I'm excited to have Jen Lenzendorf joining me on the show this week. Jen is the owner of AIMS Fitness in West Bend, which provides specialized fitness classes and personal training for older adults and those with Parkinson's Disease. Jen started AIMS Fitness to help address the unique needs of these populations by improving mobility, balance, strength, and coordination through customized exercise programming. Her classes offer a blend of flexibility, cardiovascular, and strength training tailored to each individual. By participating in AIMS Fitness classes, clients see increased independence, confidence, and improved quality of life. Jen's passion is empowering people to stay active and defy limitations, no matter their age or condition.
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Fuzz Martin 0:08
Greetings, Earthlings, we're close enough to Halloween. Thanks for tuning in to Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz. My name is Fuzz Martin and this is a podcast that is hyper local to Washington County, Wisconsin. Why? Because that's where I live. And I want to give back. Ah, you know how at the end of the show, I always say if you have an idea for the show, go to fuzz.cc/guest and leave me a message.
Fuzz Martin 0:36
Well, when I was interviewing Kristin Marx about the Kewaskum Community Food Pantry, she skipped the form and recommended to me that Jen Lenzendorf of AIMS Fitness in West Bend. Join the show at approximately the same time totally by coincidence. Jen reached out to me through the website, and here we are today. So I had two recommendations. For this guest. This week I'm joined by Jen Lenzendorf. Jen is the owner of AIMS Fitness in West Bend. AIMS' aim is to help older adults and those living with Parkinson's disease find health and camaraderie through fitness. And with that, here are 15 minutes on AIMS Fitness with Jen Lenzendorf on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz.
Fuzz Martin 1:29
Jen, thanks for joining me today to start. Can you tell our listeners about AIMS Fitness and the services that you provide?
Jen Lenzendorf 1:36
Absolutely. So AIMS Fitness came about in 2014. It actually stands for something which is accountability, inspiration, motivation and support.
Fuzz Martin 1:47
I thought maybe you were from Iowa originally. No. All right. So again, accountability,
Jen Lenzendorf 1:52
inspiration, inspiration, motivation, and support. Okay, awesome. And I am tech I am born and raised in West Baton. Alright, perfect. So no, I
Fuzz Martin 2:03
get that out of there and clear. So. So AIMS Fitness, you said That's an acronym. So tell us about your location, what you do.
Jen Lenzendorf 2:11
Absolutely. So a little bit about the location. I am the third generation to own the property and run a business there. So I take that great pride in that outside of my building has a beautiful mural done by Alan Moore, who is from West Bend as well. And it is love the love stop. And it's beautiful. And I love it. So that's the location wise it is my home property. So my house is right there. Okay, I'm across from the Milwaukee River right down the road from the Columbian so that's location wise, as far as what we do is I serve the older adult population, as well as people with Parkinson's. And I absolutely love that as well. It is to populations that tend to get ignored or are under it's underserved. So I take great pride in making sure that they have the best quality of life possible.
Fuzz Martin 3:00
So you're serving the older generations and those with Parkinson's. What got you into doing that? How did you get your start doing this?
Jen Lenzendorf 3:09
Okay, so I used to hate fitness. And now I'm a fitness professional and I have been for almost 12 years. On my own fitness journey, my health journey. I went to curves here in West Bend no longer here. And I was working out with an amazing group of ladies older than me, I'm always the youngest in the group. I had to go at a specific time because I have triplets. And they were in daycare for a certain amount of time. And I started working out with these ladies. And their goal was just to keep moving. And I just fell in love with them. So as I went on my health journey, I watched them do their thing. And when I decided that Oh, I love fitness now I got licensed to teach Zumba and all those ladies followed me from curves to my own place, literally in my garage, to start with to do Zumba. And there's something about making somebody smile and laugh. I'm not your typical instructor. I like to laugh my energy level is way high. And these ladies laugh even on their bad days. They laugh and they have been super loyal they have so that was 2012 when I became a Zumba instructor, and they literally have followed me everywhere. No matter where I've gone.
Fuzz Martin 4:26
Outstanding. So so it's now you live with the location that said, I guess we talked about its proximity to the river and the Columbian but what's the address said?
Jen Lenzendorf 4:34
Absolutely 3130 Newark drive. My neighbors are a cemetery. They're fabulous neighbors.
Fuzz Martin 4:42
It's perfect during Halloween.
Jen Lenzendorf 4:43
It is so 3130 Newark Drive is the actual address. my driveway is the parking lot so you will see my home some people hesitate to pull in because it's a home there. The studio is one of my outbuildings.
Fuzz Martin 4:56
Perfect. Can you walk us through a typical class that AIMS Fitness what is a session look like? What kind of exercises and such Do you focus on with your groups?
Jen Lenzendorf 5:05
Sure, it's changed over the years. And I'm going to split it into two because I do serve the older population and then the people with Parkinson's in their two different types of classes. So the older adults, it has changed over the years, it was always group fitness, we went from Zumba to kick class to flow class, always group, choreographed class, then I started to in 2020, I kind of found my people in the fitness world, people that were already serving older adults. So now what a class looks like is strength based. So take your knee replacements, your hip replacements, your shoulder problems, like I it's semi private, meaning that I try to focus on the individual while in a group setting. So it is we do mobilities first. And that's just getting range of motion in your joints, which is really important as we age. Actually, even if you're young and aging, because we're all aging,
Jen Lenzendorf 6:01
probably better if you like, started young. And it's easier when you get older,
Jen Lenzendorf 6:05
If we all could figure that out years before we do, it would be so much better. So we do our mobilities. And then we do strength based work. And it's based on the individuals. So if you're picking up five pounds, you pick up five pounds, somebody has a shoulder issue, they can only pick up two pounds, they do two pounds, if I have to get a different exercise for them due to their range of motion, we do a different exercise. So it's not a one size fits all. It is a one size individually.
Fuzz Martin 6:31
Yeah. But you said it's still in a kind of group setting, right?
Jen Lenzendorf 6:35
We laugh I think a majority of the time. But it is one of those. Everybody comes to fitness class or an exercise class for specific reason. My ladies come to socialize camaraderie is a huge thing for anybody. So it helps kind of push you along to like, well, I can't stop because I have a person behind me. Right. So it's good that way, as well as the support part of it. Like we understand if somebody's having a bad day.
Fuzz Martin 7:00
Yeah. You know, or where have you been? Do you need help? Yes,
Jen Lenzendorf 7:03
I think so. We have helped many through death of friends and families. I'm dealing with the older adults. So that's part of life, we have dealt with diagnosis is mine owned included. And it's, it's been great. It's you know that they're there. And if you don't show up for a couple of days, they will hunt you down. So it is it's it's great. Yeah, about that support. Yes. And it's they're loyal. They're super loyal, because they know that they feel better after they've exercised. I think sometimes exercise gets a bad name, like naughty like, I think of it as movement. If everybody were to talk about movement, I think it would be a lot better for everybody. Sure. I believe in making them strong for quality of life. So nobody wants to get stuck sitting on the toilet. So that's what we work on. We work on not getting stuck on the toilet. Sure. Yeah. Well, everybody understands that.
Fuzz Martin 7:57
It brings, you know, helps bring dignity and allows you to be self sufficient for years into your your life.
Jen Lenzendorf 8:04
Absolutely. So be independent, like nobody wants to give up their independence. Yeah. And it's tough when you feel that you can't do certain things anymore. And the same goes for the people with Parkinson's. So the class that I run for the people with Parkinson's is actually called Rock Steady Boxing by spanned the headquarters is in Indianapolis, and it is international. And if you specifically have to have Parkinson's to be part of that class, that class also has a format that we follow. And I think the number one thing is you have people sitting in the same room that have the same disease as you and that is priceless. You don't have to explain why your hand is shaken, or why you shuffle your feet. Or why your range of motion on one side is better than the other side. Again, we're working on many things there. So strength balance, boxing, of course, we do not box the whole time and no we do not hit one another no sparring. It is noncontact boxy. All right. But for people with Parkinson's movement is the medicine. Sure. It's been proven, even with chronic fatigue that most people with Parkinson's have, they still show up, and they still do their 45 minutes of work. Again, a warm up and then whatever I've planned for the class and then a cooldown. So
Fuzz Martin 9:23
how many days a week are your clients typically coming in?
Jen Lenzendorf 9:26
Well, my Morning Ladies, that's what I call them. Because it happens to be all ladies that Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I see them and they like I said are very loyal and show up as much as they possibly can. And then for my Rock Steady Boxing. I currently offer nine classes, and I'm adding three more at on November 1. Well, so and they sign up for a class time. So if it's like Monday, Wednesday at one, that's their class time, and on Fridays I offer for all my fighters to come together, which is sometimes a hot mess. organized chaos. I mean, it might not even be organized. But we laugh. We have fun. You walk in my studio door and it's my goal is that you forget what life was on the other side of the door sure an hour and laugh and have fun and banter back and forth. And it's a community.
Yeah, that's what that sounds awesome. And I mean, in any sort of workout kind of class, you get that camaraderie and such. But I think when you're in specialized groups of people to that not everybody experiences the same things that you do. I think that's really important. So yeah, that's really cool. Yes. And kudos to you for for doing that. What made you start to focus on Parkinson's? How did you get there?
A stray cat?
Okay. All right. Tell me more.
Okay, so, a stray cat showed up in my garage one day, and I took him in as my own after I couldn't find his owners. He had numerous medical issues. He had been discarded. Okay, somebody, and I also call them my million dollar cat. He's no longer with us. But anyways, he had gotten sick. And I was supposed to go meet a triplet mom in Chicago, so I had to cancel them. So she's like, let's go out to Vegas and run a half marathon. I said, Sure. Why not? I've never run a half marathon before. Let's do it. And on a plane ride out there, I sat next to a gentleman. His name is Darrell. He had a fitness studio in West Allis. And I got to talking to him. And he had Rock Steady affiliate in his location. And it just, it touched my heart, like just the idea of it touched my heart. At that point, I didn't know that I knew anybody with Parkinson's. And after that meeting, that was like in November, in February, he came and talked to the West Bend support group for PD. And they were interested in having it come to West Bend. And he's like, I know a location. And he offered it to me, and that he would be my mentor, etc. I said, Sure. I jumped in. I didn't think twice about it. Like, yeah, I'll do that. That was February of 2018. In May of 2018, I went to Indy to get certified to be a coach. And on May 14, we had our May 14, we had our first class of two fighters, okay. And at that point, not only did I gain a whole lot of people that I know with Parkinson's now, but I found out some people in my life did have Parkinson's, and we've gone from two fighters in 2018. To I just did the movement observation for fighter number 28 on Monday.
Oh, wow. Okay. And, and they're all in our local community.
Yeah. So I have so I'm the only rack study in Washington County. Okay. If you go on Wisconsin, Parkinson's Association, website and look up exercise groups. There's only two in West Bend only three in Washington County. So it is not an abundance. Sure. So I have people that come from Cedarburg, Random Lake, Hartford, West Bend, Campbellsport. Sure, yeah, at least a 30... 30 minute drive. I think that's so yeah, they're willing to come and they're so those people are, they're dedicated. They, they know. It's their medicine. Yeah. So yeah. So ironically, I'm a fitness professional. I make people move. And my jam is making people with a movement disorder
move. Yeah, I mean, it sounds like people love it. So I love it. Yeah. And obviously you love it. That's, that's great. And it's, it's really cool to see that, that spark and enthusiasm for that.
Yeah. If you can give people quality of life. Like, how priceless is that? Like? Yeah. Speaking of that,
so what sort of misconceptions do people have about fitness for older adults or people with Parkinson's? Okay, first
older adults, just because you age doesn't mean you become frail. I think there is a big misconception about you hit a certain age, let's call it 70. And you shouldn't be standing to exercise. Or you shouldn't be picking up weights. You know, your best just staying home and doing nothing. I think that is a huge misconception. Or the idea that if you pick up weights, you're gonna get these huge muscles, which may take time to build and a lot of discipline. But just being able to, like pick up a jug of milk, like if you put it into to real life, real life is we have to push doors open, we have to pull doors open. We have to get in and out of cars are bad off toilets. If people looked at it more as functional every day, rather than I can't pick up weights because that's what bodybuilders do. Sure. So that's, I think the misconception for older adults misconception for Parkinson's. Very little education is out there about Parkinson's. People know Michael J. Fox, and they know he has dyskinesia X, those erratic movements. People associate tremor with Parkinson's. Obviously, it's all the shaky disease. for a reason, but not everybody has tremors. So. And you don't have to have a tremor to have Parkinson's. So I think there's just a lack of education a lack of knowledge.
Yep. Certainly I would raise my hand and say that I am pretty ignorant to iOS to Parkinson's and what it means.
Absolutely, I was too and I, I learned every day like yesterday, we are talking about eyes. You think about the muscles in your face? And like involuntary eye closure? Yeah, yeah, it's a thing.
Sure. Sure. So you've been doing this for 12 years? You said no.
So I started in 2012. So yeah, 12 years I've been doing it.
So how do you see AIMS Fitness growing or evolving into the future?
Oh, if I could, I would love to have a center that didn't just house me and what I do, but other services for those with Parkinson's, as well as older adults, not I know, we have the senior center. So I don't want to step on any toes. But more specifically Parkinson's, where they have maybe different exercise classes besides mine, support groups, other things to keep them moving, and camaraderie. So my dream would be a center of some sort, as far as my location, I have and am continuing to fill my schedule, the best I can to serve as many as I can, because that is my goal, serve as many Asik
how's the feedback been? Obviously, you're you're getting, you've grown. So that means people are hearing about you. And they're coming through and they're staying with you. So I assume the feedbacks been great.
Their feedback has been great. I am so so so lucky. We have been through challenges. So in 2018, when I started Rock Steady as one of my programs, may I started it in July, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. We made it through all my treatment. When 2019 We had a flood at the studio, we made it through that 2020. We all know what happened there. But they've been extremely loyal. Unless I've had one fighter pass away, and three fighters move out of the area. Okay. So only people that have left, so the feedback is good. They like what they are getting, they are talking about it to their neurologists and their other care providers. I think the word is getting out there more and more that exercise is the medicine for people with Parkinson's. And I think they're with the baby boomers hitting all 65 In the next two years, every one will be at least 65 or older. It's a huge piece of the population that needs to keep moving. So I think there's more awareness. It's just who can help them. So feedback is good. I know that Rock Steady Boxing is scary for people because people don't want to hit people. Sure. So there might be a little misconception there on what we do. But feedback is good. I have some very loyal participants.
Awesome. Jen, if somebody wants to learn more about AIMS Fitness or sign up for classes, what's the best way to get in touch?
Okay, best way to get a hold of me? Well, there's a few so you can call me or text me. My number is 262-909-0602 they can email me at Jen j e n at AIMSFitnessLLC.com. So a i m s f i t n e s s llc.com or visit my website, which is also aimsfitnessllc.com And there is a form on there that you can submit to get more information.
Again you sound extremely passionate, I can tell you are extremely passionate about what you're doing. Thank you for all that you do. And thanks for coming on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz. Oh, thank
you so much for having me.
Thank you again to Jen Lenzendorf of AIMS Fitness for joining me on today's episode of Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz. Again to learn more about AIMS Fitness. Go to Aimsfitnessllc.com. And like Jen, if you ever have an idea for the show, please don't hesitate to reach out go to fuzz.cc/guest and fill in the form. Again it's fuzz.cc/guest or if you prefer to email me it's firstname.lastname@example.org 15 is spelled out don't use the number. Use the word email@example.com. New episodes come out on Tuesdays next week we catch up with Lori Yahr and talk about the Reindeer Run 5k Coming to Regner Park as a part of Enchantment in the Park. Thanks again for listening. I'll talk to you next Tuesday right here on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz.