Step Up: The Gatesworth
As we get older, it can seem harder to get up and move, but staying active is important for people of every age. For more than 30 years, The Gatesworth has provided innovative and exceptional retirement living through expert care, high-quality amenities and personalized service, which includes an expansive fitness program to reach residents of all abilities.
“You naturally lose muscle mass and flexibility with age,” fitness instructor Wendy Berk says. “Being active every day can help seniors address these concerns and maintain their ability to perform common tasks.” Berk, who has worked at The Gatesworth for six years, explains that the classes offered help residents preserve both their wellness and independence by building functional strength, balance and other important components of a healthy life. “I really admire the residents here,” she notes. “They want to increase their quality of life and are taking the steps to do it.”
Berk originally came to the retirement living community as a favor for a friend. She led a class as a substitute instructor and enjoyed the experience so much, she decided to apply for a permanent position. Working with the residents is what she enjoys most about her job. “They are always excited about class and very pleasant to work with,” she notes. When The Gatesworth was looking to add a new, more rigorous course to its fitness program, Berk stepped up—in more ways than one! She developed the Step and Strength Class, which uses a step workout to offer cardiovascular exercise along with balance, strength and endurance training. To ensure the safety of participants, a ballet bar is on hand to offer extra stability if needed.
The class was tested by a small group of active residents, and everyone enjoyed it. The original plan was to offer Step and Strength for a limited time, but after the six-week session was complete, it was added full time due to the overwhelmingly positive response. “I’m really glad they decided to keep the class,” notes resident Goldee Miller, who was part of the test group. “The Gatesworth management is very accommodating. There is nothing they won’t do for you if you ask.”
Miller says her favorite parts of the program are the vigorous exercises and the interactions with Berk. “Wendy makes it very interesting and fun,” she says. “It’s more of a workout than it looks like, but I always feel great after class.” She also enjoys getting to socialize with other residents. The chance to build relationships is an added perk due to the way the class is organized. Since there is limited space at the bar, classes are divided into groups. While one hits the steps, the other observes and has the opportunity to chat and catch up. “Everyone enjoys both the activity portion and getting to watch and talk,” Berk says. “It’s really an enjoyable class, and sometimes residents surprise themselves with what they can accomplish.”
Located at One McKnight Place, The Gatesworth provides exceptional retirement living options to encourage an active lifestyle. Pictured on the cover: Resident Goldee Miller enjoys the welcoming atmosphere created by Gatesworth instructors and trainers. For more information, call 314.993.0111 or visit thegatesworth.com.
Cover design by The Gatesworth | Cover photo by Gregg Goldman
Pictured at top: The Gatesworth offers a wide range of complimentary, daily group fitness classes.
Photo courtesy of The Gatesworth