Beach bodies

With 34 years in the fitness industry, Denise Nelson knows that bodies and fitness needs change over time.
Marie Havenga
Jun 12, 2014


“As I've gotten older, my body has been changing, so I wanted to offer some classes that would be geared for mid-life and the onward exerciser,” said Nelson, who recently moved from Grand Rapids to Spring Lake

As owner of Heartbeat Fitness, she designed workouts for those 40 and over, aimed to keep them limber, active and healthy.

And part of that health is breathing fresh air. She holds her classes on local beaches.

The first local class – Beach Pilates – starts in July at Lakeside Beach in Spring Lake. Cost is $5 per session.

“It's a beginner to intermediate pilates course for men and women who want to learn technique and to see what pilates and yoga can do for them and their health,” Nelson said. “Those two types of exercises are brilliant for helping the body heal, rejuvenate and get strong.”

A Zumba gold class is also slated for Lakeside Beach at the north end of Lake Avenue.

She said she doesn't expect participants to perform like 20-year-olds. She hopes a class geared toward graceful aging will help people feel comfortable with whatever stage of fitness they bring to the beach.

And she strives to make it fun, by adding props like beach balls and pool noodles.

“I want people to feel good, have fun, and keep coming back,” Nelson said. “I want to gear all my classes to a success formula – easy to follow, fun and you feel rejuvenated for the whole rest of the day.”

Most classes last six to eight weeks. Nelson prefers that people pre-register, but drop-ins are welcome. Visit for a complete schedule.

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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