The Gratitude Challenge has just started! Running from November 1st–21st, it’s a lot of fun, but there’s a reason we call it a challenge! We asked Paula, last year’s winner, to tell us about her experience and share some of her tips to help you do your best.

MOVE Wellness Studios Gratitude Challenge WinnerWhat are you grateful for?  I am grateful for my family and my health.  9 years ago I developed an autoimmune disease, which among other symptoms, caused muscle weakness.  It took years of work to get my strength back, but I am now much more physically fit than before I became ill.  I still have the illness but it is managed well with medications. I have a husband and 10 children, who are amazing and keep me young. They also motivate me to stay healthy so that I can have fun with them!

How did you stay motivated to attend class everyday and win last year’s Gratitude Challenge? Last year I was motivated to win the challenge because I wanted to give the package as a gift to my daughter who was recovering from a severe health crisis.  Since I already attend most days, I just made sure that I didn’t skip–no “days off” or excuses to myself.

Do you have any tips for someone who may not have participated in the challenge before?  Try new classes! Even if they seem too hard, it’s okay to try.  Take more than one class a day.  I often do a harder pilates or barre class followed by a stretching type class like yoga  or gyrokinesis.  If you don’t normally go to weekend classes, do that.  If you work during the day, try an evening class. Even if you don’t want to commit to a class every Wednesday evening, the challenge is only 3 weeks!

Join us in celebrating our gratitude for a fit and healthy body by participating in the MOVE Wellness Studios Gratitude Challenge. Prepare your body, mind and spirit to launch a focused and conscious holiday season and jump-start a routine for your most fit and happy self. To participate, simply take as many classes or private sessions as you can in from November 1-21st. You’ll be entered in a drawing to win weekly prizes and the Grand Prize of a $100 Gift Card to give to someone you’re grateful for or use for yourself!

We are happy to shine the spotlight on MOVE Wellness Studios friend, coach, and client, Carol Anderson. Carol was a development consultant for 35 years and is releasing her debut memoir this October.

“To me, wellness means being alive in body, mind and spirit – open to learning, engaged with friends in meaningful conversation, cherishing the love in my life—having gratitude. I’m touched by the resilience of the human spirit – the ability of people to suffer tremendous loss and rise again. I’m excited to say that my first book, a memoir, You Can’t Buy Love Like That: Growing up Gay in the Sixties, is coming out October 17 of this year. I wanted to tell a story that was based in love – for my parents, for my chosen partner, for myself; and to inspire young people who are struggling with their identity to choose love and to trust people close to them with their truth. The underlying theme is: “How do you live an authentic life while keeping a secret?” It reveals the complex internal dynamics that gay people struggle with when forced to hide by the society in which they live. As all people have had some secret in their lives, it has a universal message about the cost of being inauthentic. By the end of this year, I hope to to see my book chosen for Oprah’s book club, and watch it fly off the shelves into the hands of thousands of readers. I’m looking forward to having a thrilling time on my trip to New Zealand and Australia in December, where I will hike and bike with the love of my life– able to enjoy the beauty and splendor of these destinations because I am in such great shape, thanks to MOVE Wellness Studios. I’m also looking forward to celebrating my 70th birthday—grateful for all the blessings and wisdom I have accrued in the past seven decades.”

Carol Anderson MOVE Wellness Studios Client Profile



“I’m inspired by people who know what they want, and are willing to work pursuing it. To me, wellness means being able to do the “physically demanding” things that I want to do, like playing with my grandchildren, snow sports, and water sports. I love working out at MOVE Wellness Studios because of the professional, “eyes-on” instruction and the ambiance of the space. Thanks to MOVE Wellness Studios, improving my core strength has led the way in my being well, and therefore feeling more fulfilled.”

Emily Douglas has been training at MOVE Wellness Studios since we opened in 2014. She recently returned from an adventure in Utah where she hiked nearly 30 miles at elevation across several national parks in the area! She credits her overall strength and endurance to training at MOVE Wellness Studios before the big trip. Emily was kind enough to share her trip with us below.

Where did you go on vacation?  Southern Utah. I work for a non-profit organization called Best Friends Animal Society. Every year we all travel to Kanab for “All-Staff Week” for meetings, outings and time with the animals at the Sanctuary. Kanab is located in the southeastern most corner of Utah, smack dab in between Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon.

What did you do? After all of my work-related activities wrapped up for the week, I stayed for three extra days to hike and explore in the area for my 40th birthday. Over three days, I hiked nearly 30 miles at elevation across a couple different national parks in the area, and drove close to 1,000 miles. On one day, I spent nearly seven hours hiking around South Coyote Buttes, which is part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The next day, I did the 6-mile round trip hike out to Calf Creek Waterfall. And I hiked the 8-mile Fairyland Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon on my final day, before doing the 4.5 hour drive back to Las Vegas airport for my flight home.

Emily at the Wave Emily at the Wave

What was your favorite place you visited?  The Wave, an iconic sandstone formation located in Grand Staircase Escalante that is protected by the Bureau of Land Management.  Only 20 people a day are permitted to hike into the area. The hike out to the Wave is an unmarked, open wilderness/desert area at about 5,200 ft elevation. It’s a challenging hike involving multiple types of terrain. You’re scaling up rock formations one minute and trudging through thick sand dunes the next. It was mind-blowing.

What did you do to prepare for your trip?  I increased my workouts significantly and focused on inflammation reduction, which meant everything from herbal infusions and clean eating to stretching and limiting alcohol consumption. I attended Power Pilates with TRX on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoon Mat class with Angela religiously. The core engagement routine we do in both of those classes combined with the leg and back work on the TRX made a huge difference for me in overall strength and endurance. I also took much of what I learned in Nicole’s and Julie’s Shred classes and repurposed those exercises to create my own Tabata workouts.

How did training at MOVE Wellness Studios help your health and wellness during your trip?  My organization actually owns a wellness center in Kanab that I can use for free. So I was able to go in early every morning to the gym and do my own Pilates routines and workouts to start the day off right. I also bought myself a cheap foam roller to keep in my hotel room and did a number of stretching and core routines in my hotel room in the morning and at night that my various MOVE Wellness Studios trainers have taught me.

In the past, coming home from an 8-day trip like this that involved long flights and many hours driving in the car would result in me spending many weeks in and lots of money on physical therapy to get things back on track due to a hip impingement and spinal dysfunction. In fact, I was able to jump right back into my workout routine once I got home and haven’t had any problems since. That in and of itself is a miracle. Happy 40th Birthday to me. 🙂

Need some help getting conditioned for an upcoming trip? Whether you attend group classes or private training sessions, MOVE Wellness Studios’s expert trainers can help you reach your movement goals. Call us today at 734.761.2306 to schedule an introductory private session to discuss your needs and fitness goals.

This month we are putting the spotlight on Larry, a dedicated MOVE Wellness Studios client.  Working with his trainers he has gained incredible improvement in his mobility and flexibility through Pilates.
MOVE Wellness Studios Client Profile-LarryHometown:  Chelsea, A city of history, a city of pride. Celebrity Doppleganger:  John Maynard Keynes Occupation and/or Favorite Hobby:  Retired  Economics Professor, Fly Fishing Go-To Healthy Meal:  Move Tropical Green Smoothie Favorite Pilates/Gyrotonic Exercise:  Stretches and movement What Do You Love Most About Working Out at MOVE Wellness Studios?  Path to mobility, flexibility and balance guided by wonderful trainers What physical and mental benefits have you noticed with a regular fitness/wellness routine? At 76 regaining capacity to be active and engaged What Inspires You? The joy of grandchildren What Does Wellness Mean to You?  Integration of mind, body and spirit. By the End of the Year, I hope to…dance on the BOSU.