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When Fitness changes your life

Coming back from injury to run a 20k race, losing 30kg in a year, and making life-enhancing health improvements at the age of 78: our members tell stories of how Aspria has helped them turn their lives around.

Regaining motivation after an injury

François Mazure is a journalist with the RTBF in Belgium, presenter and editor-in-chief of 7 à la Une – and a member of Aspria Royal La Rasante. He explains how his personal trainer Lyes restored his passion for sport and got him ready to run the Brussels 20k.

“Sport has always been a part of my life, and the 20k is something I wanted to do for a long time – but it so nearly didn’t happen.

“I started playing basketball at the age of eight and grew up dreaming of the NBA, and for 10 years I managed to combine work and basketball competition. But in 2013, injury stopped me in my tracks: I tore the lateral ligaments of my knee and had to stop all activity.

“After several months of rehabilitation, my knee was OK again, but I had lost my motivation. The realities of everyday life – not least work and my little boy growing up – had undermined my passion for sport.

“It was only when I joined Aspria that sport became a pleasure again. I began to train with the goal of running the 20k.”

He continues: “When you return to sport after some time off, it’s easy to pick up injuries or feel demoralised. I realised I needed structure and support – a framework for my training – if I was going to achieve the results I wanted.

“My personal trainer at Aspria, Lyes, is an athlete who managed my progress perfectly. He made me realise that running isn’t just about lacing up your sneakers and hitting the roads: we’ve also done plyometrics to strengthen the joints and muscles involved in running. We’ve worked on endurance, muscle mass, reflexology. No two workouts have ever been the same, so I never get bored, and each session has been tailored to my exact needs.

“All of this helped me avoid injury, so I could train efficiently and prepare for the race in a very short time. And I’ve achieved goals I could never have achieved alone – I far exceeded my expectations in the 20k, completing it in a time of 1h46.”

He concludes: “I’ll keep up with my sport, as I’ve found it gives me more energy to juggle family and work commitments. I get to work off my stress and I sleep better too.

“Plus I now have a taste for new challenges and adventures. Lyes thinks it’ll be a triathlon for me next!”

Weight loss to improve health and enhance life

Rossana Angeleri has been a member of Aspria Harbour Club in Milan since 2009. Aged 57 she’s full of life and energy – but that wasn’t the case a year ago. In spite of working out two or three times a week, she wasn’t losing weight and was at risk of developing diabetes. She tells her story…

“I weighed 104 kg and wore a size 54. I had high blood pressure, high insulin levels, my thyroid was struggling… I’d consulted dieticians and weight loss experts, but nobody was able to work out what was wrong and my health was really suffering.

“I knew I needed to do something about it, so I consulted Stefano Marini, the fitness supervisor at Aspria Harbour Club Milan. He immediately referred me to the right nutritionist and recommended targeted training: not only aerobic workouts but also weight training, working on a different muscle group every day.

“For the past year, I’ve trained at the gym six times a week. At first, I had to spend long periods walking on the treadmill, because I was too overweight to run. Now I can get out and enjoy the park with my husband on a Sunday.”

She continues: “I now weigh 75kg and am a size 44. Those 30 kg less have changed my life – how I feel both physically and mentally.

“My blood tests are like those of a young girl. Friends don’t recognise me at the club – they say I look like Rossana's little sister. I'm very proud of the journey I’ve taken, but I know it's not over. My next goal is to shed the last 8kg – the hardest to lose – but I continue to train and follow a balanced diet, so I'm sure I’ll reach this goal as well.”

Stefano adds: "Rossana is my best success story in 30 years of working in fitness. At age 57, it isn’t easy to change your metabolism, change your lifestyle, lose 30 kg in just one year.

“She had already been training regularly and had followed several low-calorie diets which weren’t combined with activity. The breakthrough was definitely meeting with our nutritionist, combined with more strength-focused training and the use of a heart rate monitor to make sure she was burning fat and not just sugars.

“Rossana is a different woman now. People like her are the reason I do my job.”

Getting fit for a longer, healthier life

Inge Pieper is a member of Aspria Hannover Maschsee, having joined in August 2008. Now aged 78, she views the club as her passport to a longer life, as she explains here…

“For me, it was important to extend my life expectancy. I suffer from a number of conditions such as asthma, and I used to suffer from pulmonary infections. I wanted to feel good in my own body again. I wanted to find a place I could improve my health and relax.

“Nine years on and my hopes have not only been fulfilled by Aspria but exceeded, thanks to the great support from everyone there. The entire Aspria team is like a second family to me and relaxation begins the moment you enter the club.

“Alongside my therapy, I swim at the club and use the sauna almost daily, and that has really helped improve and stabilise my health. Previously, swimming in the Maschsee lake would have been unthinkable; today it is my everyday normality.

“Taking part in nutritional courses and attending lectures has also been very helpful – these sessions always teach me new things and increase my motivation and ability to look after myself.

“In fact, the improvements in my health came about very quickly: the results of all the medical examinations carried out by my doctor haven’t really changed since I started the Aspria wellness programme nine years ago. They remain very stable and very positive.

“I hope to continue coming here for a long time. Aspria is a gift for me: it’s my Fountain of Youth!”

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