Staff Profile: Virtua Center for HealthFitness, Moorestown. Allison Nugent ACSM-CPT, Cancer Exercise Specialist, Parkinson’s Cycling Coach.: Allison Nugent ACSM-CPT, Cancer Exercise Specialist, Parkinson’s Cycling Coach.
What is your area of practice and how would you summarize what you do?
I am a personal trainer and fitness specialist at Virtua Center for HealthFitness in Moorestown. I conduct fitness assessments for members and then use the information collected to prescribe an individualized exercise program. I also work one-on-one with clients to help them reach fitness and life goals we have set together.
What are the primary benefits to your patients?
I help people to live their best life by helping them to feel better whether it be in sport or while performing everyday tasks. I not only teach proper and safe technique, but try to show my clients new ways of exercising. With this I have helped my clients to sleep better, move better and overall just feel better.
What inspired you and why did you decide to enter this field?
I always knew I wanted a helping profession and I was always involved with sports when I was growing up, so for me this was a natural fit. I originally thought I wanted to work with collegiate athletics as a strength and conditioning coach, but I found out that was not the right fit. As I completed the internships that were part of my coursework and did internships in the rehab setting, I realized that was the population I wanted to work with every day.
How long have you been in practice and what areas of specialty interest you?
I have been a personal trainer for two and a half years and over that time I have worked with many different populations, and with all of that experience I have found that I most enjoy working with female adolescent athletes and the older adult populations. Younger female athletes have a great deal of potential and it is fun getting to watch them grow in their sport. With the older adult I am not changing their performance, but I am changing their everyday life which means the most to me.
What makes what you do unique, and how has your practice evolved?
Being an athlete my whole life I have always been surrounded by the fitness world, but working at Virtua I have a new appreciation for exercise. I have seen how regular exercise can help prolong someone’s life and help them to feel better every day. My training style has become very functional and geared towards tasks that my clients do every day, but I try to spin the exercises to present them in a new way. By keeping sessions fun and engaging I have helped my clients to learn to enjoy exercise and see changes within themselves.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your practice?
When clients come back and tell me about how a task that was previously challenging now doesn’t take a second thought. Being able to impact someone’s life positively in a day to day manner is what keeps me motivated and excited to come to work.
What do you most want Natural Awakenings readers to know about you and your approach?
When working with a client I look at them as a whole person, not just at the single issue they come in for. I look at everyone as an individual and because of that no two sessions I have in a week are alike. I value the relationships I have with my clients and truly look forward to seeing them each time they come in which helps me to always shave a big smile on my face.
Tell us a fun fact about you.
I have more than 100 pairs of shoes and most of them are not sneakers.
I have been a member of Virtua Fitness Center for HealthFitness - Moorestown for the past six years. It is always clean, never overcrowded and has a friendly, helpful staff. I have two bad knees and had difficulty walking. Two years ago, when I began working individually with a personal trainer, I was using a walker to get around. Within one month, I was no longer using the walker and haven’t needed it since. My trainer has built up the muscles around my knees so that I am now back to normal. I also have more energy and I can perform normal activities of daily living much easier than before. After the Eagles’ football games, I can get from my seat at Lincoln Financial Field to my car across the street as quickly as my kids.
Virtua Center for HealthFitness has two locations, 401Young Ave., Moorestown, and 2309 Evesham Rd, Voorhees. For more information call 856-291-8800, or visit VirtuaFitness.org.