Local gym helping those with special needs – KTNV 13 Action News Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There are dozens of benefits to exercise. It pumps up your energy, eases anxiety and helps with weight control.
But getting a decent workout isn’t easy for everyone. 13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean pays a visit to a local gym helping those with special needs.
“I needed somebody that looked like he could get her motivated,” says local mother, Katie Benavidez.
She was searching for a personal trainer for her daughter, Maddie, when she found Chris Salas.
“It was just getting her out there and being active and staying healthier,” says Katie.
Katie says down syndrome has prevented her daughter from getting the help she needs and most of us take for granted.
“They are looking for someplace to go and have fun and be accepted just as they are and however they move. And that’s a big thing, because some places they’re not as accepted just because of the way they do something, because it’s different,” says Katie.
“Working with Madison led to working with other individuals like Madison. Parents started contacting me out of the need to find fitness for their children,” says Chris Salas, Founder of The Ability Center of Southern Nevada.
It’s designed for anyone young or old with special needs; no matter their mental, physical and developmental abilities.
“Everybody is accepted to come to The Ability Center of Southern Nevada,” says Katie.
Chris knows some parents and caretakers might be apprehensive, but challenges them to give his program a try.
“Watch a side of your child that comes out that you may not know exists… We’re happy to have you down here. And we really would love to bring some fitness into your child’s life,” says Chris.
Katie says working with Chris has made all the difference for her daughter.
“A little more outgoing because she can be kind of reserved at times. Chris brings that out in her. He gets her yelling and screaming and dancing. And so it’s a good thing all the way around. I think anybody would enjoy it,” says Katie.
Maddie also hopes others will visit the center. She enjoys her time with Chris and says she supports his efforts.
“Because he is a best friend,” says Maddie.
To help get the word out, the center is hosting a Fall Fitness Spectacular. It’s all happening at noon on Saturday, October 29th on South Durango, near West Patrick.
The free, family-friendly community event gives everyone a chance to see what the center has to offer.
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