“If we could put exercise in pill form, we’d all be taking it,” says the newest Fitness Associate at WCBR, Vonda Trainor. But we can’t, so we need to find a way to be motivated to move.
Vonda, who started with us a couple of months ago, works with each resident to identify the way that gets the job done for him or her as an individual.
“Basically, I’m trying to connect seniors with opportunities to move more – a way in keeping with each person’s capabilities and interests,” she says. But ultimately, it’s not all that complicated: “As far as healthy aging goes, just try to move more, so we have the energy, strength and stamina to do what we want to do in life.”
She says it’s important to “be self-motivated,” and “know this will improve the quality of your life.”
There is a wide range of opportunities to accomplish that at WCBR, and a whole team to help residents get engaged with them – Group Exercise Coordinator Brittany Wisinski, Personal Training Coordinator Richard Cormack, and now Vonda. Residents have access to as many as 40 opportunities in a week – “everything from cardio drumming to aerobics to water activities.”
It’s a matter of finding what you like to do, and keeping yourself active. Some people like group classes, while others like working out on exercise equipment at their own pace. And at WCBR, there’s also the chance to exercise in your own residence, with a personal trainer or moving along with a class via the internal cable TV system.
In working with each individual, “I try to program based on the dimensions of wellness model.” That involves seeing fitness as a matter of more than working the muscles, and as a holistic integration of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
She’s an advocate of the Four Pillars of Health: Nutrition, sleep, fitness and stress management.
Vonda is originally from the Canadian province of Alberta, and ended up raising her own family in Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in health science from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, and learned massage therapy in King of Prussia, PA.
She’s been working with seniors for two decades, as an exercise instructor, personal trainer, and massage therapist. She was the geriatric program coordinator at a hospital for seven years, and operated her own business providing, in-home massage therapy and wellness education.
She’s excited to be at WCBR, which she sees as “a great fit.” Looking forward toward her own retirement, this just seemed to her a great place to be. And her experience so far has proven her right: “It’s going great, I love it – moving around, working with seniors.”
She’s really enjoying the Charlottesville area overall. “I like hiking, and canoeing.”
“And I just started learning pickle ball.” However, she confesses, “So far I haven’t won a game yet.”