In May, Julie Pollard and Emmanuel Verduzco, co-founders of Ageless Fitness, reopened the business at a new location closer to downtown. The new office at 29 W. Micheltorena Street offers two large private exercise rooms for private fitness instruction, a waiting area, and knowledgeable staff.
“The office has a whole new feel,” said Ms. Pollard in a press release. “The location makes it easier for clients to find, and we’ve remodeled the interior of the office to create a more welcoming space that does not have the traditional gym feel. It feels like our clients are exercising at home.”
Ageless Fitness offers one-on-one classes, small group sessions and a “Mom and Me” class that allows seniors to exercise with their loved ones. These different types of classes introduce or reintroduce seniors to exercise and offer a more comfortable space to get them excited about exercise in their daily lives.
“Ageless fitness is a one-on-one functional fitness program created for older adults and we really wanted to focus on an older demographic,” Mr. Verduco told the News-Press. “With physical needs being different our program is tailored to each individual and working one-on-one with people so they are safe and helping them to progress and feel stronger and are independent at home as well. We are an option that allows people to be independent and have vitality as long as possible.”
Ageless Fitness was founded in 2018, but had to close down in April of 2020 due to the pandemic. This was an uncertain time, and it was not clear when or if reopening would be possible.
Ageless Fitness was born out of Mr. Verduzco’s strong desire to provide exercise programs to high-risk older adults. Having worked with seniors in different capacities, one particular client needed a fitness program that would work with his condition and physical limitations. This client had suffered a broken hip due to a fall and as a result of his Parkinson’s. Mr. Verduzco ventured out to find helpful resources, but he had no luck. Programs that were considered “senior fitness” were not a good fit because of the high risk of the client’s condition.
Mr. Verduzco recruited and partnered with co-founder Ms. Pollard. She has an extensive background in kinesiology and exercise physiology and a masters in gerontology. Together, they created a first of its kind senior fitness program. A year and a half later, Ageless Fitness grew and reached capacity.
“We technically aren’t starting over again, but alot of our clients suffered a lot during the quarantine and had a huge decline. So bringing some of those people back has been difficult because their physical condition is worse. Bringing back former clients has been logistically difficult. However, the foot traffic of our new location brings in people from Monetico and surrounding areas,” said Mr. Verduzco.
The News-Press asked Mr. Verduzco about their philosophy of fitness: “We stick to a couple different things. We have a sincere desire to bring exercise to as many older adults as we can. As you grow older your body naturally tends to decline. The best way to slow down or stop the decline is through exercise. We want people to have great quality of life through the ability to move and function normally. We are all about safety. We want people to bring in loved ones. We want them to feel confident that they are bringing their loved ones into a safe space. Lastly, it’s really about having fun. We ask what you used to like to do for fun? And we try to incorporate that into the workouts. Those three components are what makes up our program and what we hold near and dear.”
Ageless Fitness specifically targets senior citizens who are high-risk. The News-Press asked Mr. Verduzco what makes a senior citizen “high-risk.” “It varies depending on the person. Conditions that make an individual ‘high risk’ can include: high BP, alzheimers and Parkinsons, and pulmonary conditions make clients more of a risk due to side effects.”
Ageless Fitness clients tend to be at a high risk of falling.
“Constant supervision is what we focus on. Obesity is another thing that makes them high-risk, causing instability due to balance. People with recent hospital stays of a week or more also tend to have balance issues,” said Mr. Verduzco.
Other conditions that can increase risk include multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis.
The News-Press asked Mr. Verduzco how Ageless Fitness gears the workouts and training programs for high-risk seniors. “First we do an assessment during the intake process. We schedule clients to do an assessment, we ask about goals and their medical history. Our clients fill out a questionnaire. We also do a balance assessment, allowing us to see the fall risk level. Our exercise specialists then create a plan based off of the assessment. We do foundational exercises to create strength and balance that allows them to move to the next level. We focus on balance issues and former injuries. We adapt to the client’s condition.”
Ageless Fitness is becoming more essential to the community due to the shortage of physical therapists in the area. Clients are able to continue their rehabilitation after their insurance PT benefits have ended and they are discharged by their physical therapists.
“Ageless Fitness has such a specialized component to it that allows us to help people rehabilitate and fill in that gap that exists after physical therapy benefits run out. We can also help with healthy weight loss, prehabilitation and regaining strength after hospitalization,” said Mr. Verduzco.
The goal of Ageless Fitness is to help seniors build strength and balance, so they can have great quality of life. With older adults living longer, it is important for them to stay active and keep their vitality. Ageless Fitness is here to stay and is looking for investors to open a second location in 2023.
“Our fitness studio has a more welcoming feel to it as opposed to a typical gym. We do a lot of body weight exercises with small weights and bands. It doesn’t feel like a fitness studio, it feels like a home; the front office is rustic and barn looking. We wanted the decor to take away the stigma that the gym has,” said Mr. Verduzco.
To learn more, go to https://www.agelessfitness.us.
News-Press Staff Writer
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