Stay Fit and be Well at Walnut Village with Wellbeing Director Ryan Fillingane

What if your gym was right around the corner from your front door, with a team of personal trainers to help you meet your fitness goals? Make Walnut Village your home and that’s exactly what you’ll enjoy – our Wellbeing, Fitness & Aquatic Center is in the heart of the Village. No need to motivate yourself to get into the car and drive to your next workout. It’s only just steps away!

As a new resident, you’re sure to meet Wellbeing Director Ryan Fillingane shortly after your arrival. Ryan takes pride in explaining how to use the fitness equipment, is eager to learn all about your fitness goals, and ready to tailor a program to meet your unique needs. Or, if you wish, you can jump right in and use the equipment and pool at your leisure.

Ryan earned his bachelor of science degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in clinical exercise science from Cal State University Fullerton. He started at Walnut Village about a decade ago as a fitness coach and is now the Center’s director.

“Before coming to Walnut Village I had an internship at another senior living community and the experience of working with older adults was so great I wanted to make it my career,” Ryan said.

By working with older adults, Ryan knows the importance of how movement, of any kind, is a big contributor to continued well-being.

“My goal is to create a well-rounded program to meet all needs,” Ryan said. “Even if someone has limited abilities there is something they can do to move. For example, one of our more popular classes is chair volleyball. Residents stay seated but their upper bodies are moving. One of the many myths about exercise is that you need to spend hours in the gym for it to be beneficial. But actually, you can stay fit if you exercise for as little as 20 minutes a day. And you don’t need fancy equipment to do so. I can show you how.”

The Center also includes an indoor, master’s size saltwater pool and hot tub maintained year around to a warm 86 degrees for maximum comfort. Resident June Watanabe is an avid user of the Fitness and Aquatic Center. She enjoys walking, yoga and the balance class, among other activities.

“I like that the gym is so convenient, open 24 hours and has such a wide choice of classes,” June said. “Ryan provides a variety of challenges that help keep me fit.”

Other classes and programs offered include, water aerobics, chair exercises, stretch and flex, Zumba, Wii gaming, CyberCycle (an interactive recumbent bicycle), putting, weightlifting (with state-of-the-art, older adult-friendly pneumatic weight machines), health and well-being discussions and dance, just to name a few.

Other fitness activities include hybrids of exercises for the body and mind like the always popular scavenger hunt, during which residents search the community for hidden treasures. There’s also “walking Bingo,” which keeps residents on the move, listening for letter and number combinations after walking to different stations around the community.

“Exercise is always best when I can generate a lot of resident laughs and smiles,” Ryan said. “We offer easy, fun routines or more advanced, challenging workouts,” Ryan said. “Residents can participate as little or as much as they like. It’s all about choosing whatever fits you best at Walnut Village.”

If residents prefer, Ryan can work with them in a group setting, one-on-one, or even in the privacy of their own home.

“We’re here to help you with anything you need to support your well-being plan,” Ryan said. “It gives us an opportunity to get to know you, and for you to get to know us.”

For the well-being team, building strong relationships with residents is key. Knowing residents’ likes and dislikes and how they’re feeling from day to day helps the trainers modify an exercise regimen if necessary, or recommend something new.

“We will instruct residents on exercises to help alleviate current challenges and prevent future injuries,” Ryan said. “It’s all about helping the residents be the best they can be.”