SEBASTIAN - Sunday Strong, a Vero Beach-based non-profit dedicated to providing fitness classes for adults with intellectual disabilities, is expanding to Sebastian.

Sunday Strong already offers classes at four Vero Beach exercise facilities: Vero Strength + Conditioning, Vero Fitness, Christi's Fitness, and Studio14.

Starting Oct. 1, Sunday Strong will now offer a 60-minute class every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at Treasure Coast CrossFit, 155 Sebastian Blvd, Suite 103, Sebastian.

There are about 25 athletes enrolled in the program, which allows them access to a variety of fitness classes including CrossFit, functional fitness, Yoga and Zumba.

Athlete Julia Oslund says Sunday Strong is changing her life.

“Sunday Strong has helped me to become more active and I really like to be around people,” said Ms. Oslund. “When I am at Sunday Strong I can make people laugh and smile. I like the coaches and how they can get me to do something I never thought of doing. I never thought I could be an athlete.”

Julia’s mom Jen Oslund likes the changes she is seeing.

“We have definitely seen improvements in her overall strength and endurance,” Ms. Oslund said. “She is also much more confident in herself as she sees herself more physically capable.”

“I think other parents should know that these classes are good for so many people with disabilities, because not only is it good for their physical health, strength, endurance, weight loss, but also for their brain as it works on things like coordination, balance, and training your body to do what you tell it to do. It’s great for their sense of well-being as they find themselves doing things they never imagined themselves being able to do. Smiles are in constant abundance at every single class, from the athletes to the parents to the coaches. Our daughter has also met some of her best friends at these classes. There is a great sense of community and camaraderie here.”

“According to studies, only nine percent of adults with intellectual disabilities are getting the required amount of physical activity recommended by the National Institutes of Health,” said Laura Radocaj, founder and president of Sunday Strong. “This statistic is jaw-dropping and we are on a mission to change it. The coaches at Treasure Coast CrossFit all believe in our mission and I am excited to have them onboard to help us reach athletes in Sebastian, as they are the first Sunday Strong affiliate in that area.”

“Treasure Coast CrossFit is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Sunday Strong and to be part of the mission to bring life-changing functional fitness to adults with ID in Indian River County,” said Lauren Glasco, owner of Treasure Coast CrossFit. “Our coaching staff has witnessed the Sunday Strong program in action and we are very excited to be able to offer this new no-cost class at our location in Sebastian.”

Wendy Shafranski, owner of Vero Strength + Conditioning and a Board Member of Sunday Strong, said “Being involved in our athletes lives for almost two years, I have seen incredible changes from a movement standpoint. We work on functional movement patterns and have been able to improve things like squatting, pressing, lunging and running. The added bonus is that these changes have brought out an inner confidence in Sunday Strong athletes. They know they are capable people, part of a supportive, energetic community.”

Athlete Lacy Warren agrees. “Sunday Strong has helped me get stronger and I have lost weight,” Ms. Warren said. “I love seeing lots of friends. I love the volunteers and all the help they give everyone.”

Lacy’s mom Linda Warren said “the exercise has helped with her balance. Lacy has tight muscles and the volunteers are helping her increase her range of movement.”

Ms. Warren urged parents of adults with intellectual disabilities to explore the Sunday Strong program. “I would tell the other parents to encourage their child to come to a class and give it a try. They'll be pleasantly surprised how much they will enjoy the class and how much they will learn. The volunteers are great at assisting all the athletes.”

To learn more about Sunday Strong classes in Vero Beach and Sebastian, visit www.sundaystrong.org, or call Laura Radocaj at (772) 643-3666.

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