Helping Hands: AMG Fitness
In Arlington, Va., a two-time Paralympic swimmer helps people with disabilities enhance and maintain their fitness by sharing her talents and knowledge.
Gialamas founded AMG Fitness to provide online adaptive workouts for people with disabilities. She has arthrogryposis, which affects joint mobility in her hands and legs. She walks with assistance from braces that help support her.
“I went to London and Rio (Paralympic Games),” Gialamas said. “I swam Division One at Loyola University (Maryland). I’m from Chicago, and I started swimming at three. I retired from swimming at the age of 24. After London and Rio, I found myself in a position where COVID hit, and everything was going online. But no adaptive resources were hitting online, and I wanted to create a solution.”
Following her swimming career, Gialamas realized there wasn’t a commonplace for people with disabilities to seek out exercise information. “That weird time in quarantine when everything went online and everyone was posting workouts in their living rooms,” she said. “As someone with a disability, I was like, there has to be something out there that has to be people doing this, and I didn’t find a lot of what AMG is for varying disabilities.”
For example, there are workout videos online for people in wheelchairs, but not necessarily for people like Gialamas with limited mobility issues.
“I really wanted to create a place for people to not only be athletes and feel really good in their bodies,” she said. “But also not be athletes and just feel really great in their fitness spaces.”
Gialamas’ exercise videos incorporate a lot of bodyweight exercises. For example, stationary jumping jacks, forward punches, and others involve lightweight dumbbells. “It’s all adaptive workouts, all free, and it’s all at home,” Gialamas said. “I don’t want people to have to pay for any of the workouts, so I rely on donations and strategic partnerships to keep AMG free.” Gialamas’ videos don’t coach a class; they offer instructions for exercises you can perform at home compared to other videos you might find on the internet.
Her dedication to helping others inspired Easterns Automotive Group.
“Hi, this is Joel Bassam at Easterns Automotive Group. I was amazed to learn about the AMG Fitness Foundation and Alyssa the way that you have turned your passion for fitness into a way to help others with adaptive workouts. It’s something that I think should be admired, and you are an inspiration to athletes all over the United States. We want to support this cause and increase your community size by donating $2,000 to the AMG Fitness Foundation so you can continue to share those workouts and keep everyone in shape. Keep doing the amazing work that you are doing.”
Gialamas was so pleasantly surprised by the generous donation from Easterns Automotive and was eager to start using it to help people in her community and far beyond.
“I am so shocked,” Gialamas said. “This will help so many people. There are so many fitness kits we can do with this money and the incredible things. I cannot believe the support I have got. Thank you so much.”