The new year has started, and the new Forever Fit Manager at Waltonwood Cary Parkway is helping residents live better through various fitness classes. Anthony ‘Tony’ Beaudry, 25, is applying his experience as a former Air Force firefighter and his passion for ensuring seniors stay active in his new position. Beaudry takes the motivational skills he learned in the military and incorporates them into each class. He teaches chair fitness, fall prevention and aqua aerobics for residents at the senior living community. Chair fitness is one of the more popular classes, with more than 20 people participating each time. The class is offered five days a week and focuses on strength training to stabilize and balance the seniors’ muscles. Some of the benefits include enhanced flexibility and range of motion, decreased joint pain and stiffness, better blood circulation and improved mood and concentration.
Residents Cecil and Janet Bozarth have noticed Beaudry’s unique approach and dedication. The couple attends as many classes as possible, and they are both seeing results. Janet, 84, broke her shoulder last year, and chair fitness has continued to help her regain her strength. She’s now able to lift her arm over her head and comb her hair, two things she previously found difficult to accomplish. In addition, Cecil doesn’t have the aches and pains he experienced before taking the classes.
“My plan is to stay active and continue going to the classes throughout this year,” said Janet. “I really enjoy gaining strength and socializing with friends and neighbors during or after the classes. My mobility is improving each day, and I have Tony to thank. He really does have a passion for helping us stay fit. He is a motivator, and there’s no question about that. He understands what we can and cannot do, and he doesn’t push us too hard. He cares about each one of us and offers individualized help. It’s nice to see someone as young as Tony taking the time to improve our health.”
“Overall, the chair fitness class is wonderful, and I am glad Tony started this program,” said Cecil. “It’s just the right amount of exercise we need to help gain strength and improve our balance. I have noticed my legs are getting stronger each time I attend. I can tell he puts a priority on mobility, and I know he supports our efforts to all live better.”
Beaudry is certified in personal training, senior fitness and basic life safety. He is also a certified fitness nutrition specialist. After being in the military, he stumbled upon senior fitness while living in Vermont. He ran a personal training business at a local gym, and more than 80 percent of his business was seniors. He realized how rewarding it was to help older adults and decided to make a career out it. Since joining Waltonwood Cary Parkway, Beaudry has changed the fitness program and increased class participation. His goal is to grow the program more and incorporate new classes during 2018.
“These classes allow residents to thrive in their own unique ways,” said Beaudry. “I’ve worked with seniors for several years, and it’s a population I understand and care for deeply. Seniors lose bone density and stability, which could lead to falls and broken bones. That’s why it’s so important for them to attend strength classes. It’s also fantastic for their heart health. I am thankful to Waltonwood for allowing me to build this fitness program for the residents. Anytime you can improve the quality of life of someone, regardless of age, is a great feeling. It is amazing to see how far they’ve come from their first class to now. I love when I can see the improvements, and I look forward to keeping residents healthy and active in the new year.”