Older people get customized workout plans

February 20, 2008 3:52:42 PM PST
Older people looking for a little more supervision when working out have an interesting option in the East Bay. Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley offers custom exercise plans, monitored by trained staff. The program was originally launched for the hospital's heart patients, but it's now open to anyone looking to get fit.

John Schantin is working out with help from exercise physiologist Celia Bonino but this is not your ordinary gym.

"We're not trying to make them 20, we're just trying to get them to have an easier life, a better quality of life, and help them just enjoy their golden years," says Bonino

It all goes down in the basement of Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. The program is called EdenFit, offering medically supervised workouts for $10 dollars a visit.

We are constantly on them. We do resistance training, balance, posture, and stuff that's really important for people that are in an older age group," says Celia Bonino, exercise physiologist.

He's doing pushups today, but 14 months ago, John relied on a wheelchair to get around.

"I think I'm probably to blame for losing my legs, because I didn't take it too seriously," says John Schantin.

Diabetes led to the amputation of both his legs and learning to walk again with prosthetics wasn't easy.

"The first time I tried it, I fell and broke my hip. That knocked me out for a year."

With some nudging from friends, he signed up for EdenFit.

"They've treated me real well here," says John.

"He's very consistent. He's here three times a week. He doesn't miss a workout. He pushes himself, so we push him as well," says Bonino.

His workouts at EdenFit have certainly paid off. John is now back on the golf course at least once a week and he's putting like a pro. His long time pal, Jack Stephano, believes the EdenFit workouts have made a big difference.

"It's helped build his upper body strength and he's able to maneuver a lot better. He's walking much better on his prostheses than he ever did before," says Stephano.

By strapping himself to a specialized golf cart, he's now able to play a full 18 holes.

"In fact, sometimes if the weather comes in, and we only play nine, he gets very upset," says Stephano.

It's stories like this that show it's never too late to get back in the game.

Links and info:

EdenFit: 510-889-5073
Web info: http://www.edenmedcenter.org/services/edenfit.html