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Fulda gym expansion adds vitality to community

The entrance of Vitality Fitness in Fulda is pictured Friday. (Tim Middagh / The Globe )

FULDA — Shannon Cowdin has owned Fulda Vitality Fitness since December 2016, but her business’s recent move and expansion makes it feel like a whole new gym.

Cowdin is pleased that the expansion happened so quickly. When she first bought the gym, she hoped to expand it in five years, and she managed to do so in less than two.

The new facility has about four times as much space and equipment as it did originally. It’s open 24 hours and features cardio equipment, free weights, a large kickboxing area and a 50-by-20-foot classroom for additional instruction.

Classes are offered at an additional fee and can add more variety to workouts. Class subjects range widely, including yoga, zumba, kickboxing, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and a Senior Strong class. Barre classes will begin in March.

Vitality Fitness offers an on-site certified personal trainer. Members can make appointments to meet with the trainer to create a personalized fitness program based on their individual needs and goals. She also does massage and teaches karate.

Fulda residents have embraced the newly remodeled fitness facility.

“We’ve had an amazing response from the community with the expansion,” said Cowdin, noting that the gym has 100 to 125 members, with room for plenty more.

Cowdin has been making arrangements with health insurance companies so she can honor all the benefits they offer, such as gym membership reimbursement. She wants to make it as easy and cost-effective for new people to join as possible.

When Cowdin gets new members signed up, she likes to meet with them for about 30 minutes. She talks with them about their personal fitness goals and makes them aware of all the benefits of their membership.

Cowdin has a full-time job in addition to her role as gym owner, so her office hours are typically in the early morning and late evening. She asks that people call ahead and schedule an appointment with her so she can plan to meet one-on-one and give her undivided attention.