Greg’s Story – Optimal Living Changing Lives!



By Blake Shepard
Director of Health Promotions
Exercise Physiologist/Functional Aging Specialist

Greg embraced his active lifestyle and career as a police officer for 18 years in upstate New York. But after moving to NC, a career change as an account manager drastically changed his lifestyle.   Long hours of sedentary work led him into an unhealthy routine.   At age 58, Greg found himself rapidly acquiring body fat, losing muscle tone, and constantly feeling lethargic.    Not interested in the typical crowded work-out environment, Greg heard from a friend about a program called “Optimal Living”.   Knowing that this program was offered at Cambridge Village, a resort style apartment community for 55+, Greg was a bit skeptical at first.  How effective, after all, could a retirement community’s fitness program be?  What Greg found, however, was life changing. 

The first step was an initial consultation with the Optimal Living team to get a health history.  This information helped us understand Greg’s frustration and his goal to regain control of his health.  A thorough physical exam was then conducted by PrimeMD, the Optimal Living physician service.  Next, lab work was scheduled to determine his general CBCs, lipid panel, kidney/liver, as well as vitamin deficiencies, and hormone imbalances.  This was also offered via PrimeMD, conveniently located on the Cambridge campus.  A study of the lab results revealed some underlying causes to Greg’s weight gain and lack of energy.  Greg was given an in-depth analysis of the results and was educated on how to supplement his deficiencies with nutraceuticals and hormone replacement.  Next, as his personal coach, I provided a detailed, customized exercise prescription focused on strength training, cardiovascular health, and flexibility.  Greg committed to his new regimen 2-3x per week.   He admits that his unhealthy lifestyle included poor diet choices, so he also took advantage of the nutritional education and meal planning included in his Optimal Living program. 

Approximately three months later, I followed up with Greg to check his progress.  Not only had he lost 18 lbs of body fat, but he had also lowered his cholesterol by 30 points and increased his testosterone by 235!   Greg now faces each day with much more stamina and energy.  The ongoing access to the medical team as well as to me or another exercise physiologist on staff is a benefit he would not have with any other program.  This connection has helped him stay on track, kept him motivated, and held him accountable while working to achieve an optimal lifestyle.   Kudos to Greg for being proactive and taking the necessary steps to accomplish his goals!


Can you relate to Greg’s story?    Are you finding that you aren’t getting the most out of our current fitness regimen?  Don’t settle for normal…Let us help you achieve OPTIMAL LIVING.  You will feel better, look better, and sleep better!  Contact Blake Shepherd at 910.239.9966.

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