Medford’s Peter Petrella bought his own Fitness Together franchise after benefiting from its emphasis on personal training and individual results.
- Allison Goldsberry
Fitness Together Medford has a vision of a healthy community and has no shortage of creative ways to motivate people to lead more active lifestyles.
Fitness Together has partnered with Kiss 108, with radio station employees working out at its Salem Street studio, to reach those who need to look good for summer and fall weddings. Its eight week “Wedding Party Workout” promises to get participants in shape for the big day, and there is a hefty 40% discount for those who mention Kiss 108.
Weddings not a worry this year? Fitness Together is offering 10% off personal training programs for those who have Tufts or Harvard Pilgrim health insurance. There is also a “back to school” special for teachers. Massachusetts Teacher Association members can receive one free fitness evaluation, two free one on one personal training sessions, and 10% off personal training packages, according to Fitness Manager Maria Marques.
Alternatively, for those who tend to be a little competitive, Fitness Together has issued a weight loss challenge for anyone bold enough to take it on. Anyone can participate at no cost, and sponsor dollars collected for pounds lost will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Medford.
According to personal trainer Neil Anderson, participants receive two free personal training sessions and a fitness evaluation. Nutrition and exercise seminars and cooking demonstrations will also be held regularly to keep people on track.
“For people who’ve always wanted to lose weight and never knew what to do, they’re going to get lots of resources and support,” said Anderson.
Both Anderson and Fitness Together Medford owner Peter Petrella say a concern over childhood obesity is one of the motivations behind the weight loss challenge. They’d like to see participants adopt healthier lifestyles that carry over into their homes and serve as models of healthy behavior for children. The challenge, which people can sign up for through August, will run through December, a deliberate time frame that is meant to encourage lifestyle change as opposed to rapid, unhealthy weight loss.
“The main motivation for this is the increasing obesity epidemic in this country, especially with children,” said Petrella. “If we can start at the community level and get everyone involved in making some simple lifestyle changes, to make better choices when deciding on what and when to eat, and to make some form of exercise a daily routine, we will all be the better for it. With the City of Medford being part of First Lady Obama’s initiative, ‘Let’s Move’ to battle childhood obesity, we felt this would be a natural fit to the campaign.”
Anderson said the Medford Boys and Girls Club contacted him after seeing an opinion piece he wrote about childhood obesity. The Boys and Girls Club has its own healthy initiatives they are trying to grow and Anderson saw an opportunity to build on their efforts while giving back to the community.
Petrella said educating people about adopting a healthy lifestyle could be the beginning of a healthier community, which could lead to a decrease in chronic disease and lower health insurance costs.
“Our goal is to get as many people from the City of Medford involved so as to educate them about health and a healthy lifestyle. The weight loss challenge will be a ‘starting point’ to look and feel better,” said Petrella. “We can reduce instances of diabetes, lower cholesterol readings, battle stress, lower blood pressure, joint aches and pains, increase energy, etc. At the workplace, a healthier community lowers absenteeism and health care costs, a win-win situation for employee and employer by saving money.”
Petrella himself has benefited from adopting more healthy habits. Fitness Together helped him lose over fifty pounds and, as he says in a testimonial posted on the Fitness Together website, he liked the company so much he bought his own studio.
As a result, Petrella likes to remind people “Keeping well beats getting well.”