, 2017
How Adaptive Athletes Are Revolutionizing the Fitness Industry
These days, sports and fitness aren’t just for the able-bodied. People of all abilities are getting into the mix, too, striving for excellence in every possible way. The popularity of the Paralympic Games definitely indicates that everyone admires the triumphs of the human will. Fitness is something that’s for everyone, including those who are built a little differently from the rest of us.
The rise of adaptive athletics is changing a lot about how the fitness industry and workout communities everywhere operate as well, and understandably so. Here, we’ll take a closer look at how they are changing the industry, as well as contemplating the future of an inclusive athletic world.
- Coaches and instructors are rethinking the way they train.
With more and more adaptive athletes competing in sports, coaches and fitness instructors are rethinking the way they train in order to create an environment that works for everyone. For instance, they’re taking the initiative to implement techniques that make for safer, better workouts overall. Examples include spotting practices, cardio workouts, and toning techniques.
Coaches with an awareness of the needs of adaptive athletes are better equipped with the tools to serve their community. It’s not just about fitness. It’s about getting back to the ability to live your best life, no matter what the circumstances.
- Gyms and fitness facilities are changing their layouts.
By now, we’re used to public spaces that are designed with special needs individuals in mind. Of course, we are used to seeing these modifications all the time when we go to restaurants, sports arenas, shopping malls, and much more. With the rise of adaptive athletics, expect to be seeing more and more gyms and fitness centers prioritizing accessibility for everyone.
Among other wide-sweeping changes, gyms are changing their layouts so they’re more spacious and better able to provide ample workout room for all fitness enthusiasts, including wheelchair users. After all, fully accessible pools, locker rooms, competitive courts, and weight rooms are of very little use to anyone who can’t easily get through the door.
- Spectator areas are changing as well.
Special needs athletes and fitness enthusiasts aren’t just hitting the gym or the competitive courts these days. They’re also watching the action, and arenas and sports fields are taking note.
Many locations offer special raised areas that make it easier for everyone to view the action. We’re also seeing more venues adopt innovative solutions that make it even easier for a disabled person to stay abreast of the action no matter where they might be seated. Examples include glass railings that make it possible for spectators to see the field.
- Fitness equipment will be spaced differently within existing layouts.
Even the most able-bodied fitness enthusiast can relate to the struggle of gaining access to a free machine when the gym’s really crowded. Sometimes it’s not just about finding a machine that’s open and ready for use; it’s about getting to a machine that is adapted to meet your needs.
While there is an increase in facilities that offer gym equipment specially designed for adaptive athletes, there are still changes being made to how to modify all the machines. For instance, each type of equipment should come with a three-foot clearance on either side, making it easier for people with mobility issues to access machines or navigate around them.
- Fitness facilities are making brighter colors a part of their design.
Not every adaptive athlete has issues with mobility. Lots of people are also overcoming visual impairments in order to become fitter, healthier, and more active. Many gyms and fitness facilities are rethinking the look and feel of their various areas as well.
For instance, more fitness centers use brighter colors and unique color combinations throughout their facilities, so people can easily find their way using color patterns. Bold, easy to see features like lines, graphics, and color-coded signage also make it easier for the visually impaired to locate different areas quickly as well.
- Adaptive coaching is officially becoming a thing.
While traditional coaches and fitness instructors are definitely looking for ways to support adaptive athletes, specialized adaptive coaching is also gaining in popularity. Professionals in this subcategory are better equipped to teach techniques and formulate routines that are fine-tuned with the unique needs of an adaptive athlete in mind. Crossroads provides one of the few seminars to offer CEUs from multiple fitness associations. Sign up here
Coaching isn’t the only profession that’s changing, thanks to the increased trend in adaptive athletics. Interior designers, scientists, and equipment designers are all contributing to meet the needs with appropriate solutions.
- Adaptive athletics is changing the way entire communities approach fitness.
The world of adaptive athletics is expanding to create an integrated, all-inclusive community that brings everyone together, able-bodied and adaptive alike. As a result, we’re seeing entire fitness communities starting to shift their focus so that athletes of all kinds can work on their wellness and achieve their goals.
We’ll continue to see advancement in the fitness industry, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. At the end of the day, fitness is for everyone, and the industry continues to evolve accordingly. Get involved in your community today and join the movement!