Beacon Hill at Eastgate Expert Series
Consistent physical exercise reaps enormous benefits for everyone, especially for older adults. We often hear how regular physical activity can reduce age-related decline, as well as one’s risk for coronary heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes. Yet, surprisingly, only 26.1% of adults aged 50 years or older are regularly active. At Beacon Hill at Eastgate, we are dedicated to wellness in all areas, and are fortunate to have someone whose mission it is to create programs and personal exercise regimens for them, so that they will “get stronger and age better,” says Shelby Peterson, our Wellness Manager.
Shelby earned a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from Cornerstone University where she was a student-athlete – a shooting guard, specifically – on the women’s basketball team. She is a certified health specialist, personal trainer, and group fitness instructor. “I have always loved the health care setting and am thrilled to get to be with residents all day long. I truly enjoy working alongside this population,” she says.
Straight out of college, Shelby worked at the MVP Metro Club for five years. Then came COVID-19 and MVP was forced to close for ten months or so. “It was frustrating and devasting,” Shelby recalled and she wondered if life would ever return to what it was before the epidemic.
However, feeling that she had “hit her peak” at MVP, she was looking to expand herself professionally in another direction and was, actually, looking for a new position. During one of her online searches, the position at Beacon Hill came up and she thought: “I have to apply for this one.” Thirty minutes later April called to schedule an interview and shortly thereafter Shelby joined the Beacon Hill family. And it feels like that to Shelby.
“I never thought I’d feel so at home and welcome; Beacon Hill has become a family to me. People are kind and ready to serve. It’s vastly different than the other position I held and I feel it’s another stepping stone to building wellness in the community, which I am committed to.”
Shelby works with residents in independent living as well as those in assisted living. She conducts exercise classes, water aerobics and works one-on-one with residents. A great deal of her focus is on balance, which is an issue that becomes progressively more important as we age. “As a certified personal trainer, I do fitness regimens designed specifically for individuals. There is no such thing as a ‘one-size fits all’ for this or any age group. Each resident gets a customized program.”
She is thrilled about the opening of the new wellness center called “Balance at Beacon Hill,” appropriately named to promote a goal of balance, not just in fitness, but in all areas of life. “We will provide each resident with an orientation, introducing and training them on the new equipment, which will be housed in an adjacent area called the ’Movement Studio,’” Shelby explained.
A whole new set of Technogym equipment will provide the latest in fitness tools including the most recent models of treadmills, elliptical trainers, and strength-building equipment. The “MyWellness” platform is the technology linked to all of the equipment in the new wellness center. Residents will be able to access it on the equipment itself or on a device of their own. With this platform each resident will be able to track their sessions, workouts and chart their progress. Everything they need for their own, personalized fitness regimen will be in one spot.
During the planning phase, Shelby recounted that the team “always imagined the new space as being welcoming, inspiring, and encouraging for all fitness levels. We knew that the equipment had to be innovative, easy to learn and provide endless opportunities for our residents. Now, they will have the opportunity to grow in this space and continually learn about themselves and their health and wellness.”
Shelby says she “can’t even consider her job, work – I just love what I do. It’s fun and I immensely enjoy working with the residents. I feel that together with the entire staff, we’re creating a lasting impact on residents. I see the joy they get from increased movement and strength and it inspires me.”
What Shelby is looking forward to most is the opening of Balance at Beacon Hill and being able to see wellness continue to flourish. “My hope is to get every single resident to the opening and have them leave feeling excited and encouraged about the endless possibilities ahead of them. Alongside our events and marketing teams, we are so excited to start building a plan for the reveal. I am so grateful to be a part of this community and thrilled for the opportunity to continue exploring new and exciting ways to be active.”