Staying ‘fit after 50’
By Jim Hook For Sun-Times Media
Keep active: Fit After 50 in Mokena believes there are no exercises people over 50 can’t perform as long as they are in relatively good health and the exercise is done in moderation. Photo by Fotolia
Baby boomers are living longer these days, and Joe Ranieri is making it his personal goal to get them fit and healthy — one client at a time.
The 52-year-old former power-lifter-turned-health-club-manager and personal trainer knows a thing or two about health and fitness. He’s sharing that knowledge with clients at two Mokena-based health clubs — Fitness on Demand and Fit After 50.
As the name of the club suggests, Fitness on Demand provides clients with health and fitness instruction whenever the client wants. Clients are as young as 8.
Fit After 50 focuses on clients 50 and older.
“We’re not a high-volume club, and we don’t try to compete with the other clubs out there,” Ranieri said. “We provide the personalized training and give our clients the tools they need to lead lifestyles that will get — and keep — them fit and healthy. It’s not all about biceps and triceps. It’s all about being healthy and fit.”
He said both clubs provide personalized training for clients without them buying “expensive personalized training packages.”
“Other clubs charge by the half-hour or hour for personalized trainers,” Ranieri said. “We provide personalized training as part of the monthly fees, which is a lot less expensive.”
Monthly fees at the clubs start at around $70, and include personal workouts with professional trainers as well as participation in unlimited number of Zumba, Spinning and other classes and boot camps.
Ranieri said the first thing a client receives when they enter Fit After 50 is an overall health assessment. “We look at your lifestyle from a holistic approach,” he said. “We have staff here that can look at your physical health, your emotional health and your nutritional health.”
“Once we do the assessment, we will tailor a specific exercise regimen for that person and his or her needs,” Ranieri said. “I’ve seen two things when it comes to people over 50: They are either very active or they are very inactive. There’s really no middle ground.”
“We get people in here with high blood pressure and diabetes and we design a workout routine that will help them get healthy,” he said. “Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are running rampant in this country.”
Ranieri said assessments are an “important first step” in helping staff focus their attention on the clients’ specific needs while providing the clients with the tools they need to thrive. “We need to know what, if any, limitations they may have that would prevent them from performing an exercise or participating in a class.”
He said there are no exercises people over 50 can’t perform as long as they are in relatively good health and the exercise done is in moderation. “I’ve seen people 65 in better shape than some people who are 25,” he said. “These are people who are serious about fitness.”
Men and women over 50 should be weight training and developing their core muscles. Ranieri said everyone, regardless of age, should combine a good cardio workout with weight training.
Ranieri said the clubs are offering various fitness programs this summer and during the fall and winter for kids and adults. The programs contain fitness, nutritional and emotional components.
“The idea is to give people the tools they need to get and stay healthy for a lifetime,” he said.
More information about Fit After 50, 10110 W. 191st St., Mokena, is at (815) 277-8500.