Fit At Any Age
Looking at wellness across generations
Getting older is hard and staying active can be difficult for those who do not have a routine in place that helps them overcome those little aches and pains that, unfortunately, happen to even the most athletic among us.
Rise Fitness Studio prides itself on being a gym for all ages, with a specific focus on helping aging bodies thrive.
Trainer TERRA JACKSON offers a personal approach to fitness for her clients.
“I work one-on-one with individuals of all fitness levels to achieve their goals,” Jackson says. “Most of my clients are over sixty and are striving to improve their strength and mobility for pain-free living. (Because) I train mostly older individuals, my approach to fitness comes down to ‘What can I do to make my clients keep moving longer, stronger and pain free?’
“Most of my clients over seventy still lead incredibly active lifestyles and are far more mobile than their peers,” Terra Jackson adds. “My clients hunt, run obstacle races, chase grandchildren, and go out dancing multiple days a week … They are honestly my inspiration!”
Rise Fitness Studio, 1932 Oleander Drive, believes in exercise as a lifestyle, and through the relationships formed while enjoying an active lifestyle, clients come back for more than just the individualized attention.
“As a gym, our mission is to make fitness a lifelong pursuit, and that starts with creating an environment that both promotes safety through exercise but also challenges each member to their level,” Jackson says. “We heavily promote accountability and community between members to make exercise not only about fitness but also belonging.”
She says she makes a point not to have those working out feel out of place or self-conscious.
“I often thought how I could start breaking down the barrier for these individuals to not only confront their fears but enjoy the gym and feel confidence in themselves,” she says. “The answer was simple: equip these individuals with not only the knowledge needed to workout but create a sense of belonging through group activities, as well.”
Jackson attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she earned a degree in physical education and health.
“As a woman, I think I bring to both the gym and the profession a gentler touch,” she says. “I am very ambitious and intense about my own fitness pursuits, but I never try to push my goals onto someone else. I feel a big mistake many trainers make is that every workout must be ‘killer’, and if it’s not, it’s a bad workout.
“This is where you lose a lot of people; you perpetuate these insecurities and further the distance between where the person currently is and their goal.”
Jackson is not alone in the way she approaches personal training with her older clients.
Rise Fitness, as a whole, believes in the strength and possibility of older generations to break down barriers society has put up.
“It is incredibly important for older adults to maintain their fitness as they age,” Jackson says. “Muscle atrophy, loss of mobility, decreased reaction speed and balance all spell disaster for the aging individual, but the longer they can maintain these aspects of fitness, the longer they will be able to do the things they love and, ultimately, live more fulfilling and happy lives.”
She points out that falls are a major issue for seniors.
“Strength and resistance training will not only help reduce risks of falling but also increase bone density to prevent breaks if a fall does happen,” she says. “At Rise Fitness, we create individualized plans to fit all ages and fitness levels, and both Shawn Reece (owner and fitness coach) and myself have the skills and knowledge to work with older adults.”
Through an initial assessment identifying injuries, imbalances, and deficiencies, Jackson creates a tailored program with the individual’s goals that they want to achieve.
“For example, Barbara has been training with me for several years; she has residual hip pain from a replacement two years ago,” Jackson says. “During my workouts for her, I try to incorporate general fitness exercises with an emphasis on hip mobility, stability, and balance. Several of my clients have had injuries or problem surgeries and have come to start training as an extension of physical therapy.”
To view more of photographer Stephanie Savas’ work, go to stephaniesavasphotography.com.
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