Isn’t it time that we take the lead in merging the experts in healthcare with the experts in fitness? Why do they continue to work so independently of each other, when we know that exercise has such a powerful affect on health?
Eight years ago, The Claremont Club embarked upon a journey to rehabilitate a young man suffering from a spinal cord injury (SCI). Our goal was to help him with his functionality, to see a reduction in secondary complications caused by his injury and improve his quality of life using activity-based therapy. We launched this undertaking by converting a racquetball court and bringing in specific equipment to work with SCI clients.
Over the next several years we found ourselves working with 17 full-time SCI clients. In February of 2013 we opened the first Project Walk franchise in the world in a 3,000-square-foot area of the club that was previously leased out to a local hospital, who was using it for a physical therapy clinic. Within the first year and a half we expanded the studio by 2,100 square feet, giving us a total of 5,100 square feet of space.
Today, we are helping 84 full-time SCI clients and those affected by paralysis, including 22 who suffer from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, strokes, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury and ALS. All clients are afforded complimentary club memberships for their entire family and have access to free childcare if needed.
These programs are proof that exercise and fitness in the right environment have a remarkable impact on the quality of life of those struggling with chronic injuries and illnesses. We have a societal obligation to improve the health of our communities. And we have the responsibility to make our clubs inclusive.
We are changing lives beyond merely physical stature and physical recovery. We are restructuring minds, philosophies, mental outlooks and emotional progression. Exercise is medicine. As a matter of fact, I believe that it is the most powerful medicine there is.
Mike Alpert is the president/CEO of The Claremont Club. Email him at email@example.com.