Local Fitness Forum Uses Medically-Integrated Facilities to Provide Unique Amenities
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell
Well, 2020 is officially here, and that means people are deciding how to better themselves in the New Year. Across the nation, the foremost New Year’s resolution is to improve personal health and fitness in one way or another. Unfortunately, that is also one of the hardest resolutions to keep beyond a month or so, especially when a person is trying to do it alone.
For Dr. Byron and Mary Holm, helping people gain health and vitality through the community at LifePlex Fitness Forum has been their purpose for 46 years.
“Life is about two words, I think. It’s called time and touch. People need that,” Dr. Byron says. “Life is truly all about relationships. They’re looking for acceptance, relationships and affirmation.”
For the Holms, maintaining relationships is one of the key purposes of their medically-integrated fitness facility.
Helping people achieve their personal goals toward health and wellness —physically as well as mentally, emotionally and spiritually — by providing medically-integrated fitness has been the Holms’ goal since the beginning. Byron, who has been a family medicine practitioner since 1974, wanted to open a clinic for medical specialists in Plymouth, sparing people in the area from having to drive to meet their medical needs.
But in 1982, the business concept grew.
“We introduced a fitness facility into a medical clinic, which was pretty much unheard of,” says Mary, who holds a degree in physical therapy. “But with my background, we knew that it was pretty minimal risk because if the town didn’t respond to a fitness facility — which there wasn’t any, it was untested. I knew that I could open up a physical fitness clinic.”
They quickly attracted people who were interested in their understanding of the intricate dance of medicine and fitness, capping at 500 members in a relatively short time.
“I remember Byron saying at one point, ‘You know, probably 70% of my patients wouldn’t even need to see me if they would exercise and eat right and manage their stress.’ Because that’s at the root of most of our illnesses,” Mary says. A
According to Byron, that is still the case today.
The business continued to expand and, after 20 years, they knew it was time to find a new building. But as any business owner knows, that’s a risky financial leap.
“We kept dragging our feet,” Dr. Byron says. “We tried to do it just by ourselves. You know, ‘How can we afford to do this? How can we afford to do that?’”
But in January 2000, the decision was made for them when their clinic burned to the ground.
It took six long, grueling years before construction began on their new facility.
“It took all of those years to find the right combination of financial support, people support, the right contractor and the right architect,” Mary says. “Part of that was the heartache of the struggle. It was up and down from 2000 until we started construction in January of 2006.”
Finally, in 2007, LifePlex Fitness Forum had its ribbon cutting.
“Because this is a small town, and it’s a large facility in a small town, we do play many other roles,” Mary adds. “We’re many things to different people.”
The left half of this 70,000 sq. ft. facility is managed by Mary. It is complete with a collegiate-sized basketball court, aquatics department, dance academy, weight training and cardio area, racquetball courts, a spa and many other departments. They also employ personal trainers for those who need help with their fitness routines and offer fitness, support and educational classes for their members as well as the community. In-house childcare for kids six months through 13 years for employees, members and the community is also available.
The right half fulfills Dr. Byron’s dream of having a facility for acute care and medical specialists. There’s an urgent care, diagnostic imaging, and of course, Dr. Holm’s personal practice is there as well as other medical professionals.
Part of the LifePlex belief statement declares, “We believe that wellness is a state on the continuum of health, superior to being free of sickness, living with intensity and purpose, adopting behaviors that promote health and eliminating behaviors that are self-destructive.”
The whole facility, from the acute care end to the Fitness Forum, is designed to help people find and maintain vitality and quality of life.
“There are many testimonies on how people’s lives have changed,” Mary says.
At the end of the day, the Holms view their success as a blessing from God.
“We had a God-given vision,” Dr. Byron says. “We’ve chased that vision and dream but only to make it better for the people. And the whole thing gives us a purpose for living.”
LifePlex Fitness Forum is located at 2855 Miller Drive, Suite 100, Plymouth. For more information on membership or the classes they offer, visit them online at fitnessforum.biz or call them at 574-936-2333.