Fit & Focused on Living Life to the Fullest

Fit & Focused on Living Life to the Fullest

When it comes to regular exercise, Twin Lakes Resident Jim Brannan characterizes it as a necessity.

“I don’t not love it. I do it because I recognize that I need to do it,” says Brannan, who routinely works out an hour each morning at Twin Lakes’ renovated, fully equipped fitness room. The Life Enriching Community decided it was time to upgrade their facilities because they are committed to making sure their residents stay active, fit and healthy so that they can live life to the fullest in an environment where people thrive.

Brannan admits that during the several weeks the fitness center was closed for refurbishment, he was a “mess doing nothing” because he had gotten into a rhythm with his morning exercise regimen utilizing the elliptical stepping machine and lifting weights. He also attends balance classes twice a week — Twin Lakes offers classes in Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga.

He first learned the advantages to sticking to a fitness regimen when he joined the army in the late 1950s.

“I was so impressed with how good I felt after undergoing basic training and having to get up every morning to work out that I determined that was the right way to be,” says Brannan, now 86. Like most, he let fitness slide temporarily when work got busy, but he realized he missed it, so he and his wife, Nancy, became charter members of the YMCA.

Brannan appreciates the new equipment, such as the elliptical stepper, added to Twin Lakes’ fitness center since the remodel. He also enjoys what he calls the “glute kicker” which is all about strengthening the muscles needed to achieve better balance.

Twin Lakes also has a three-lane, 75-foot, indoor warm water swimming pool that’s popular with residents interested in taking aquatic classes, engaging in open swim and using submersible aqua bikes. All activities are tailored to meet personal wellness goals. Currently, safety protocols require residents to make a one-hour reservation in order to ensure adequate space between participants.

According to Melissa Slay, Director of Marketing for Twin Lakes, the state-of-the-art facility emphasizes whole-person health and wellness by encouraging residents to develop and balance the six dimensions of wellness: emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and vocational.

“A team of health and fitness experts are fully trained and available to assist residents on their wellness journey,” says Slay.

When the Brannans first moved to Twin Lakes, Nancy was having significant health issues. When Brannan saw that Nancy’s recovery wasn’t going well after a three-month hospital stay, he knew they weren’t going to be returning to their home of 42 years. Twin Lakes, which offers villas and apartments for independent lifestyles as well as Assisted Living, Memory Care and Nursing, all on one campus, was a good fit.

“I must admit, the first year living here wasn’t great because my wife wasn’t improving,” says Brannan. But in late summer 2004, they experienced what he calls a “legitimate miracle” when, almost overnight, Nancy dramatically improved.

“After that, we began to enjoy Twin Lakes,” says Brannan, noting that they appreciated the excellent rehab and physical therapy facilities. Eventually, Nancy could just about walk on her own and navigate steps with care. They even traveled commercially with some help.

The pair enjoyed going to the main building to enjoy meals, meet people and spend time with friends.

“I know this sounds trite, but there isn’t anyone here I can think of who isn’t genuinely nice,” says Brannan. “That’s one of the best things about living here.”

Twin Lakes is a not-for-profit senior living community located at 9840 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242. For more information, call 513.247.1300 or visit

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