Keeping Seniors Fit, Healthy, and Strong

Members participate in the Stretch, Strength, and Balance class held on Monday and Wednesday mornings. 

Fauquier Health’s Wellness Center offers seniors of any physical capability opportunities to improve their health through movement. 

Fauquier Health’s Wellness Center may not have the Fountain of Youth, but it certainly does a great job in keeping local seniors healthy and vigorous. 

On a recent visit to the modern, well-equipped facility located next to Holiday Inn in Warrenton, I ran into a fellow senior friend, Jon Holmes, who, although he looks my age, surprisingly told me he was ten years older. Active at the Wellness Center for about a decade, Jon said he believes that his participation has contributed to his ability to stay very active in charity work in the community, including work with the Lions Club and Habitat for Humanity’s RESTORE shop. 

Meeting with staff members Meghan Costello and Taylor Bireley, I learned that the Center, which started out originally providing services to cardiac and pulmonary patients from Fauquier Hospital, has expanded its services significantly over the years. Now, it provides a wide variety of health services to patients referred by their physicians, as well as to those who participate in Center activities just to keep in shape and stay healthy. Taylor is the Supervisor of the Wellness Center and Meghan is an Exercise Physiologist trained in kinesiology. Meghan says clients who participate in Center activities range from college athletes to one member who is 98 years old.

The Wellness Center is truly for everyone, but seniors receive special attention. Meghan noted that classes and equipment at the facility help seniors by increasing strength and balance, elevating their spirits, and creating more energy. In the mornings, you can find classes recommended for seniors just starting out, including Gentle Yoga, Stretch-Strength-Balance, Golden Tone, and Meditation. Of course, seniors can also choose to use the fully equipped exercise room filled with high quality fitness equipment to strengthen and sculpt bodies.

Jack Yeck works out on the Wellness Center’s fitness equipment.

But the best news is that there is no minimum physical capability requirement to use the facility, and the staff is dedicated to modifying classes and instruction to fit individual needs. Absolutely anyone can participate regardless of physical capability. Even individuals in wheelchairs exercise at the center. Meghan emphasized that the goal is to help each person to move in some way, regardless of their condition. Every new participant starts at a slow, steady pace. As with any new exercise program at any age, it is recommended to check with your physician first and advise the instructor of any health issues you are facing.  

During my visit, I decided to participate in my first Yoga class. Despite feeling like I was stretching muscles I didn’t know I had, I found the class reenergizing and Exercise Physiologist Andrea Stump, the instructor, was welcoming and patient. Afterwards, she reassured me that I did “fine” for my first class and volunteered some overall advice for me on how to stay healthy in my “golden years.” 

Andrea, I learned, was a good example of the highly-trained, professional staff you will find ready to partner with you on your fitness and health journey. The Fauquier Health Wellness Center is the only local center to offer certified medical staff on site to help you safely work towards your optimal health. The staff of 26 individuals includes physical therapists, dieticians, exercise physiologists, massage therapists, registered nurses, and many more clinical and wellness professionals. 

The reach of the Wellness Center stretches out into the community also. Currently, staff members provide exercise classes at the Villa at Suffield Meadows on Route 29, as well as strength and movement classes twice weekly at Fauquier Health Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. 

Many also use their visit to the Center as an opportunity to socialize as well as exercise. Some members routinely schedule lunch with their friends to follow their workouts. (I suspect those lunches are healthy ones.) The Center also hosts a “pot luck” party around the holidays and is planning to put together a member cookbook based on their recipes. 

Fauquier Health Wellness Center
419 Holiday Court, 2nd Floor, Warrenton
fauquierhealth.org/wellnesscenter
540-316-2640
Mention this article and receive a free assessment with new membership through January 31, 2020. 

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About Gary Carroll 14 Articles
Gary Carroll is a Fauquier native and, except for seven years living abroad, has lived here throughout his life. He has a B.A and M.A. from University of Virginia where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He served in the U.S. Government for 25 years where he worked as an analyst, supervisor of analysts, and an instructor for analysts. After retiring, he has continued to work as an instructor for the military and several government agencies where he teaches a variety of communication skills including analytic writing, briefing and public speaking, and supervisor-employee communication. He is married and has two daughters.

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