If someone would’ve told me 10 years ago that I’d be the Director of Fitness Centers for Senior Living communities, I don’t think I would’ve believed them. Although I started working in Senior fitness by chance, I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.
Today, I’m going to share my experiences learning about and working with older adults and their fitness. I’m also going to describe a little bit about the Senior Fitness Centers at Walker Methodist.
Joining the Walker Methodist Family
I became a member of the Walker Methodist family in 2009, and for the past seven years I’ve become immersed in my role as Director of Fitness Centers. In terms of
education and certifications, I have:
- BA in Exercise Science from Concordia College
- MA in Exercise Physiology from MSU Mankato
- Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C)
- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
- Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
Before coming to Walker Methodist, I worked as a minor league strength and conditioning coach for the Minnesota Twins. And, although I enjoyed my work, I wanted a career where I could live in Minnesota, work locally, and be with my family.
Working in a Senior Fitness Center
While it was chance and opportunity that brought me to Walker Methodist, it’s an ever-growing passion for what I do that keeps me here. These past seven years have been an absolutely wonderful experience, and I look forward to what the future may bring.
Personalizing Fitness and Wellness
I never imagined my career would involve so much creativity, variation, and adjustments. Every individual is different, including their capabilities and goals. It’s my job to work with each participant on an individual level and develop ways to personalize exercises so everyone may benefit.
A Rewarding Career
Every day I’m fortunate enough to see the impact health and wellness has upon the individuals I work with. Beyond seeing everyone grow, improve, and maintain independence through fitness, my greatest joy comes from the social benefits Residents receive as a result of their effort.
The classes themselves are a social environment, many Residents attend the same classes at the same times and develop friendships with other regular attendees. Also, participants at the Senior Fitness Center will set goals, like wanting to be able to climb the stairs at their son’s house during a holiday visit. The sheer joy in seeing someone achieve a goal like that is a feeling like no other.
Walker Methodist Fitness Centers
At Walker Methodist, we have four locations with full fitness centers: Highview Hills, Health Center, Place, and Westwood Ridge. All of the centers are open to Walker Methodist Residents and surrounding community members who are ages 50 or over. Our programming and memberships do support Silver Sneakers and Silver Fit discounts as well. We offer group exercise memberships, facility memberships, and personal training.
Maintaining and building strength and mobility is a great way to retain independence, enjoy social activities, and enjoy a higher quality of life. I’m so thankful Walker Methodist has made wellness one of their initiatives, and I look forward to the future of Senior fitness.