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New fitness program designed for those with physical, mental disabilties

by Erin DeBlanc | September 12, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.
All Abilities founders Chase Livingston and Whitni Allen perform a fun exercise on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, at Kidtopia park in downtown Texarkana, Texas. The fitness program is personalized for individuals with mental and physical disabilities. (Staff photo by Erin DeBlanc)

TEXARKANA -- A new local fitness program aims to serve those with disabilities.

Chase Livingston and Whitni Allen are personal trainers certified in nutrition, behavior, special needs and adaptive training. Recently, the two launched All Abilities, Fitness For All, a program for people with physical or mental disabilities.

"Exercise is important for everyone's health and well-being. Traditional gyms typically do not offer personal trainers or fitness classes that can meet the needs of those with physical or mental disabilities," Livingston said.

All Abilities offers adaptive and inclusive fitness training that accommodates various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and stroke recovery.

"Workouts for each athlete will be tailored to individual needs, but the goals are the same for all," Allen said. "The goal is to boost confidence, independence and socialization in an accessible, safe environment."

All Abilities focuses on exercises to help with real-life functions, such as walking up the stairs or carrying heavy objects, along with other daily life skills. Classes are free and open to anyone interested, regardless of age.

"We had a very successful first class for 14 athletes at Texarkana Resources on August 30," Allen said.

Jennifer Lewis, CEO of Texarkana Resources, reached out to Allen about starting an all-inclusive and adaptive fitness program for those with special needs.

"Jennifer's passion to help those with special needs is contagious," Allen said. "She sparked something in me that I didn't even know was there and that spark has grown into a fiery passion for me."

Allen approached Livingston about the class, and the two worked to bring the idea to life.

"It is quickly becoming a growing vision that we hope turns into a movement," Livingston said.

Livingston said his philosophy boils down to treating the athletes they serve just as they would any other client, "with care, affection and specialized attention."

Currently, Allen and Livingston are relying on word of mouth about the program.

"We also rely on social media, sharing videos and communicating with our audience to build awareness," Livingston said.

All Abilities does not have a permanent location, so Livingston and Allen take their services to the client.

"Our goal is to offer personal one-on-one training and group training," Allen said.

Still, Livngston said their eyes are on the future.

"When the time comes, we hope to have our own facility to run classes, training and other services," he said.

The two intend to have classes once a week, with the goal of expanding the schedule.

Noticing there was a void for services such as the ones they offer, Allen and Livingston are confident they are on the right path with All Abilities.

"I believe that everyone should have a safe environment to have fun and be successful with a fitness program," Allen said.

Print Headline: New fitness program designed for those with physical, mental disabilties


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