By Andrea Palmer
Michael Lapolla and Nicholas Galuardi are celebrating 10 years in business with Saratoga Health & Wellness at 538 Maple Ave. in Saratoga Springs.
“Nick and I previously worked for a cardiology group in town, and they went through some changes and challenges. At that point, we ended up going off on our own. We officially opened in November 2009,” said Lapolla.
The center provides a variety of fitness programs, including some specialized for golfers.
Good nutrition is also important.
Rebecca Mahoney, a certified and registered dietitian, provides nutrition services to all members. She specializes in behavioral nutrition and can provide very specific advice regarding various medical problems, including diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and eating disorders.
She is also an integral part of the weight loss project. She participates with many insurance plans, address member concerns and provides free consultations.
“We originally leased and renovated a space on Gick Road, for about five years. As we neared the end of our five-year lease, Nick and I realized that renting space in Saratoga is awfully expensive. So we pinched our pennies and saved our money.”
They ultimately bought the property on Maple Avenue and moved into the building in 2015.
“We own the building and the 2.5 acre parcel, and we built it a little bigger than we needed, so we have room for expansion,” said Lapolla.
“We opened our business with the sole intention of providing an alternative to a more traditional gym. It’s the area’s laid back, non-intimidating alternative to a typical gym,” said Lapolla.
“Unlike most gyms, all the staff here went to college for this stuff. We’re all exercise physiologists,” he said. “Every client gets an individualized, customized exercise and nutrition program. Every client comes in and goes through an initial evaluation process to determine what their needs and wants are. We review any physical limitations and past medical history. Essentially, we want to know everything about you that might impact your ability to meet your health and wellness goals. Everybody gets an assessment, which usually takes about an hour. Clients come back, we review everything and start to lay out an exercise program.”
“We do it in a non-intimidating way. Instead of touting our equipment, we tout out ability to customize the appropriate exercises for people to meet their needs, whatever those needs are,” said Lapolla.
The facility is 14,000 square feet and caters to a variety of needs with ancillary services, such as physical therapy and a registered dietitian.
“The biggest thing that sets us apart is that we’re very laid back. A lot of people liken it to ‘Cheers,’ where you go in and everybody knows your name. We have around 400 members, and we take the time to know everybody. It’s homey, it’s clean, it’s comfortable. The personalized service is what differentiates us from other facilities,” said Lapolla.
They can be reached at (518) 306-6987. Its website is www.saratogahealthandwellness.com.