Sandy Tammel was headed down a painful and unhealthy road after slowly gaining weight over many years, resulting in her becoming overweight in her later years, which created many health issues and accumulating medical bills.
Tammel had high cholesterol and triglycerides, became pre-diabetic, and was also dealing with fibromyalgia and arthritis in her hips, knees and lower back.
“In 2013 I was suppose to have both of my hips replaced because of arthritis in my hips,” states Tammel. Her husband suggested she look into getting a personal trainer but, “I thought that was only for the elite and athletic people” says Tammel.
Shortly thereafter, “I was in so much pain trying to walk a small distance of a block that I gave in and started training with Melinda Lutes, previous owner of Coffee Street Fitness & Dance,” in Lanesboro, Minn., says Tammel.
“She taught me how to lift weights and strengthen my core the proper way. Within eight months I lost 60 pounds and felt 30 years younger. Yes, I felt like I was in my mid twenties and back to that same weight I was then with a lot of energy to burn again,” notes Tammel.
“I got off all my medications. My high cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels were all normal,” states Tammel, and she did not have to have her hips replaced.
“At that point I wanted to ‘Pay it forward’ to the community. So I went back to school at my senior-approaching age to pursue a ‘new goal in life’ of becoming a fitness trainer myself” and to “promote senior fitness,” Tammel explains.
Tammel not only completed her goal of becoming a personal trainer she also attended a two-day seminar in the twin cities a couple years ago for additional training and now offers Tai Ji Quan – A Matter of Balance class.
After going into a business partnership with Lutes for a year, Tammel became sole owner of Coffee Street Fitness Center in October 2015 when Lutes moved on to another career.
“This is the most rewarding endeavor I have done in my life!” states Tammel, saying, “for the past three years I have individually trained almost 30 people from ages 40-84 years young,” and adds, “it is very rewarding to see the difference in how people’s fitness levels change and how good they feel about themselves” once they take the step to be active and healthy.
“I have a large group of people I individually train twice a week plus group classes,” explains Tammel. She has a very busy schedule but says, “I am so happy to do this because I know how important exercise is to maintain one’s health at any age,” and it can change your life for the better.
The classes Tammel offers at Coffee Street Fitness Center include Mondays and Wednesdays – Active Senior Fitness Class and Senior Strength & Balance class and on Tuesdays and Thursdays she offers Yoga, Total Body Workout, and on Tuesdays only there is a Shake Your Soul Dance Class.
Senior Strength & Balance/Tai Ji Quan classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Harmony, Spring Valley, and Preston, Minn.
Tai Ji Quan classes take place from June through August, while Senior Strength & Balance classes go from January through May 25 each year.
Southeastern Minnesota Area Agency on Aging (SEMAAA) sponsors the Senior Strength & Balance Classes which are described by the foundation as “a low-impact physical activity program proven to reduce pain and decrease stiffness,” states Tammel.
Coffee Street Fitness has a fully equipped fitness center with treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machine, Nu-Step machines, recumbent bikes, free-weights and fitness balls, along with “an entire circuit of nautilus equipment to work every body part and muscle,” says Tammel.
Exercise is not only for the young, and the group classes are not only for seniors as, “we have group classes at Coffee Street Fitness for all ages that assist in building physical strength and endurance along with flexibility, balance and coordination,” states Tammel.
“The Senior Fitness classes are available for any age, not just seniors. If someone younger has a disability or something that keeps them from physical activities, I would recommend this class,” explains Tammel.
“Coffee Street Fitness participates with several insurance companies for membership reimbursement. Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN, Health Partners, Preferred One, Medica and U-care, which help members get reimbursement toward their monthly membership dues. We also participate with Silver and Fit Program for Medicare eligible persons who qualify for free fitness center membership,” states Tammel. All the more reason to get started in a class today!
Tammel offers tours of the Lanesboro Fitness Center if you would like to come in and see it before deciding whether to start a membership. “We offer month to month memberships and annual memberships to start any time during the year,” states Tammel, adding, “if you have a guest, family members or friends in town we also offer guest memberships for a day, two days, or a week” as well.