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76-Year-Old Fitness Together® Auburndale Client Gets Fit, Feels Great with One-On-One Personal Training*

The key to aging gracefully for Rhea Bufferd, 76, is a commitment to consistent physical fitness. Rhea works out twice a week at the Fitness Together® Auburndale studio where she enjoys one-on-one personal training that’s geared toward keeping her moving and staying strong as she ages. But, in addition to the physical benefits of working out regularly, Rhea enjoys the friendships she’s built throughout the years and the sense of community that she gets from her Fitness Together® studio and from her trainer of 16 years, Bret Cichaski.

“I started working out at FT when I was 60 years old and Bret was in his 20s,” explains Rhea. “I had no upper body strength, no coordination and no ability to do much of anything. So, I started working out to focus on my upper body strength, but we ended up working on my total body fitness. Working out with Bret is an ideal way for me to keep fit because there’s an obligation to show up and I like that Bret and I pass the time by chatting while I lift weights.”

After living the first 50 years or so of her life without any physical activity, the driving force for Rhea to start incorporating a fitness routine into your lifestyle was the arrival of her first grandchild and the fear of not being strong enough to hold the baby after it was born. At this point in Rhea’s life, she started walking with a friend and soon thereafter began working out with Bret at Fitness Together® by lifting weights to build strength and doing cardio to build stamina. Throughout the years, Bret has added postural exercises into Rhea’s routine, as well as rehabilitative exercises to address any aches or pains that have come up along the way.

“As I get older, I have more aches and pains, but I love how Bret gives me exercises to help with the pain, whether it’s in my hip, shoulder or where ever,” shares Rhea. “I really can count on him, in the event that something is bothering me, to help me do the right thing to fix it. Bret really encourages me to do my best, but doesn’t push me beyond my limits to where I’m going to hurt myself. I really appreciate that about Bret. He’s a big reason why I keep working out.”

Bret always strives to provide his clients with a specific workout tailored to each client’s unique condition and goals. For Rhea, that means focusing on twice-a-week full-body work outs with a focus on upper back and leg muscles for her postural needs. But, Bret also focuses on keeping the workouts light-hearted and fun, especially for his long-time clients like Rhea. Bret enjoys Rhea’s positive attitude, her excitement about wanting to come in to work out and the way that the two of them can joke around with each other.

“Rhea needs to do a little of everything to stay healthy and to strengthen her bones,” explains Bret. “Her bone density results have improved, she says she feels great and we’ve been able to maintain her weight like she’s wanted. It’s not about just coming in and going right to the weights though. Rhea and I joke around and I try to keep it fun for her too.”

Rhea is a living testament to the fact that it’s never too late to start working out. And, as Rhea demonstrates each and every week, you’re never too old to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle.

“I’m in pretty good shape and a lot of people are surprised when I say what my age is,” shares Rhea. “I have a fairly decent amount of stamina that helps get me through the day and gives me the capacity to do more than I initially think I can, especially during the many adventures my husband and I do while we’re traveling.”

“You never know what the future holds, but I don’t plan to stop working out anytime soon,” concludes Rhea. “Fitness Together® works for me and I plan to keep doing it for as long as I can. The Fitness Together® model is the only way I would be working out at this point in my life.”