Monday - Thursday 4:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Friday 4:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Meet Ryan, our Member of the Month! Even though Ryan already knew how to swim, his mom enrolled him for lessons at HealthSpring. He’ll tell you he started as a 3 then progressed to “about a 7“ in his swimming abilities. Now he’s a 10 plus, and after some serious training, has completed the swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco with a team from HealthSpring Fitness.
Meet James. James' back pain forced him to change gears and quit racing cars. Since joining HealthSpring, James Credits the Master Swim Class fro allowing him to swap medical supervised pain management with competing in marathons, triathlons and Alcatraz open water swims.
Meet Kim. After repeated neck injuries left her living in pain for years, she decided it was time to try NorthBay’s Spine Program. With the help of NorthBay Healthcare's neurosurgeon, Edie Zusman, MD, and the pools at HealthSpring Fitness — Kim is out of pain, feeling good, and enjoying life.
Soliat Adekanye was one of the winners of our Share your Story Contest in 2018. Watch her video above and read her HealthSpring story below:
"I found success with all of Sheila's classes (TRX,Aqua Aerobics, Zumba, Pilates, Hiit). I joined the gym 26th Mar 2018. When I joined I weighed 210lbs - as of today (July 6, 2018), I weigh 182 lbs. I don't only get exercise when I come here, but also relationships. I feel I am part of a family. The staff are also friendly. Front desk ladies always smiling when they welcome. Kid's club ladies are extraordinary, my son constantly reminds me about Kids Club, he loves coming every time. I was initially worried about leaving him, but now I am so confident. My experience here has been a blessing. I love the facility. Sheila's attitude towards the group is extraordinary. I'm motivated to come to all my classes, because she makes me feel comfortable and I definitely see results. My reason for coming here has been achieved and I will keep coming."
Tiffani DeTar was one of the winners of our Share your Story Contest in 2018. Watch her video above.
Meet Mike. On the verge of having stomach reduction surgery, he made the decision to do it the natural way. After trying every group exercise class at HealthSpring Fitness, he found his calling in Power Cycling. Instructors made a huge difference for him and became a great motivational factor in meeting his weight loss goals. After 2 years of commitment, Mike has lost over 130 pounds and now his main issue is needing to spend more money on new clothes.
Surviving cardiac arrest left Mercedes needing to relearn many basic functions like walking and talking. With the help and support of the Movement is Medicine program, his fitness coach Gina Pickett and his wife Jan - Mercedes is on the road to recovery.
The Movement is Medicine program and Fitness Coach, Brandon B., helped Richard regain strength and mobility back in his knee after his second knee replacement. Now he's back to running and training for his ultra-marathons.
Meet Lucille. The Movement is Medicine program helped her regain mobility and strength when traditional physical therapy let her down.
His back injury left him needing a cane to walk long distances and with surgery or cortisone shots as his only treatment options. Three months after starting Movement is Medicine, and with the help from Fitness Coach, John Zdankus, Victor now has days without any pain.
We all hear that one in eight women will get breast cancer if their lifetime, and yet, we never expect it to be us. In May of 2015, following a routine mammogram, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, I can say that I was fortunate, because my cancer was found early, but at that time, I was not feeling particularly fortunate.
Over the next two years I had multiple surgeries, and a few health complications along the way, but with each passing month, and with every procedure, my cancer was becoming more of a memory than a part of my current life.
In 2018 I entered the New Year with cancer behind me, but I was more than 20 pounds heavier than I had been when I was diagnosed and I was ready to reclaim my life. I started eating healthier, and at the urging of friends, I joined HealthSpring.
I had joined gyms before, but I had never really used them. However, this time things were different. I loved the facility, and everyone was so helpful and encouraging. I tried so many different classes and in each one, the instructors were so welcoming and helped modify the workout for my needs.
Over the past year, I have not only reclaimed my body, but with a lot of help and coaching, I have improved upon it. I am still a work in progress, but I have lost nearly 40 pounds, while finding some muscles I didn't know I had! I feel stronger and more fit than I have been in years, and now it's easy to celebrate all of the good fortune in my life.
Learn how you can help people like Cassie by donating to the local Solano Midnight Sun Breast Cancer Foundation.
Hope MacRae knows if you don't use it, you'll lose it. That's why, at age 87, she is a regular at NorthBay HealthSpring Fitness in Vacaville. You might see her tiny frame tossing a 4-pound medicine ball against the wall, performing squats on the TRX or lifting free weights.
Hope has made an impression with other members at the facility and many of them make it a point to say hello when they pass by. "I've had members tell me that I am their inspiration," said Hope. "They say, 'I want to be in that good of shape when I am your age!'"
The Leisure Town resident starts out every workout with 15 minutes on the treadmill. She is then met by her fitness coach, Julie Cassara, who accompanies her on the track to help guide her while completing her five laps around the track. "Hope's goal isn't just to reach for that half mile," Julie shares, "She also has me get my stopwatch and time each lap." Hope wants to get the most out of her workouts and what's better than having lots of challenges to meet her goals?
"Her goals were to get stronger and have more endurance," Julie explains. "She had this goal for herself but there was another reason for these goals - her labradoodle Autumn. It was very important for her to be able to enjoy and care for her canine companion."
The necessary guidance and assistance that Julie gives Hope during her workouts isn't because of her age. Hope deals with macular degeneration, a condition that limits her ability to be able to see. As the condition progresses, her vision will become more compromised, making daily tasks harder to perform. Julie knew Hope's visual challenges would mean having to start off slow and progress at her pace.
Hope knew she needed to stay active and would need help. She was eager and ready to train. Julie learned that Hope was not new to healthclubs but her workouts always consisted of sitting on machines to work out. Julie had something different in mind for Hope's workouts and it meant taking her out of her comfort zone. "I needed to base her program on functional exercises that would help her move better in life," Julie said. Hope was leery at first. "At the start she needed assistance from me, but not long after she was performing exercises on her own and with confidence," Julie said proudly.
Hope currently trains twice a week with Julie and also exercises at home. "HealthSpring is a wonderful place to exercise. The fitness coaches are well educated, very experienced and are experts in designing programs for people like me. I look forward to my workouts with Julie," Hope said happily.
"My goal," said Julie, "is to help my clients maintain their independence and to improve their quality of life. The reward is to see it happen."
That is just what Hope wanted and needed. "Julie's given me the confidence I needed to push myself and thanks to her I am enjoying my life. I know some people might feel they cannot accomplish their goals. I say take a chance...what have you got to lose? Well, actually? A lot!"
Once Fearful, Now Twins Dive In
When twins Cooper and Brooklyn Miller of Fairfield first started swim lessons at age 3, even standing on the first step of the pool made them anxious.
"They wouldn't put their faces in the water, they couldn't hold their breath," remembers John Zdankus, aquatics coordinator and fitness specialist at NorthBay HealthSpring Fitness.
Group lessons were intimidating because of the fear factor, he said.
Their parents, Cheryl Morales, a healthcare worker, and Jon Miller, a paramedic and firefighter, were determined that their children wouldn't be afraid of the water, so they enrolled them in private lessons.
"It made a big difference," said John. "First I taught them how to cup their hands and splash their face. We eventually worked up to submersions and breath control."
Cheryl was pleased that John could cater each lesson for each child.
"It's not one-size-fits-all," she said. "They're twins, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. John established trust right away. He didn't push their boundaries, but worked with them.
And that has paid off rather swimmingly.
"As their skills progressed, their fears were replaced by confidence and can-do attitudes," said John.
They learned how to jump in the pool and "self-rescue," by returning to the wall of the pool with no help. Now they're working on basic freestyle techniques and side-breathing.
Their grandparents, John and Patricia Miller, are impressed with their progress.
"On Day 1, Cooper didn't like the water. Now they can't get him out," said grandfather John.
The couple watch the twins - as well as another grandson, 4-year-old Samuel - take lessons four days a week.
"They ought to put up a reserved sign over this bench for us," joked John.
Cheryl doesn't mind making the trip from Fairfield to Vacaville for lessons, she said.
"This facility is always clean, it's not overcrowded, and it feels safe. Everyone here knows their names," she said. "I know there's a lot of eyes on them, keeping them safe here. Now we even come on weekends for free swim."
Lessons On Tap
Both group and private and semi-private lessons are available for swimmers of all ages and abilities, regardless of membership at HealthSpring Fitness.
Three years ago, Suzanne Clark sat in her wheelchair at a Soroptimist International regional conference, waving her hands and smiling while club members danced around her during a friendly competition.
This year, wheelchair-free, she taught her friends the steps and led the dance.
Suzanne, 60, said her recovery from Guillain-Barre syndrome is nothing short of a miracle.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder in which the body's immune system attacks nerves. Its cause is unknown. It can spread quickly and cause paralysis in the entire body.
The illness came on out of nowhere, she says, remembering that she was in training for a 5K. She had lost 42 pounds and felt great. Then one day, her legs started bothering her. Her back hurt.
She tried a chiropractor, massage therapy and pain medication but nothing made a dent. Her doctor ran bloodwork and took X-rays, but didn't diagnose anything amiss.
"On Saturday morning, Sept. 28, 2013, I went back to bed and slept until 2 p.m. Then my hands and my face started bothering me."
She ended up in an emergency room where doctors recognized her symptoms and started five days of treatments that would save her life.
"I walked into the hospital, but by Sunday, I couldn't even stand up," she recalled. She was transferred to a rehabilitation center for three weeks before she was released home-in a wheelchair.
Progress over the next two and a half years was slow, but steady. Her legs still tingle and her arms are still numb. She eventually was able to walk again, at first with a walker and then a cane, and to drive. But these milestones weren't enough for Suzanne, who wanted more.
That's why she signed up as soon as she could with NorthBay Healthcare's Movement is Medicine program. But first, Suzanne, who is not a NorthBay Healthcare patient, had to get her doctor on board.
"I joined HealthSpring Fitness when it opened in July, but I wasn't using it," she admitted. "I was too weak and intimidated. I needed help."
She found help in Julie Cassara, a fitness specialist who was tapped by NorthBay HealthSpring Fitness to design its innovative new Movement is Medicine program, alongside Adrian Riggs, NorthBay Health Advantage vice president and General Manager Mike Cole.
Julie's background in fitness and training began 17 years ago in Los Angeles, where she started working with clients who had medical conditions.
"Other trainers didn't feel comfortable working with them, but I found it fascinating," she said. She has gained a lot of experience working with this population. One notable experience was from her first case in college, a quadriplegic who volunteered his time to be a subject for the students. She was learning the technique of passive assistive stretching while working with him and he decided to have a little fun in the process.
"I was stretching out the muscles in one of his legs and his leg started to push back at me from a reflex reaction. He said, 'You cured me!' jokingly of course. He must have seen the surprised look on my face and followed by saying, 'I do that to all the newbies.' He was a great guy to work with and I learned a lot from him. His body taught me how to feel resistance and tell me when to push and when to stop. From this experience, I gained a strong desire to help people. I decided my life path was going to be designing exercise programs for people with medical conditions to help them move better, feel better and improve their quality of life."
Julie continues to help people see the benefits of movement through exercise, creating a better mind-set and most importantly, reassuring them that even with a medical condition, they can improve themselves.
Movement is Medicine was launched quietly in January 2017, and by mid-March, 50 patients had signed up, just through word of mouth. The program earned NorthBay HealthSpring Fitness the Solano County Innovator of the Year Award on March 2. The program has been receiving new participants daily.
Julie spends time connecting with each client, gaining insight and helping to initially guide them into the program and place them with the right fitness specialist. The program is staffed with 10 fitness coaches who have extensive backgrounds in working with people in this population.
"Our specialists work collaboratively with each other to be sure our clients are getting the best program for their specific situation," said Julie.
The job comes with a lot of research. In Suzanne's case, Julie had to study up on Guillen-Barre syndrome. "She told me I'm not like her other clients," said Suzanne. "I can't exercise every day; it will overtax me."
In fact, everything about Suzanne's routine was specially created by Julie. "I try to mix it up so it doesn't get boring, but we have figured out Suzanne's strengths and weaknesses and we've talked about her goals," said Julie. "So for eight weeks, I plan sessions that will help her achieve those goals."
Suzanne couldn't be happier with the partnership. "This is just what I've been waiting for," said Suzanne. "I like this place," she said, looking around the third-floor workout space. "It's not just a gym; it's a place of healing. That was my whole thing-I want a place where I can go to get better. I know I'll be permanently disabled, but I'm not giving up.
I always say, 'Don't let your fear of today take away tomorrow's happiness.' Whatever life sends your way, you can change. But sometimes you just need a little partnership in health."
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