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Team Member Spotlight – Heidi Stewart, Fitness Instructor

Team Member Spotlight – Heidi Stewart, Fitness Instructor

 

It’s no secret that staying physically active plays a key role in successful aging. At Clearwater at Riverpark, our fitness instructor, Heidi Stewart, has made a positive impact in the lives of our residents by leading diverse and effective fitness classes. Heidi teaches everything from small group training classes to floor exercise classes at the community.

Residents are thrilled with the quality of Heidi’s classes and the progress they are making. One resident, Art, proclaims, “Coming to her class keeps me healthy. She is quite an athlete and very enthusiastic.” Another resident, Marie, explains, “I really love the floor exercises because I’m really able to stretch. I also love doing the chair exercise with the weights. When I first moved in, I thought I wouldn’t be able to exercise, but then I joined her class and love it.” Heidi’s passion for working out and living a balanced life continues to inspire our community to stay active for strength and well-being.

Read our Q&A to learn more about Heidi!

What inspired you to become a fitness instructor?

Growing up, I was always someone who was heavy and battling with my weight. When I was 27 years old my weight reached 270 pounds which was the heaviest I had ever been. That same year I also lost both of my parents. I knew I had to get my health on track. Through diet and exercise alone I lost 130 pounds. I never had a trainer and did it all by myself. I learned so much along the way that I decided to help others who might be struggling like I was.

What do you enjoy most about training a wide variety of people?

I love connecting with people from all walks of life, ages, and backgrounds. People fascinate me! My clients include ultra-marathon runners, adults in their nineties, those with special needs, and pregnant women as well. I pride myself on being able to train anyone regardless of fitness ability, age, lifestyle, or physical restrictions. It’s rewarding to have the opportunity to connect with so many different people and a large reason why I love my job so much.

What is the biggest improvement you see in your senior clients?

Balance! Older adults sometimes rely on chairs for support when they first start taking my classes. Over time they build the strength, balance, and confidence needed to no longer use the chairs. I also see improvements in motor skills, mood, and pain management. Exercise is therapy at any age and when they leave my class they seem so happy. I like that!

What advice would you share with someone feeling intimidated to join one of your classes?

I would encourage you to come watch a class first. After the class, stay to talk with me about any questions or concerns you may have. On your first day just go at your own pace and do what you can. This is a no pressure zone and I am here to help you!

What pushes you to live a healthy life?

My clients. I try to set a good example for all of them. I believe you must practice what you preach. Exercise is also very therapeutic. Running for me is therapy and necessary. I have kept the weight off for over 12 years now! Completely transforming myself keeps me motivated.

Heidi’s fitness classes are just one example of the many inspiring programs offered as part of our Empowered Living lifestyle philosophy. Through Empowered Living, residents are encouraged to live fully and pursue their passions and interests. Call the Clearwater Living community nearest you to learn more and schedule a private tour.

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