Boomers No Babies When It Comes To Fitness

TRAVERSE CITY – Certified personal trainer and Traverse City area native Julie Schmuckal has launched a business that helps Baby Boomers work through the aches and pains of getting older.

While living in Chicago, she "saw the writing on the wall" that Boomers age 50 and up demand specialized fitness training.

"No matter where I was, it would be a need to be filled," Schmuckal said. "I could have specialized in youth, but I was inclined to work with Boomers."

She became a Senior Fitness Specialist in 2008 and now works with seniors – mainly in their homes.

"Senior fitness training incorporates therapeutic exercise techniques that aid in the preparation and recovery of joint replacements of the hip, knee and shoulder areas," she said. "Also addressed are exercise regimens for those afflicted with hypertension, obesity and a multitude of other health concerns."

Schmuckal also spends part of her time developing exercise programs for members of the Traverse City Golf and Country Club, as well as working with the club's golf professional to enhance the health and fitness experience of golf club members.

She's been a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise since 1993 and is certified as a Fitness Assessment Specialist through the YMCA of America.

During her six years at the Foglia YMCA in Chicago, Schmuckal worked with victims of stroke, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, traumatic brain injury and other special health issues.

It was during this time that she suffered a tragic loss: the death of her oldest son. She decided to move home to Traverse City and is rebuilding her life and business with the help of family and friends.

Schmuckal, who earned a bachelor's in merchandising management from Michigan State University, is finding work through referrals and by attending women's networking events.

She makes time to volunteer with battered women and serves on the steering committee for Catholic Human Services' new 21-county health and wellness ministry program that provides resources for the mind, body and spirit in the Gaylord Diocese.

Her goal is to inspire and guide individuals in the quest to maintain or improve functional movement in the daily lives, no matter the challenges or obstacles they face. She also creates individualized programs that include weight goals, diet specifications, physical training/exercise and lifestyle changes.

One of the biggest issues her clients face is balance. To create better balance, she challenges the neuromuscular system through a person's body weight and gravity using the BOSU balance trainer, TRX suspension trainer, yoga and a variety of other tools.

Schmuckal's toolkit also includes medicine and stability balls, resistance bands/tubing, boxing gears, myofacial-release foam rollers, steps, wobble boards and conditioning equipment.

Because she is hands on, she generally works with only one to three clients at a time.

"Everyone is going to be coached in a manner that invokes proper alignment, which alleviates injury," she said.

She also provides onsite health and wellness instruction to local companies and is currently working with American Waste.

For more information, contact Schmuckal at 231-492-6887 or jannkalchik@ gmail.com.

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