People, Places and Things: Be Fit
Be Fit offers unique services
Be Fit Physical Fitness and Pilates Ltd. is “a little bit out of the box for traditional therapy,” said owner Marylou Savino. While the center, which opened more than three years ago, provides typical physical therapy services, it’s positioned itself as more of a holistic health, wellness and fitness center. “Those are passions of mine, so I’ve made Be Fit more all encompassing,” said Savino.
Be Fit is unique in that the center integrates much of its physical therapy with Pilates.
“It’s unusual,” Savino said. “Most physical therapy places are standard. They do traditional therapies, modalities and exercises, but you generally don’t see pilates equipment.”
Although the principles for pilates are close to those for rehabilitation, Savino said, most physical therapy students are not taught Pilates during their training and are thus unable to work with it. Savino finds that Pilates often helps with speed and efficacy of rehabilitation.
Savino started her career teaching fitness classes while attending school to become a physical therapy assistant.
“I was a certified personal trainer and started taking classes in pilates," she said.
When she started working in physical therapy she eventually started incorporating pilates into what she was doing with patients. It progressed from there. Savino spent several subsequent years teaching continuing education courses on using pilates as part of rehabilitation.
“I decided I wanted to open a clinic doing what I was teaching,” she said.
Savino said that pilates is beneficial to her patients and clients as it provides full body exercise without straining joints.
“It’s not just about strengthening and flexibility. It’s more like yoga with principles incorporating breath and flow and centering the core, and control and form,” she said.
Many of Savino’s clients are patients who come in with orthopedic problems.
“We get a lot of back and neck patients, people with chronic pain, join replacements, rotator cuff injuries, a lot of ankle injuries and plantar fasciitis,” she said. Many patients are referred by physicians; many others come as the result of referrals from other patients. Savino also has clients who come just for private pilates sessions.
Savino expanded Be Fit offerings when she recognized that patients completing their rehab were looking for a safe place to continue to exercise. She introduced classes for pilates, yoga, rumba and more. Some students are former patients who are transitioning into independent exercise. Others, she said, are people from the community who just like the classes.
Be Fit also holds monthly Pamper Me parties, typically on the third Thursday of the month. The parties include reflexology sessions, chair massages, tarot for empowerment, and vendors from area businesses.
“People really seem to enjoy this,” said Savino. She also arranges private parties and girls’ nights out. On October 22, Be Fit will hold a Mommy and Child Reflexology Workshop.
“We are unique in what we do and what we offer. It’s a little bit different,” said Savino. “In this economy we’re happy to be thriving. We have a lot of return business. A lot of it has been word of mouth. Our patients and clients are happy with us and tell other people about us. That’s where the majority of our business comes from which is great. We’re happy that people like what we’re doing.”
For additional information, visit www.befitpt.com