Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Medical-based fitness comes to Jonesboro


This is Monica Specking, a fitness specialist at the new $15 million St. Barnards Health & Wellness Institute that opens today at One Wellness Drive.

The facility offers a medical-based path to fitness that begins with an extensive assessment of your physical condition, including cholesterol levels, metabolic rate and other factors. The result is an 18-20 page report that trainers use to create a workout program tailored to your unique strengths, weaknesses, risk factors and goals. That’s something you can’t get at a generic fitness center.

I joined fitness centers on four occasions when I lived in Indiana. The first was the Executive Health Club just off Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. It was easy walking distance from my work at The Indianapolis News and I went there during my lunch break five days a week for more than a year. It got me into the best physical shape of my life and I was doing full weight stacks on several of the Nautilus machines. The whole thing came crashing down when the owner sold the space to a restaurant and transferred our memberships to his other facility in a shopping center across 16th Street from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I went a few times, then quit because it wasn’t convenient and didn’t fit my schedule.

I joined other fitness centers later and eventually learned that they intentionally oversell memberships in anticipation of a high dropout rate. Why drop out? Because the places get so crowded that you have to wait for each machine and can’t maintain a good rhythm to your workout. It happened at a fitness club on Indianapolis’s northeastside, in Carmel and again in Crawfordsville. And, in each case, I had travel to work out and could never get a routine going in my day-to-day schedule.

I plan to give the St. Bernards facility a try. They have a café with Wifi and a host of other amenities that could lure me to make a habit of daily visits. I will, of course, report how it goes.