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His Own Method

Democrat Photo by Jeanne Sager

ANDRE TURAN HAS developed his own exercise program called Physica Fitness. Turan, who lives in Damascus, Pa., is teaching the fitness plan to men and women of all ages.

Andre Turan Finds
That 'Secret Balance'

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 you’re worse off than you would have been if you hadn’t 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 – Turan’s 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 couple’s 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 I’d get up here I’d just recover and have to head back,” he recalled. “And I had to be hands on, I couldn’t 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 someone’s 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 isn’t 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 that’s important,” he explained.
The assessment can go as far as explaining the benefit of someone’s current exercise regimen – they might be walking three times a week and never hitting their target heart rate.
“They’re getting very minimal results, whereas in that amount of time they could have much bigger health benefits,” Turan noted.
Turan’s 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 Turan’s 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 Turan’s 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.
“I’m 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. “There’s very little coordination required.
“If you can move your left and right arm in opposite directions at the same time, that’s about as complicated as it gets.”
Turan said he hopes to share this program with as many people as possible because it’s 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. “It’s 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 it’s possible for people to be very, very old and be vital.
“When people say ‘age is catching up with me,’ I say ‘let’s do something about that,’” he explained. “Let’s 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

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