Eric Levitan wasn’t satisfied with just accepting the decline he saw in his parents’ health as they aged deeper into their 70s, especially as his mother began having a series of “catastrophic” falls.
His research into what was happening with them led Levitan to leave corporate America after more than 25 years of working in technology and running software companies.
He found his new calling in preventing loss of muscle mass, something that begins to happen after the age of 30, according to health experts.
In 2019, with a team of medical advisors, the Sandy Springs resident launched Vivo, an interactive online strength training fitness program for adults 55 and older.
Incorporating individualized stretching, balance, cognitive and resistance exercises, the program gives participants a chance to develop community with a personal trainer and other class participants from their own homes.
Vivo’s certified trainers lead live 45-minute classes on Zoom, working with up to six seniors per class, typically twice weekly.
It’s one of an ever-increasing array of fitness programs for seniors, but Vivo’s sole focus is on building strength — something Levitan calls “the No. 1 factor in maintaining a high quality of life.”
“We really want to change the narrative around what aging looks like,” Levitan said. “You don’t have to age into a frail older person. You can continue to maintain a high quality of life and maintain your independence and remain a thriving member of society.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strength training helps boost strength, energy and vitality and helps to prevent and treat chronic diseases and conditions common among older adults, including arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity and back pain.
Vivo offers monthly memberships, which include classes averaging about $20 per session, nutrition analysis and initial and follow-up fitness assessments.
“It’s just not that hard. It doesn’t take that much work. Literally, 45 minutes twice a week and I can tell you it will change yours and anybody else’s life who tries it,” Levitan said. “Even it’s not Vivo … if you focus on building your strength as you get older it will absolutely change the course of your life.”
Check out the free fitness programs in Metro Atlanta