Ashburn, Virginia—Upon entering the Ashby Ponds fitness center on a recent January morning, Bill Boleyn received applause from his fellow residents.
The scene wasn't to mark a specific accomplishment as much as it was to appreciate his consistent approach to a steadfast exercise regimen.
Mr. Boleyn moved from his house in Prince William County to the Erickson Living retirement community in 2009 following a career in government. He served in the federal Bureau of Budget (now known as the Office of Management and Budget) and then as Chief Financial Officer and acting General Manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
His former residence featured more than seven acres, allowing him the opportunity to perform outdoor chores like chopping firewood. But he never maintained a formal fitness program until he stepped foot into the fitness center at Ashby Ponds.
"Immediately the trainers made me feel welcomed like family. They were simply delightful," said Mr. Boleyn.
His routine consists of individual strength and cardio work-outs three days per week, utilizing state-of-the-art equipment such as the NuStep and recumbent exercise bicycle. He also takes a Stretch & Balance group class.
"This exercise program has contributed to my good health and longevity. I do it with conviction as I've only missed a few work-outs over the past ten years," noted Mr. Boleyn. "Completing my regimen also provides a sense of accomplishment. The whole process gives me what I call 'go-power.'"
Debra Silvers Enright serves as the Fitness Coordinator at Ashby Ponds. She discussed the process of developing a successful regimen.
Q: What do residents of Ashby Ponds experience when they initially get started?
A: Debra: "When a resident visits the fitness center for the first time, our team seizes the moment by welcoming him or her. We know it can be intimidating, especially if you've never used the equipment. We ask many questions, listen and then invite the resident to try a machine like the NuStep to build initial confidence. We're there every step of the way."
Q: Sticking to a new program can be challenging. How are residents encouraged to stay committed?
A: Debra: "Once they develop a personalized regimen, it's amazing how the group dynamic kicks-in as a source of reinforcement. It could be a friendly word from a fellow resident in a class or a follow-up question from a trainer when we see a resident in the hallway. Ashby Ponds truly has a built-in support network that I would describe as extremely positive and nurturing."
Q: How do you measure success?
A: Debra: "Like in Mr. Boleyn's case, our trainers continually monitor, ask questions and modify the program, if needed, throughout the year. And just as important, we celebrate! Every completed workout, every day, is a victory."
The commitment to overall wellness extends beyond the community's fitness & aquatics center. Special events like the Ashby Ponds Olympics are geared to promoting exercise and involving as many residents as possible. Last year, more than 280 residents registered for the Games that featured 16 events from pickleball to water volleyball.
The 2020 Ashby Ponds Olympics will be held this May, and Mr. Boleyn is already looking forward to the competition and camaraderie.
"The Games are really well-organized, and there is truly something for everyone," described Mr. Boleyn. "Last year, I competed in a number of events, including cornhole, and I can't wait to do it again."
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,650 residents and 550 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Ashby Ponds. Additional information can be found at AshbyPonds.com.