By KEITH ERICKSON
For Coeur Voice
Size-wise, Claudia Moberg isn’t quite the woman she used to be. And that suits her just fine, thank you very much.
The 71-year-old Hayden woman has shed 85 pounds in the past three years with help from a dedicated physical therapist and a personal trainer who is passionate about her success.
“I feel great,” Moberg said recently as she reflected on her ongoing wellness journey.
Her weight-loss and wellness mission began at Peak Health and Wellness Center in Hayden in 2017 and took an unexpected turn about a year ago when she was preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
“I picked up an empty turkey roaster pan and threw out my back,” Moberg recalls with a sigh. “I ended up in the ER twice and the doctor said I needed physical therapy.”
Enter Shawn Moehring, owner of MAC Physical Therapy, who runs his practice out of Peak clubs in Post Falls and Hayden.
For several weeks after her injury, Moehring worked with Moberg at the Hayden Peak to get her back on track—so to speak. The results were shining.
“Claudia is the perfect example of superior results when gyms and their trainers can work hand in hand with an expert physical therapist,” Moehring said.
The latest trend in fitness blends exercise with medical care, according to Shape, a leading women’s fitness magazine.
More and more companies are incorporating a variety of fitness aspects with personal training, including group fitness classes, chiropractic care, personal trainers and nutritionists.
As a dedicated physical therapist, Moehring said there are numerous advantages to running his practice from Peak health clubs.
“With active treatment in a health club setting, we now see people getting better faster and staying better longer,” he says. “Our clients have a place to extend their recovery outside the physical therapist setting.”
Moehring points out that physical therapy is typically a short-term affair while working out at the gym has no time boundaries.
“As physical therapists, we can do a really good job with specialty training to find the root of the problem and give specific exercise and movements to resolve the issue, but as (clients) move beyond that and become more independent, you need to set them up with a long-term plan and a gym facility can help with that.”
Julie Larrison, fitness director for Peak in Hayden, said the wide variety of equipment and programs available at the popular health club provide a perfect setting for long-term health and fitness plans.
The availability of an on-site physical therapist is popular among clients, she says, and complements the long-term goals obtained from a gym setting.
“If you’re going to physical therapy, there’s only so much insurance will cover and then (clients) are sent home with an exercise regimen and sometimes it doesn’t always work out,” Larrison said. “Keeping up with rehab is about more than just six weeks with a physical therapist.”
Peak Health is not the only local wellness business that combines services in the mission to provide overall health.
Indeed, a trend has arisen among wellness professionals who see the advantages of combining their expertise to provide an overall plan for success. And it’s not just gyms teaming up with physical therapists.
Yoga is on the rise and making an impact on conventional physical therapy, according to the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health, which explores complementary and alternative medicine.
According to the agency, 21 million U.S. adults participate in some form of yoga—doubling in size over the last 15 years. And local wellness firms are taking notice.
At North Star Physical Therapy, also in Hayden, yoga classes are offered to supplement the firm’s focus on recovery of injuries orthopedic services.
The business offers weekly yoga classes for healthy backs and healthy hips, says owner Jason Bruns. The classes are gaining in popularity as more clients see the benefits of combining physical therapy with core strengthening from yoga.
In the meantime, recovering from her turkey roaster mishap, Moberg said having a physical therapist at her gym was a big bonus.
“I think it’s great because the complement each other to make people better,” said Moberg, who has lost 85 pounds since starting a fitness program at Peak. The active senior was also a “Biggest Loser” winner at the gym and takes part in yoga and cycling spin classes.
And while her sessions with physical therapist Moehring are done, she knows he’s only a few steps away when she’s at the gym.
“I always know he’s right there to help,” she said.