When her mother died from complications with rheumatoid arthritis and other health-related issues in her early sixties, Beverly Beatty became passionate about helping senior citizens improve their quality of life.
For the past 28 years, she has taught fitness classes on the Hill geared toward older clients as a tribute to her mother, Jean.
“I decided to get involved with helping seniors because of the love I had for my mom.” Beatty said. “She was bed-ridden for a long time before she passed away. In addition, when my children became older and moved on with their lives, and I didn’t have my parents to spend quality time with, I turned my energies toward fitness training.”
Always an active person, she was middle-aged when she first visited a gym.
“I was more of an outdoor athlete who enjoyed walking and running,” Beatty said. “My first gym experience wasn’t great because when I paid my fee to join for a full year, I went on a brief vacation. When I came back, the gym was gone.”
Her initial experience did not dissuade her. “One day, I decided to go join another gym,” she said. “The next thing I know, I was taking classes and loving it and thought what a great thing to do something for myself and to give back to seniors.”
When Beatty first started her career as a trainer, a niche for older people did not exist at the gym. Now, she has full classes. Her oldest student is 93.
“The beauty of fitness now is that it’s something everybody can do,” the San Pedro resident said. “There’s even wheelchair Zumba now, which is evidence that there’s a place for everyone in the gym as opposed to how it used to be.”
Currently, Beatty teaches Gold Zumba, Forever Fit Chair, Cardio Express, Power Sculpt and Serenity Stretch classes at the Bay Club in Rolling Hills Estates. She also serves as a fitness trainer at the Peninsula Seniors Center in Rancho Palos Verdes and the Palos Verdes Beach and Athletic Club in Palos Verdes Estates.
“We get people of all ages here at the Bay Club, and Beverly seems to attract the retired crowd that comes in,” said Nick Diciaula, general manager of the Bay Club. “She knows how to talk through the workouts in a way that the older people understand.”
Beatty isn’t the only senior trainer around. Another is Carol Argo, who teaches yoga, Pilates and Nia at the Bay Club.
“Total fitness is a state of well-being and a lifestyle practice,” said Argo, who has been teaching fitness classes in PV for almost 30 years. “It is about having the energy and vitality to live our lives to the fullest. A relaxed positive mind, healthy body and joyful spirit will make you feel, look and be your very best.”
Argo, who also started an aquatics program at the Canterbury Retirement Home in RPV, said that one of the keys to keeping up a youthful appearance is having a healthy interest in life.
“In addition to being good to your body in terms of what you eat and how you think, it’s good to stay curious about life,” she said. “It’s important to continue to learn and travel. In my classes, I try to keep my students challenged enough to where they feel like they’re growing.”
Beatty also shares a connection with her students.
“I really feel the energy of my students,” Beatty said. “They help me stay healthy, strong and positive while having fun. Many friendships are formed in my classes, and we are here for one another on our journey to a healthy lifestyle.”