The fear of a stroke motivated Berlin resident Pattie Wheeler to get fit. With stroke affecting both sides of her family, she feared that if she continued her sedentary lifestyle she could be next and place the burden of her care on her husband and other family members.
Because she was overweight and out of shape, Wheeler, who will turn 70 later this year, wanted to start an exercise program, but not join a traditional gym.
“Because of the difference in age, I would feel very uncomfortable with 20-year-olds,” she said. “I had gone to gyms before but never stayed with it. I needed someone to help and guide me. Doing exercises incorrectly can cause serious injury and can be worse than not exercising at all.”
Exercise physiologist Robert Schmelzer developed an exercise plan concentrating on building Wheeler’s core strength, stability and range of motion. During the past two years, she has worked out twice weekly at the GoodLife Fitness center, which inspired her to do more.
Wheeler knew that she needed a total lifestyle change that included eating a more Mediterranean diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and limiting processed foods. She also began walking regularly. “My physician was all for it — she’s very happy that my blood pressure has gone down,” she said, adding that Schmelzer provides updates to her physician.
Since joining GoodLife Fitness, Wheeler has also lost more than 35 pounds.
“I was on track for a knee replacement,” she said, “but after losing the weight and working with Robert to strengthen my leg muscles, my knee doesn’t bother me anymore.”
Her improved health has made it easier to seek the social activities she enjoys and stave off depression, a problem she has seen challenge many inactive seniors.
Schmelzer noted that Wheeler has realized great success by supplementing GoodLife Fitness with proper eating and increased activity. “She has shown that sustainable weight loss is possible,” he said.
Working out under Schmelzer’s guidance gives her the confidence in knowing that she’s exercising correctly to lead to optimum results. “I’m very comfortable here,” she said, adding that she has encouraged her husband and a friend to join.
GoodLife Fitness is an individualized exercise program geared toward the older adult to build energy, strength and endurance for an active lifestyle. An exercise physiologist works one-to-one with each person to improve muscular strength, balance, cardiovascular health and self-esteem, while reducing the risk of falls and injuries. To learn more about GoodLife Fitness at Jerome Home, contact Robert Schmelzer, 860.356.8272.