Fitness for Everybody
GOING Fit, which brings group exercise to communities through Brunswick County, is celebrating its 10th anniversary of making local residents healthier and happier.
Heather Wilson, founder of GOING Fit, is committed to helping people get healthy one community at a time throughout Brunswick County.
“The mission was always to reach people in their communities where they feel safe and offer effective, customized classes,” Wilson says. “We’re mobile. I don’t have a studio. I come to them, and I come to them meeting their needs.”
Those specific needs of residents, she goes on to explain, are met emotionally, physically and mentally in all the realms of their wellbeing.
GOING Fit, Wilson’s mobile group exercise company, has been doing just that for the past 10 years by providing exercise classes at more than 70 communities including St. James Plantation, Bluffs on The Cape Fear, Magnolia Greens and Winding River as well as in New Hanover County and in eastern Pennsylvania. She began with a few classes and now offers more than 220 classes a week in two states.
“My number one goal has always been to get as many people in a community moving,” Wilson says. “And, by the grace of God, we’re still going!”
Originally from Wisconsin, Wilson earned a degree in advertising in 1987. She began teaching fitness classes in 1997 after putting her career on hold when she became a mom of two.
“I loved it and went to many different places teaching, and then when it came time for me to get a full-time gig, I was like, ‘I can’t leave fitness,’” Wilson says. “I asked all of my instructors who I was working with at the time, ‘Hey, if I started my own company, would you work for me?’ And they said, ‘Yeah!’ So that’s how it really started.”
Wilson had lived in Wilmington from 2000 to 2007, moved to Pennsylvania, where she lived until 2013 and first started GOING Fit, and returned to live along the North Carolina coast that year.
“When I came back to this region, I thought, ‘I’ll start [GOING Fit] back up,” she says. “It took a little bit longer, but, once again, I went back to the gals that I had taught with before and they all came back to work for me because we were friends. And that’s the whole thing: When you work out together, you make the best friends! It’s way more than just exercising. It’s just as much social as it is physical. And it was for me, too.”
Serving mostly senior adult communities, along with rec centers countywide, GOING Fit has found such success over the past decade because of the residents’ built-in buddy system already in place in the neighborhoods and the extreme affordability. Wilson and her team of trained, insured and state-certified instructors offer hundreds of class options.
“The main reason that we’ve been able to go for over 10 years is because I have a great team,” Wilson says. “They’re top-notch, they all have a lot of experience and they’re all professionals. But the number one thing is: We do not cancel. It’s important to show up for exercise! … So, even if there’s rain in the forecast and we have an outdoor water class scheduled, we want you to show up and we’ll do something else, like go indoors and offer you a seated yoga class or something.”
The GOING Fit exercise curriculum ranges from aquatic programs and water aerobics to yoga and everything in between, depending on each community’s wants and needs.
GOING Fit has arthritis foundation classes, balance and core classes, cardio classes, seated classes, strength classes and more. Students can reserve their spot in class online.
“I act as a built-in group exercise director at each of our 70 communities, so I find out about their needs after I get a contract,” Wilson says, “and then I start to put together a group program based on those needs. I schedule month to month, always fine-tuning it and always updating it to make sure they have the best group exercise program.”
GOING Fit offers everything from personal training and group exercise to small group sessions and swim lessons. And everything they do brings the people of the community together.
“Group exercise meets all the needs of a human body, plus emotional and mental needs,” Wilson says. “I don’t want anyone to ever feel alone. And the human body is amazing at what it can do. You’ll see somebody who can barely walk, but you put them in the pool and train them in the pool, and they’re with their fellow neighbors having a great time and, within a summer, all of a sudden, their balance is better, they’ve lost weight and they can walk better now.”
Wilson loves her calling to change others’ lives through GOING Fit.
“It is my lot in life,” she says. “I did not grow up in a family that was focused on health for mind and body. Basically, whatever my community needs, we’re going to provide it.”
Want more information?
GOING Fit- book a class or to find out how you can establish a GOING Fit group exercise program in your community, visit goingfitexercise.com