2017-08-31 / Neighbors

Get into shape at Saco Sports & Fitness

For years, the only ways people thought to measure changes in fitness was weight loss or muscle gain.

At Saco Sport & Fitness, the staff have revolutionized the way people look at health to include many more important factors and the individual as a whole.

Owner Scott Gillespie has many support systems in place at Saco Sport that helps effect real change that not only includes exercise, but also incorporates nutrition, stress management and teaching people how to change ineffective behaviors.

“We start by helping create realistic goals,” Gillespie said, adding that it usually begins with simply feeling better. “If we set that as a goal, and it’s achieved, then they’ve made progress.”

Wellness Director Nicole Turgeon, also a registered dietitian, encourages members to“Commit to Get Fit in a 90 dayWellness Class.”

It takes four to eight weeks to see significant physical changes in your body after regular physical activity and healthy eating, and about 90 days or more to adopt new, healthier habits,Turgeon said.

“It’s long enough for people to see significant change but short enough to not be overwhelming,” she said.

Gillespie said the Saco Sport & Fitness population can be broken down into smaller communities: The 5 a.m. go-getters; the 9 a.m. moms who’ve dropped their children off at daycare; the aging and active group, also known as the “Silver Sneakers,” around 10 a.m.; the post-school students at 4 p.m. And the 6 p.m. post-work crew.

“Within those communities we have the people who participate in yoga, weight lifting, spinning and more,” Gillespie said, adding that there are more than 70 classes a week and 18 different genres of classes that members can take part in.

“We really believe that if we bring people together to exercise, that support system will encourage each person and be much more powerful than a piece of equipment,” he said.

Because Saco Sport & Fitness offers one-onone and group education through licensed medical professionals, they’re able to bill most insurances. TheAffordableCareAct,nomatterhowyoufeelaboutit,allowscorporations to share the financial cost of employee wellness with the employee, which motivates both employee and business owner to invest preventative-care dollars to prevent major sick care dollars.

The team at Saco Sport & Fitness is happy to work with local companies and organizations to help keep employees healthy and decrease the cost of health care. Turgeon adds that one way in which this is done is by establishing a new mindset for an individual on the road to healthier lifestyle.

“Preventative care and learning about what your body needs before you’re sick is just as important as when you’re sick,” she said.

Those who are affected by Type 2 Diabetes are an example of a population that’s greatly affected by exercise and a change in diet.

“Insulin is expensive. If they learn to eat right, many issues can be taken care of. Spend $1 today to save $10 tomorrow,” she said.

Those who participate in exercise or wellness programs at Saco Sport & Fitness are not the only ones affected by the change in activity level.

“Anyone who does a program here ends up also helping their families and spouses to become healthier,” Gillespie said.

“Your family benefits when you’re learning how to cook healthier meals, and parents become better role models for their children when they’re exercising regularly,” Turgeon said.

Gillespie said a health risk assessment is done with every new Program member that includes body composition, BMI, blood pressure, blood glucose and a full cholesterol workup.

“We take it before and after so people can see their results,” he said. “They’re going to their doctors with impressive results and in many cases, taken off insulin or blood pressure medication. When we say we want to help people become healthy, the result is no longer just to have a fit body, it’s really being well.”

Turgeon works with a number of children and young adults whether it’s a person who wants to gain weight or a high school athlete who wants to achieve optimum health. Many mothers and daughters take classes together or fathers and sons join one another in the weight room.

“It’s the passing down of health habits from generation to generation,” Gillespie said. “Nothing is more powerful.”

Saco Sport & Fitness offers what’s called “Tribe Team Training,” where for 12 weeks a group of six to 10 people meet regularly with a trainer. There’s one-on-one interaction but there’s also this tribe mentality where everyone holds each other accountable and pushes one another to achieve.

Gillespie said if people can get over their initial intimidation to participate in a fitness program, the highly trained and licensed staff at Saco Sport will guide you from there.

“When you talk about those who know what they want, but don’t know or how to get there, those are the people we specialize in serving,” Gillespie said. “Our wellness coaches are trained and skilled at uncovering a person’s history, needs, desires, obstacles and recommending a course of action.”

Gillespie, who has owned Saco Sport since 1993, said they look nothing like they did 10 years ago, and expects that 10 years from now they will look very different then today. It’s always changing to meet the needs of the greater Saco, Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach communities.

Turgeon encourages those who are interested to come in for a consultation. There are no contracts at Saco Sport & Fitness and they offer a 100 percent money back guarantee.

“The pressure is on us to make sure our clients are happy and comfortable.”

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