In another sign that society is returning to normal after more than a year of pandemic-induced disruption, a new-concept gym opened this month in Ashburn.
OAK Health Club – which focuses on the needs of people aged 40 and over – was unveiled as AARP Services Inc.’s (ASI) premier health and fitness club at an event of inauguration on May 20.
The new facility, located on the Riverside Commons Plaza, had been in the works for several years. The club was conceived after ASI executives began to study the general market to determine what new products and services are in demand to help people as they age.
AARP President and CEO Jo Ann Jenkins told The Times-Mirror that AARP has identified places across the country where the demographics of this new health club concept would fit – And at the top of the list was Loudoun County.
âWe are thrilled with the opportunity here,â Jenkins said. âThis is the first in the country and we hope there will be many more. Fitness is important regardless of your age to stay as healthy as possible.
She added that OAK was designed to meet the growing needs of AARP members.
âSixty percent of health outcomes are determined by the choices you make each day, and fitness goes well with our mission. “
OAK CEO Don Bahneman, who has worked in the fitness industry for more than two decades, said the new club offers members a personalized wellness experience including movement, recovery and nutrition under one roof. .
While nationwide, many fitness centers have been hit hard during the pandemic, Bahneman says that OAK is ready to welcome its members to a safe environment.
âThis project has been in development for over a year. With 9,000 square feet of dedicated outdoor space and warmer weather, we are excited to offer safe and fun workouts outdoors, which many fitness centers in the area do not have, âsaid Bahneman.
Additionally, despite the fact that many people have moved their workouts to their homes during the pandemic, Bahneman believes people will be ready to return to the gym.
âThere’s nothing quite like being in a physical space and having the ability to create a plan that works for you – a dietitian and an on-site cafe get you started on your fitness level, and the center recovery provides space for you to relax. There is also a social aspect to training for a lot of people. OAK also follows all Virginia guidelines and maintains a safe zone, âhe said.
The interior of the facility is designed with large windows, earthy tones and open spaces to help bring in natural light, he said.
Fitness options include small-group, trainer-led classes such as yoga, pilates, cardio, strength training, and the barre. There are also strength training zones and cardio machines which are all connected to the OAK mobile app, making it easy to track workouts, he said.
The Revive Spa is available to members and non-members and offers massages, cryotherapy – which uses extremely cold temperatures for several minutes at a time – and an infrared sauna, all of which help reduce inflammation and promote healing, Bahneman said.
In the cafe located inside the club, OAK has teamed up with Superfd, a Washington, DC-based food service company that focuses on healthy eating for athletes and serves professional sports teams, including the Washington Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, Mystic, Spirit and United. Superfd ââis headed by Executive Chef Robert Wood.
The cafe has a varied menu that includes smoothies, wraps, salads, bowls, coffee and other drinks, Bahneman said.
New members are introduced to the OAK community with several free coaching sessions to set training goals after performing a 3D scan, which analyzes movement patterns, imbalances and flexibility.
After meeting with staff to develop a personalized program, members then work with a dietitian to discuss meal planning, supplements, and time management. Finally, each new member receives a free spa session, whether it is a massage or cryotherapy.
Bahneman believes the pandemic has shifted attention to the priority of health.
âWe know that putting health first helps people be resilient in the face of life’s challenges. Staying active and fit can pay off in terms of longer life, better heart and gut health, and a stronger immune system, âhe said.
Loudoun County Supervisory Board Chairperson Phyllis Randall (D-At Large), who was present at the groundbreaking event, said she was impressed with the new facility.
âIt’s beautiful and the pressure is very low,â said Randall. âIt’s a very stimulating place to train. Health is so important, we have learned this over the past year.
Randall said she also appreciates the club’s focus on community.
âThere is one thing people need the most as they come out of this pandemic and that is the community. It’s such a huge proposition for them to have this facility – it’s revolutionary and I think it can honestly save lives, âshe added.