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Start this year off on the right foot

Catonsville community makes staying healthy easy with on-site fitness center

Created date

January 4th, 2018
Fitness Specialist Sylvia Moore (front, left) and Wellness Manager Teresa Reymann-Curran lead a yoga class at Charlestown, an Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Maryland.

Fitness Specialist Sylvia Moore (front, left) and Wellness Manager Teresa Reymann-Curran lead a yoga class at Charlestown, an Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Maryland.


The greatest athletes from around the world will compete next month at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Experts in 15 different sports ranging from alpine skiing and ice hockey to figure skating will vie to bring home the gold. 

But you don’t have to be at the peak of athletic perfection to reap the benefits of regular exercise. Charlestown, an Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Md., makes sticking to a fitness routine easier than ever with a personal trainer just down the hall.  

“At Charlestown, we put your health at the forefront of everything we do,” says Wellness Manager Teresa Reymann-Curran. “To that end, we have a state-of-the-art fitness center, pool, and exercise programs to meet every need.” 

Charlestown’s on-site fitness center features top-of-the-line equipment designed specifically for the senior age bracket, including SCIFIT steppers, cardio bikes, ellipticals, New Life Fitness Treadmills, and HUR strength training equipment.

Charlestown community members can enjoy a basic gym membership for free, which includes a fitness assessment and consultation, personalized exercise program, and monthly monitoring of exercise progression from the center’s four professional fitness trainers. Personal training and specialized classes are offered for a nominal fee. 

“We have a variety of group strength and cardio training classes, including Zumba, tap dance, tai chi, yoga, and spinning classes, as well as aquatic fitness classes,” says Reymann-Curran. “For a flat fee of $25 a month, Charlestown residents can take as many classes as they want. That comes out to only about $1.50 per class.”

Multiple benefits

Linda Clegern began taking yoga classes when she moved to Charlestown seven years ago.

“I walk a lot. I usually get in 10,000 steps a day, but I wanted something that was stretching and using other parts of my body,” says Linda. “Yoga has worked really well for me. After my class I feel so relaxed. It makes me feel better, and it’s helped keep my weight down. It’s been very beneficial to me.”

According to Reymann-Curran, yoga can help ease joint issues, reduce chronic pain, improve flexibility and posture, enhance balance, strengthen muscles, reduce insomnia, increase circulation, and regulate blood pressure.

Carol Tilles took yoga for a number of years before moving to Charlestown less than a year ago. She says she enjoys both the physical and mental benefits of yoga. 

“The stretches and weight-bearing balance training are very beneficial, but I also like the mind-calming influence of yoga,” says Carol. “I have a better mind-body connection through yoga. My body has responded positively. I have some physical limitations, but I believe yoga helps me manage those problems.” 

Carol may be onto something. Research shows that regular exercise can not only help you manage your weight, reduce heart disease, and manage diabetes, it can also give your brain a boost. 

University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning. 

Another study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic showed that those who regularly engaged in moderate exercise five or six times a week later in life, reduced their risk of mild cognitive impairment by 32%, compared with more sedentary people. Those who began exercising at midlife saw a 39% reduction. 

The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors. These growth factors are chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and the abundance and survival of new cells.  

Stick with it

Regardless of which type of exercise you prefer, Reymann-Curran recommends getting some form of exercise every day. “It is important to keep moving. It could be walking, swimming, or taking a class. If you are doing cardio and strength training, you should aim for at least three times a week for 30 minutes. The most important thing is to stay active physically and mentally.”

Linda says living at Charlestown has benefited her health in more ways than one. 

“I have trouble with my eyesight, and I haven’t been able to drive for the last few years,” says Linda. “To be able to walk wherever I need to go has been very beneficial. Here, so many of my friends and neighbors are active and involved doing things, and that makes you want to get involved. It’s contagious.”