FREE Partners With Fitness PLUS to Recognize National Physical Fitness and Sports Month This May

June 4, 2014 | Press

In recognition of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in May, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) has partnered with Fitness PLUS to raise awareness about the important role physical activity plays in maintaining health.


Since March of 2014, the owners of Fitness PLUS have donated 4 unlimited use gym memberships (the cost of a typical membership is several hundred dollars per year) to FREE’s Program Without Walls based out of East Setauket. The men and women of FREE visit the gym twice a week to take advantage of the gym’s state of the art equipment and enjoy weight training and cardiovascular machines.


“Fitness PLUS understands that the people who receive our services have limited funds, but recognize the benefits that exercise and physical activity can provide to a healthy lifestyle and provided the offer without hesitation,” said Robert S. Budd, CEO, FREE. “The fully integrated opportunity for individuals with and without disabilities has quickly resulted in new friendships and opportunities for socialization. The individuals attending our programs are benefitting from engaging in community fitness with other adults who can provide support and encouragement and help build life skills.”


“Disabilities touch all our lives,” said Bonnie Liotine, President, Fitness PLUS. “Everyone knows a person with disabilities. We are happy to provide a positive atmosphere here at Fitness Plus.”


Research has shown that adults with developmental disabilities are more likely to lead sedentary lifestyles and seven times as likely to report inadequate emotional support, compared with adults without disabilities (1). Adults with developmental and other disabilities are also more likely to report being in fair or poor health than adults without disabilities. According to a public health report adults with developmental disabilities are at greater risk of having chronic health conditions compared with non-disabled adult’s (2).


According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, physical activity can help control more than just weight. Regular exercise can improve mental health, and lower the risk for early death, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. However, in 2011 only one in five U.S. adults participated in enough physical activity to gain substantial health benefits.


The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults:

  • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes things like walking fast, dancing, swimming, and raking leaves.
  • Do muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights and using exercises bands at least 2 days a week.


(1) Center for Development and Learning, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

(2) Public Health Report: Health Disparities Among Adults with Developmental Disabilities, Adults with Other Disabilities, and Adults not reporting Disability in North Carolina, 2004


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