LifeFit Center @ The Beach opens its doors for seniors
Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 14, 2012 15:10
After nearly two years without a gym, Cal State Long Beach has brought fitness back to campus but only for senior members of the community.
Supported by the College of Health and Human Services (HHS), the new LifeFit Center @ The Beach celebrated its grand opening Friday.
According to Ayla Donlin, director of the LifeFit Center, the idea came about after Frog's Fitness, which was located in CSULB’s Walter Pyramid, closed in late 2010.
“It was a sad day for us when Frog’s Fitness closed,” Donlin said. “The college of HHS recognized the need for older adults [in that] they didn’t have facilities where they felt they could be comfortable as members. So we knew that we needed to offer something to them.”
The 17,000 square-foot facility, located in the Kinesiology building, caters specifically to community members as well as CSULB faculty and staff who are 50 years of age and older.
Members of the LifeFit Center are also required to be current members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) on campus, which is another HHS sponsored program that offers classes in different subjects to the same demographic.
“We’ve partnered because we realized that we’re serving the same population and that we can meet needs in different ways … they’re committed to lifelong learning and … we are to a lifelong commitment to health and fitness,” Donlin said.
According to Donlin, their partnership with OLLI also serves to broaden the member interaction beyond the LifeFit Center to all of the OLLI activities.
Leroy Martinez, a 67-year-old Belmont shore resident and an OLLI member of two years, signed up at the LifeFit Center two weeks ago after he stumbled upon it while looking for his OLLI classes.
Martinez, who was a gymnast in college, said he enjoyed the exclusivity of the LifeFit Center.
“What’s nice about it is [it is not] open for everyone, just us older folks,” Martinez said. “Also, you have people around to help you do anything. They are always there as opposed to other places where you’d be lucky to get any help.”
Hugh McHugh, who teaches computer classes at OLLI, became a member of the LifeFit Center when it opened initially in earlier this month.
“I’ve never done a program like this before, so it’s something new for me … This is the first time I have ever belonged to a gym,” McHugh said, “[but] at my age you have to use the body or it’s going to deteriorate.”
The LifeFit Center offers members both cardio equipment and resistance training equipment. According to Donlin, it also offers group fitness classes and free nutritional and fitness assessments to its members.
Additionally, LifeFit members are also issued student ID cards, which can be utilized for on campus services or discounted bus transportation, Donlin said.
According to Donlin, what sets the LifeFit Center apart from the Student Recreation and Wellness Center is that not only does it focus on community members ages 50 and older, but they also serve as an educational laboratory for the HHS.
“[The center will] provide education, research and career development opportunities for students, staff and faculty,” Donlin said.
Membership at the LifeFit Center costs $30 per month if paid in whole upfront or $40 per month if paid monthly. Members must also pay for parking.