BY Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Katie Mollica says the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way those older than 50 think about their health and fitness.
“You start to fear that you could get sick,” Mollica says. “A lot of times people worry if someone around them recently passed away. That inspires them to get their stuff together and start moving more, to be a little more active.”
Mollica and her partner, Wyatt Richardson, recently opened Central Phoenix’s Anato-Me, which offers results-driven fitness routines. They focus on empowering the community through intentional strength and functional training.
“Probably 10% of our gym is over 50,” Mollica says. “I think they really enjoy being mixed in with everyone else. They continue to get motivated and really empowered. That youthful energy is inspiring.”
Mollica offers the following tips for those 50 and older who wish to get in shape:
• Make sure to get up and move every 20 to 30 minutes every day, rather than 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there. “Don’t say, ‘I’m very active. I go here, and I run errands.’ You build up that endurance if you’re active for 20 to 30 minutes straight, whether it’s walking, swimming or pickleball.”
• Add resistance training — bands, dumbbells, any programs that can be done at home. “You can also visit a community gym and lift for 20 minutes a day, in addition to 10 or 15 minutes of walking. Step one is to get the body moving. Step two is to really get accustomed to that and add resistance.”
• Recruit an accountability friend or buddy to work out with. “Your neighbor and you make a date every single day. This is something I’ve witnessed that really works to inspire people.”
• Have something to look forward to, like a large trip. “A lot of people before COVID-19, vacations were a big inspiration.”
Born and raised in Phoenix, Mollica is a lifelong athlete. She always wanted to do something surrounding athletics. She started as a spinning instructor while she was working a full-time desk job.
“I realized life is a little too short, and I wanted to do what I love,” she says. “That’s going to make me fill my cup. I jumped out of my full-time job to be a full-time fitness professional.”
Mollica and her boyfriend, Richardson, purchased the gym in August 2019.
“When we opened Anato-Me, our mission was to offer our community a lifestyle fitness program that focused on driving them to be the strongest version of themselves,” Mollica says.
“With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, teaching everything from yoga to spin to personal training, I felt there was this missing piece to group fitness in regard to strength training. It’s been my favorite and most effective way to train my own body, and I wanted to bring that to a larger audience. We created a space where people are learning how to perform exercises that drive results, nourish their bodies and become fundamentally stronger than they were before, all in a class setting.”
For members who are seeking help with nutrition, Anato-Me has an in-house director of wellness who is also a nationally certified psychotherapist.