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Eric Massey, 2022 USA Games Athlete and Certified Health Messenger

Eric standing beside his mother and brother lifting weights.

Eric Massey is a Special Olympics athlete and Certified Health Messenger from Memphis, Tennessee. Aside from training to compete in swimming at the 2022 USA Games, Eric and his family have made family fitness a priority. “I have been working out with my family. We ride our bikes in the neighborhood. We also do fitness workouts like taking turns on the treadmill, weightlifting, and exercises like push-ups, squats, and crunches. My brother and I go to swim practice every day,” Eric reports as the top ways he and his family engage in fitness together. He is proud to be a role model for healthy habits to his younger brother, Ean. “I really like for my family to do things together. I want us to be healthy so we can live long. We have fun,” says Ean.

Family support creates a welcoming space to engage in health and fitness together. “There’s joy in meeting your goals and sharing that with the ones you love. Their smiles and pride in self and the group is inspiring,” says Massey’s mother. The family not only exercises together, but they also gather other families to engage in outdoor activities such as yoga.

Eric with his mother and brother rock climbing at an indoor rock climbing facility.

It is motivation for the Massey family to see healthy activities as a lifestyle and just part of what they do. In honor of Family and Fitness Day, Eric and his family offer the following tips to encourage and motivate families to do health and fitness together in an inclusive way:

  • Agree that living a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone in the family. 
  • Set a schedule so that action activities become part of the family routine. 
  • Eat healthy to have more energy to try easy activities at home. 
  • Start simple and incorporate things everyone can do. 
  • Be creative and willing to try new things 
  • Have fun, enjoy the journey, and stay healthy! 

In order for Special Olympics athletes to be fit, they must practice healthy habits year-round and lifelong. We offer a variety of fitness resources athletes and families can use, including Fit 5 and School of Strength. These videos and health education materials can be viewed from home and can be done with friends or family on Family Fitness and Health Day and beyond!

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