Friday, May 22, 2009

Sharing Fitness Goals

“A gym with a mission to improve the health of people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, and to integrate them with the general population, has helped 550 people keep fit since opening in 2007. ‘We were able to create an atmosphere that met the needs of people with cognitive and emotional challenges and that was so appealing that community members are paying us to be part of it, which is unusual,’ she said. The gym is also seeking more members from the community at large, she said. In a depressed economy, it's hard to think in the long term, Ruhe said. ‘But if you look at the health care system, the only thing that's viable is if we figure out a way to do prevention," she said. ‘People shy away from it because it's hard. Getting people to lead healthy lives is difficult, but we have a model that's working.’ It may take years to see results, but if health programs are discontinued now, there will be a big problem later, she said.”

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