DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Lori Lawson lifts and moves a 10-pound ball while sitting on another ball during a workout session with Palma.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Fitness!
Door-to-door personal trainers offer customized workouts in the comfort of your own home
Lori Lawson has taken baby steps in the fitness department. But she describes the accomplishments as giant leaps and bounds.
Chronically ill with Crohn's disease and fibromyalgia, Lawson needed someone to help her exercise. "I needed to make sure I don't hurt myself or create more pain," she said.
Enter Reggie Palma with Fitness at Your Door.
Palma, a personal trainer with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and a master's in physiology, visits people's homes and sets up workout routines that suit their individual needs. Palma also has 15 years of experience as a personal trainer.
"He focuses on what I'm achieving ... and understands my pace," she said. "I was so sick at one point, I had trouble walking."
Palma started by strengthening Lawson's muscles with simple walks and stretches that evolved into 10- to 15-minute walks every other day. "Now, I jog in short spurts," she said.
Going into the home to set up workout routines has advantages, Palma says. "They are in a more comfortable area, their own domain. They may feel more empowered. It also gives me a better feel of how they live."
On an initial visit, Palma completes a lifestyle and body-composition analysis, considering medical conditions and fitness history.
One of the main goals is "to make them happy in their own skin," Palma said. "I look for clues to change their mind-set. I teach people how to use their bodies first and add in equipment as they progress."
Lawson has maintained a regular routine for a couple of months, sometimes at home, other times at a park or another agreed-upon location. "We can meet anywhere on the island. I'm not stuck in a gym with gray walls and pounding rap music," she said.
Lawson claims she was never excited about working out, but is pleased with the results, which include being less tired. "I've learned how to take care of my body. I've never been overweight, but I noticed that it helps me maintain my weight," she said.
"I've spent my whole life sick and in pain -- it feels like a miracle."
David and Pat Poe felt they needed some sort of miraculous motivation. They were working long days, and leading sedentary lives once they reached home.
"After a full day at work and sitting in traffic, you don't want to go to a workout routine," David said. "Our energy levels were depleted."
The Poes started working with Palma 10 weeks ago and are already feeling the benefits. They both saw significant differences in their lab results and have lowered their blood pressure. Pat also had a bump in her neck, due to poor posture and the overdevelopment of certain muscles; that has gone away since she began working out.
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Reggie Palma puts David and Pat Poe through a stretching and warmup routine at the Poe's home in Waimalu.
"I'm sitting all day and much more aware of stretching, walking and breathing," she said.
"We are definitely more aware of our bodies," David said. The couple exercises everyday now, using a ball workout and stationary bike, and practicing some core exercises.
"You don't need much equipment once you get started," Palma said. Mostly, he uses a workout ball, medicine ball, rubber bands and a yoga mat -- tying everything together with a mind-body-spirit approach.
"We have seen improvements in our mentality, as well as our health," Pat said. "We start learning from within. We have attention on doing things correctly. We know which muscles we are working."
The Poes also learned to be patient. "When you are working hard and don't see results, you hit a wall. Its difficult to go any further without seeing changes," David said. "Now we see the value in maintaining a consistent workout."
The main thing was fitting an exercise routine into their schedule. "In the beginning, we made a commitment of one hour per week," Pat said. "At first, just sitting on the ball was difficult. Now, we don't need to brace anything."
Proper nutrition is also discussed during sessions. "We understand what is on our plate now and make decisive changes," David said. "We order dressing on the side and are more conscious of choices."
They also learned not to berate themselves for not cleaning their plates, which was not easy, David said. "It's local style to never waste food -- to always finish a meal."
Look under "personal fitness trainers" in the yellow pages for establishments that offer these services. Reggie Palma of Fitness at your door may be reached at 392-2314.