September 2009

Beyond Weights and Workouts: Achieve Total Health and Wellness

Author: Blanche T. Sullivan

Turn on the TV, read the paper, or surf the Net on any given day and, in addition to ample news regarding skyrocketing healthcare costs, you are sure to find numerous references to our country’s population as overweight, out of shape, too sedentary, lacking adequate sleep, battling back problems, over-medicating, etc.

At the same time, more and more people, of all ages, are expressing a greater interest in their health and are taking a more proactive role in achieving and maintaining overall wellness. But instead of solely lifting weights to build mass or engaging in aerobic workouts to burn fat, a greater number of people are also incorporating such services as spa treatments, nutritional counseling and chiropractic care into their health programs in order to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

Recognizing this increased interest in overall health, possessing a passionate desire to help people and realizing that people have hectic lives and limited time, Alon Mintz and Amir Bitton decided to open Fusion Fitness, a health club offering a holistic approach—a “fusion” of wellness and fitness with a broad range of services designed to help people achieve all of their wellness and fitness goals in one inviting, friendly, well-equipped, yet affordable facility.

According to Mintz, Fusion Fitness, which opened in August 2008 and is situated in Bluffton’s Moss Creek Village, in Gold’s Gym club’s former location, “is passionately committed to creating an environment that welcomes everyone to improve their fitness and health.”

In addition to being one of the largest health clubs in the Lowcountry, Fusion Fitness may be the most comprehensive. Offering 20,000 pounds of traditional free weights and popular lines of exercise equipment, including Star Trac, Cybex, Life Fitness and Hammer Strength, the 12,000-square-foot facility also features professional trainers, a pro shop, indoor tanning, an Internet café, child care in a kid-friendly space adorned with Disney characters, massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, full-service locker rooms with dry saunas and a cardio theater.

For those who enjoy participating in fitness-related classes, Fusion Fitness offers a plethora of interesting options including yoga, step, Pilates, boot camp, Zumba, body pump, body flow, kickboxing, belly dancing, martial arts and spinning. Fusion’s “Tour de Spin” spinning class takes place in a room outfitted with a big screen TV and black walls with glow-in-the-dark paint. The lights go out, the video plays and your biking adventure begins!

Many experts credit chiropractic therapy with helping to relieve conditions and ailments such as neck and back pain, headaches, sports injuries and Fibromyalgia. Chiropractic care has also been touted as helping people improve their golf game, regulate blood sugar and relieve symptoms of hormonal issues, and more. Fusion’s chiropractic center, headed by Dr. Brandon Shapiro, offers “a unique program focusing on core strengthening, while resolving acute complaints and achieving optimal results.”

According to Alex Pacheco, Fusion’s sales manager, connecting with the community and providing an inviting environment for members is key. “The biggest thing Alon and Amir wanted to do was create an atmosphere where people feel welcome and at home, like family,” he said. “We are committed to helping. Whatever we have to do to get people to come and adopt a healthier lifestyle, we will do it. That is our goal.”

Pacheco said Fusion sponsors a “Biggest Loser Challenge” program, assisting participants every step of the way, and often hosts seminars for area businesses regarding such topics as fitness, nutrition and health insurance. Understanding the challenges associated with maintaining a healthy diet and the important role a proper diet plays in achieving wellness, Fusion Fitness employs a professional nutritionist. In addition, Donna Albritton Lewis, an independent beauty consultant, performs makeovers for Fusion members on Saturdays and Sundays and, according to Mintz, a full-service onsite salon and spa is in the works.

Fusion Fitness prides itself on offering a variety of flexible membership packages, affordable pricing and unlimited “freeze time”—allowing members to temporarily discontinue their memberships while they are traveling or living elsewhere. The club has already undergone a number of well-received renovations and enhancements, such as wood floors and new TVs, and Mintz said that they will continue renovating the club to create the most positive and enjoyable experience they can to appeal to both their valued existing members and to attract new ones.
“With the economy now, many people view health as a luxury. They wait until they are sick or need surgery to do something,” said Mintz. “We want to help people see health as a necessity and make it easy and fun for them to achieve total fitness and wellness.”

Fusion Fitness is open Monday-Thursday, 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fridays, 5:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sundays, noon-6 p.m. For more information, please call (843) 837-4653 or visit

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