DES MOINES, Iowa — Technology is changing the way we do everything, including the way we get healthy.
For a group of trainer in Des Moines, it means inviting clients into their basement every morning. The Shaping Towns program is the brainchild of Javier Tuel.
“We did a pilot program for free with live Facebook pages,” he explains. “The first one was in my parents’ garage! They opened their home to us and every two weeks we sleep on their floor,” he says with a big laugh.
That’s where the name Tuel Shed Training comes from. Javier grew up in Schaller, a city with a population of 800. “We started it because in rural Iowa there aren’t a lot of workout facilities,” he said. “One thing I knew was that my family wasn’t as active as they should be because of it.”
Javier and his fellow trainers decided to do something about it. They formed a Facebook group dedicated to the town. Every morning they use Facebook live to lead a 20-minute workout. It’s designed to get people moving, no matter what kind of limitations they have.
“One reason we started the modification is we were hearing from people in small towns–‘we can’t do what you’re doing’–we wanted to make sure it was doable for everybody!”
Javier knows just how important that is. Last winter, he had to do the chair workout after hurting his knee when he was skiing. More than a decade ago, he was overweight and exhausted. “That’s the funny part about life,” he says, “I got tired of being tired. I wasn’t doing anything physically active but I was so mentally drained. I knew I needed to get active.”
He did, and it changed his life. He met Kelly and Liz, and all of them became fitness instructors. Then they decided to take their personal training business on the road.
“For the past ten years I’d been in Des Moines helping other people, and I needed to go home and help people who supported me,” said Javier. “We’re on a mission now. If we can get one person to believe in themselves, it will spread to the next person and the next person.”