Introducing Longevity Wellness Center :
Created by Christi Gleason, a fitness professional with over 20 years of industry experience, LWC is anything but traditional. Having settled in St. Louis in 2007 after numerous relocations nationwide, LWC was created as the result of Christi’s observation of much-needed change in the fitness industry. Gone are the days where fit, young professionals dominate the exercise world. As America’s obesity epidemic fails to disappear, doctors implore their patients to make permanent lifestyle changes. Obesity does not discriminate, yet little guidance is available to the third of the US population searching for tangible assistance. Retirees are integrating exercise into their lives in hopes of growing old gracefully. With all of these changes, one would think that the average gym would look much different than it did 20 years ago.
Unfortunately, the fitness industry has failed to evolve despite the clear need for change. Fitness professionals frustrated with the industry’s failure to attract more participants have responded by adding new programs with names like “Insanity” and “Deep Extreme” in hopes that the excitement of a new challenge will attract new clients. For the novice exerciser, such classes invite only fear. At LWC, Christi believes the way to welcome new participants is by offering instructor-led programs that will introduce safe and effective ways to start moving. Programs are offered at a tiered level so individuals at every level are able to participate, including those confined to a wheelchair or unable to walk without the assistance of a cane or walker. In fact, entry-level exercise programs are conducted entirely from a chair so that individuals can become more familiar with movement before bringing in the element of balance. Individuals are able to advance as their confidence increases and abilities improve, and classes focus not only on the basics of improving strength, endurance, flexibility, body composition, and bone density, but also integrate strategies for disease prevention and dealing with chronic pain. Individuals with exercise experience facing challenges such as injuries or surgery will also have opportunities to work within their comfort zone, being given options and support.
Programs will also be available for those who come in injury-free and wish to remain that way. In addition a behavior-based weight management program is offered to all students as part of facility membership. Unlike many programs available to special populations in most areas, LWC offers full facility program membership, hoping that participants will participate in daily programs. Month-passes for individuals wanting to attend once or twice a week are also available, in addition to punch cards and daily passes. Christi’s hope is to be able to offer people numerous options that are affordable so more people can have the opportunity to exercise. She finds the greatest joy in seeing her students come to enjoy exercising and looking forward to spending their free time with her.