Mount Airy has its own superhero … and his name is Carpenter. Dean Carpenter.
As Manager of the bustling Northern Wellness & Fitness Center, a division of Northern Hospital of Surry County, Carpenter oversees the day-to-day operations of a facility that offers 42 different fitness-related classes a week and scores of opportunities for members to find the activity or activities that best meet their health-improvement needs.
Carpenter knows that millions of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution to “lose weight” or “get healthy.” To all those hopefuls, his single best piece of advice is to find an activity they enjoy … and then stick with it. “You can hire the greatest trainer alive, but if you aren’t doing something you like, and doing it consistently, your benefits will be limited and very short-lived,” he says.
And he oughta know … because Carpenter puts his muscle where his mouth is. The former U.S. Army 82nd Airborne paratrooper has always had a penchant for breaking sweat. “I’ve always been interested in physical activity and working out, starting when I was 15 years old and began studying the martial arts,” he says. Today, the fourth-degree Black Belt is also a Certified Personal Trainer who teaches martial arts, body-building, strength training and combat conditioning to a wide range of students – including college and semi-pro sports athletes, motivated retirees, and active field agents who carry badges associated with three-letter federal agencies.
Find an Activity You Like
Carpenter notes that finding that right activity is sometimes the hardest part of getting started on a regular exercise activity. “There are many, many options for people to pursue; and my staff and I are happy to help people find the
right one (or more) that works for them,” he says.
As a full-service facility, Northern Wellness & Fitness Center includes a full complement of exercise equipment and multiple work-out areas – including all types of Nautilus machines (treadmills, ellipticals, stair-climbers, etc.); a full-sized basketball court with removable pickle ball and volleyball nets and wrestling mats; an aerobics room with climbing ropes, Russian kettle bells, weight bars and hand weights; a 25-meter indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, and an outdoor pool. There’s also an indoor, rubber-padded walking trail. The Center’s health-minded staff offer dozens of individual and group classes and programs, such as Water Aerobics, Zumba, Yoga, Advanced Movement Protocol and Jiu Jitsu.
The gregarious Carpenter also advocates good, old-fashioned walking – either inside or out … and alone or with a buddy. “My wife and I enjoy walking together in our neighborhood, where we can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature,” he says. “Walking is very regenerative and recuperative.”
Consistency Brings Success
Regardless of one’s physical status, Carpenter reminds all exercise/fitness participants of the importance of consistency. “When people invest in the stock market, the value of their portfolio may rise and fall; but when they invest in themselves on a consistent basis, there’s no downside – because they feel better, they function better, and they work better,” says Carpenter.
He also cautions clients against having unrealistic expectations. “That’s what we Americans do – we strive for perfection and want immediate results,” he says. “But I tell everyone to not let the pursuit of perfection paralyze them, and to establish realistic goals. I advise them to start slowly … and not over-do it. And I also remind them that they didn’t get out of shape in two days, and they won’t get back in-shape in two days.”
Carpenter’s extroverted nature is evident in his positive, friendly interactions with all those he encounters. As he walks briskly about the Center, he smiles and high-fives several elderly gentlemen sipping coffee, stops and offers praise to a young athlete lifting weights, and shouts encouragement to a middle-aged woman starting a treadmill routine.
Asked about his own New Year’s resolution for 2018, Carpenter confides, “As in years past, one of my resolutions is to continue to encourage people to get … and stay … active. I very much want people to remember that every ‘baby step’ they take in some type of physical activity is another move forward in their path to a healthier lifestyle.”
For more information about Northern Wellness & Fitness Center, visit us online at www.northernwellnesscenter.com