By Jeanne Sager
SULLIVAN COUNTY January 11, 2005 Andre Turan has his eye on the hands of time.
A certified fitness trainer, Turan has long tried to find the secret balance between being in shape and staying that way.
The answer would seem obvious, he said exercise.
But exercise the wrong way or too strenuously, and youre worse off than you would have been if you hadnt bothered.
Eighty percent of the people I speak with have had some sort of injury in exercise, Turan explained.
The injuries run the gamut from pulled back muscles to blown out knees Turans own problems date back to his 20s when, as a marathoner, he found he could no longer climb a simple set of stairs because of the pain in his knees.
With a history of family obesity, Turan knew it was time to make a change either learn to exercise in a way that would help and not hinder his development, or face the range of problems sweeping an obese America.
His job, as executive vice president of an alternative health company in New York City, put him right in the epicenter of learning.
The company sold vitamins, sponsored retreats across the country, even sent Turan to conferences where he could powwow with experts in health and fitness.
He slowly developed an entire exercise repertoire, based on the study of muscle movement and its effect on the body. He earned his fitness training certification and got himself back into tip-top shape.
Eight years ago, Turan and wife Ramona Jan purchased a home in Damascus, Pa.
He kept his job in the city while Ramona and the couples 10-year-old daughter Lucy moved to the country.
As the years passed, Turan found it harder and harder to leave when his weekends were up.
By the time Id get up here Id just recover and have to head back, he recalled. And I had to be hands on, I couldnt telecommute.
Six months ago, Turan made the choice to take his exercise style Physica Fitness to the masses.
He left his job in the city and began a transition period, teaching Physica part-time in Manhattan and spending more time at home in Damascus.
A month ago, Turan realized he was picking up more clients and counteracting his plans to cut ties with New York City.
He gave up his client base and decided to start the Health and Fitness Map in Sullivan County where he could share his love of exercise and still head home every night to his family.
So far, Turan has developed three locations where he will be offering health assessments and then classes to anyone interested in working out his way.
He starts with the free assessment offered to anyone, whether they sign up for a class or not.
The goal is to help people understand where they need to be in terms of fitness he looks at blood pressure, previous injuries, explains what a person needs to work at their target heart rate.
Based on someones assessment, Turan can then modify the exercise program to fit their needs.
Injuries can be accommodated for, and folks of different age groups and skill sets can be brought into one classroom.
This isnt something taken into consideration with group fitness, Turan explained.
A health assessment will generally take 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the person, but Turan encourages anyone to make an appointment.
Out of a dozen people, maybe three will come to my class, but the other nine will walk away with information about themselves I think thats important, he explained.
The assessment can go as far as explaining the benefit of someones current exercise regimen they might be walking three times a week and never hitting their target heart rate.
Theyre getting very minimal results, whereas in that amount of time they could have much bigger health benefits, Turan noted.
Turans plan is to offer a personal training program in a group setting.
Because the program is personalized for each person, they can work on their own needs with Turans help and the camaraderie of a workout group.
They have personal training in a group setting for $12.38 a session instead of hiring a personal trainer for $50 or $75 an hour, Turan explained.
Currently the programs are available in Callicoon at the Delaware Youth Center, in Liberty at the Fitness Center and Monticello at the Fitness Factory.
But Turans also got his van stocked full of weights and mats so he can go anywhere.
Civic organizations and senior citizen groups are encouraged to call him and book his services he can come by for health assessments and then set up a program from there.
Im willing to travel all over the area it beats the 2 1/2 hour to 3 1/2 hour schlep to the city! Turan explained.
All the customers need to bring is water and a towel and wear sneakers and appropriate exercise attire.
And be prepared to move! Turan noted.
The workout is geared to anyone even intense athletes, he said and customers are accepted at any time.
All classes are for all levels at any points, Turan explained. Theres very little coordination required.
If you can move your left and right arm in opposite directions at the same time, thats about as complicated as it gets.
Turan said he hopes to share this program with as many people as possible because its his link to the future.
I want to strengthen this program and create a fitness scene in this area for as long as I live this is my passion, he said. Its sort of a missing link in fitness the non-impact, the personal approach.
All people want out of exercise ultimately is vitality, Turan added. I see its possible for people to be very, very old and be vital.
When people say age is catching up with me, I say lets do something about that, he explained. Lets not leave it up to chance.
To set up a health assessment or learn more about Physica Fitness, call Turan at 570-224-8263 or visit www.physicafitness.com.