At the Thornton Active Adult Center in Thornton, Colorado, Wellbeats is part of a robust lineup of equitable and inclusive programs available to help adults ages 55+ age well physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.

Wellbeats’ belief that wellbeing isn’t just for some—it’s for all—aligns with the Active Adult Center’s mission to engage and empower the community to find purpose, meaning, connection, and overall wellness as they age.

The Active Adult Center is a key component of the City of Thornton’s recreation offerings as the city, which is located 10 miles north of downtown Denver, seeks to provide a high quality of life to all of its citizens.

“The greatest benefit is being able to provide accessible resources that best meet our patrons’ needs,” Marisa said.

Marisa Kouba, recreation coordinator, Thornton Active Adult Center
Marisa Kouba, Thornton Active Adult Center recreation coordinator

Marisa Kouba, recreation coordinator at the Thornton Active Adult Center, explained that the center implemented Wellbeats in 2021 to provide its patrons with access to wellness classes beyond its traditional scheduled group fitness classes. Over 1,000 fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes available through Wellbeats bolster the Active Adult Center’s class offerings.

Not only has Wellbeats expanded the number and variety of classes the Active Adult Center is able to offer, but Marisa believes Wellbeats has helped the AAC reach more people. She sees Wellbeats as a way to connect with those who might not be interested in traditional group fitness classes.

“I think Wellbeats has helped access a population that doesn’t really want to work out in a group but also doesn’t know how to start independently,” Marisa said.

She finds Wellbeats’ class filters helpful as they enable patrons to easily access classes they’re interested in and classes that align with their ability levels.

“That they can filter by age is a great filter that Wellbeats has—that and by ability level,” Marisa said. “I think it’s helped capture those outliers of participants who don’t really enjoy the group fitness aspect but also have no baseline of where to start [exercising] independently.”

Marisa also noted that Wellbeats’ virtual, on-demand availability helps the Active Adult Center overcome the challenge of variable schedules among the 55+ community. The fitness studio at the AAC is open for drop-in, self-serve use outside of the center’s scheduled daytime group fitness classes. Patrons can visit the center at their convenience and use the studio space to participate in Wellbeats’ virtual classes.

With time and space designated for patrons to enjoy Wellbeats, Marisa identified the need to familiarize patrons with the technology and make sure they understand how to use Wellbeats.

Wellbeats Demo Days at the Thornton Active Adult Center
Wellbeats Demo Week at the Thornton Active Adult Center

“It can be intimidating to go into a studio on your own and follow an instructional video,” Marisa said.

To promote Wellbeats to the AAC patrons, Marisa held an event called Wellbeats Demo Week.

“It was a week-long event of scheduled Wellbeats class times where I, as the recreation coordinator, showed how to use the system and choose classes based on interest, age, and ability level,” Marisa explained. “Then we followed the class together to lessen any technology fears or understanding of how to use it or where to start—because that’s usually the first challenge; some people just don’t know where to start.

“Wellbeats Demo Week really helped reduce those fears and encourage people to participate on their own.”

During Wellbeats Demo Week, Marisa showed patrons how to access Wellbeats and how to choose classes best suited to their individual needs and interests.

“I think Wellbeats does a great job of showcasing what the class is about and breaking down the equipment that is needed,” Marisa said. “I utilized that as an education point to show this is how you start the class, this is what the class says you’re going to do and use, and this is how to set yourself up for success.”

Wellbeats Demo Days at the Thornton Active Adult Center
Wellbeats Demo Week at the Thornton Active Adult Center

As an added incentive to attend classes during Wellbeats Demo Week, Marisa gave participants raffle tickets after each class they attended.

“The more classes you came to, the more opportunities you had to win the grand prize provided by Wellbeats,” Marisa said. “This was a great way to help our patrons learn how to use Wellbeats as a group and to help promote independent use.

“Technology can be intimidating at times, let alone working out and not knowing what to do. These demos days helped reduce both of those mindsets by providing education in setup and having easy videos to follow.”

Wellbeats Demo Days was a big hit. Feedback from the Active Adult Center patrons was positive, and two women even came in for the classes every day of the week.

“It was a great way to lessen the intensity of a new piece of fitness equipment,” Marisa said, noting that she plans to repeat Wellbeats Demo Days in the future. “I could see myself doing it about once a year to capitalize on new participants, depending on the need.”

Wellbeats Demo Days at the Thornton Active Adult Center
Wellbeats Demo Week at the Thornton Active Adult Center

In her role as recreation coordinator, Marisa acknowledges that no two wellness journeys are the same. She appreciates the variety of classes available through Wellbeats, along with its inclusivity to accommodate all ages, interests, and ability levels.

“We do not have the same fitness journey as our friends or our neighbors,” Marisa said. “Wellbeats has a good variety to meet everybody’s individual needs but can also help encourage participants to come in and do things together too. It doesn’t just have be independent; it can be community-based, which I think is of great importance.”

Marisa has noticed that Wellbeats’ yoga, barre, and low-impact cardio classes are popular among the Active Adult Center patrons.

“Since stepping into my role, I’ve appreciated this resource because of the fact that there’s only so many fitness classes we can run in a day and there’s only so many different types of classes we can offer,” Marisa said. “Wellbeats already has loads of videos uploaded with tons of variety for each individual, so I think that’s been a great perk.”

Download the Thornton Active Adult Center client spotlight here.

About Wellbeats, a LifeSpeak company

Wellbeats, a LifeSpeak company is a leading provider of on-demand virtual fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes for use in workplaces of all sizes, health plans, on college or university campuses, multi-family housing, the U.S. military, and fitness and health clubs. Based in St. Louis Park, MN, Wellbeats makes fitness accessible, affordable, and approachable for everyone. More than 1,000 classes and 35+ programs are available to help members stay on track and meet their goals. To learn more, visit www.wellbeats.com or check out a sampling of the company’s fitness classes during a Facebook Live class, and follow Wellbeats on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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