Published July 17, 2012
Volume 20, Number 6

Fitness Opportunities Abound in Hacienda 

No matter your job, it is well known that your performance and overall well-being can be enhanced by a physical fitness program. Recent studies have indicated that even mental acuity can be improved by regular exercise.

These are just some of the reasons that many businesses provide health-oriented elements in their benefits programs, says Lorie Montgomery of Reach Fitness, the firm that operates on-site wellness facilities in Hacienda at both Oracle and Kaiser Permanente. “Companies are always looking for return on investment, and studies have shown that it’s anywhere between $3 to $6 for every dollar invested (in fitness programs),” she says.

At both Kaiser and Oracle, the investment in employee wellness takes a variety of forms. There is a dedicated exercise facility with a variety of weights, treadmills, and other equipment as well as a studio for the nearly two dozen classes scheduled every week, including Pilates and yoga. The club also features massage, acupuncture, personal training, and even chiropractic care.

Perhaps the most valuable service both companies provide, though, is the ongoing support of a professional staff who encourage and motivate employees to take a more proactive role in their fitness. “In the past few years, we’ve run lots of different programs at Oracle—‘The Biggest Loser,’ ‘Maintain No Gain’—that were inspired by television.” These activities combine incremental challenges like you might see on a show like “Survivor” with teamwork, giving participants an opportunity to work both for themselves and their teammates. “They all really want to support their co-workers.” Montgomery has also devised a punch-card system that rewards employees who attend classes with the opportunity to win massages or personal training sessions. The punch-cards is also effective at providing incentives for employees to try new classes. “We just did a Hula Fitness class, and people were telling us, ‘I’ve never thought about doing Hula Fitness, and it was so much fun!’ We’ve got men going into the Zumba class and coming out saying, ‘I’ve never sweated so much!’”

While Montgomery is justifiably proud of the high number of employees who participate in the various fitness classes and programs on offer, she is most pleased with a phenomenon that has largely unfolded in just the last year: employees are taking more ownership of their own health and fitness. “We once had to really push people to participate, e-mail them constantly to remind them. But we’re finding lately that people are automatically showing up, like they’ve gotten into the groove of it. That’s huge, because the one thing that workplace wellness wants to do is to get people into the natural groove of really finding time for their own personal needs and activities. It’s taken a while to get them into that, but this year, we’re seeing it.”

The supportive environment that Montgomery strives to create even extends to menu guidance at the facility’s on-site restaurant.

“We’ve been working hand-in-hand with Bon Appetite Café here,” she explains. “We have menus that support our programs, so people can go in and see how many calories, how many fat grams are in a given dish. Everywhere people go, they see that we have taken the time to really create some visibility. I think that networking like that with other vendors has really helped.”

Another Possibility: 24 Hour Fitness
While not every Hacienda business has an in-house fitness facility and staff, it does have a nearby neighbor that provides those services. 24 Hour Fitness operates a vast, state-of-the-art Super Sport club in the park, totaling over 50,000 square feet. The recently-renovated facility at 4770 Willow Road offers a nearly endless list of sports, recreation, and fitness opportunities, including an indoor lap pool, a full-size basketball court, volleyball and racquetball courts, and all the other elements you would expect to find: cardio equipment with personal viewing screens, free weights, strength machines, TRX Suspension Training, a sauna and steam room, whirlpool baths, towel service, and more.

Hacienda’s 24 Hour Fitness also offers a broad variety of exercise classes. Group cycling at the club brings the outdoor cycling experience indoors, allowing participants to enjoy a workout with both hill climbs and flat terrains and even head winds and tail winds, all to a motivational soundtrack. Boot Camp combines cardio and strength training to boost metabolism, endurance, and overall fitness. Aqua workouts in the pool include cardio and resistance training to help tone and sculpt without impacting the joints. A number of Les Mills programs are available as well, including BODYPUMP, BODYFLOW, BODYCOMBAT, and CXWORX. 24 Hour Fitness also provides Zumba Fitness and TurboKick classes, as well as instruction in Pilates and yoga.

For those seeking a more individualized experience, the club provides the services of nearly two dozen personal trainers who can design a program that’s tailor-made to fit a person’s specific goals, based on five basic components of fitness: cardio, resistance training, diet, vitamins and supplements, and professional assistance. It’s a great way to lose weight, build muscle, or simply to look and feel better.

Joining 24 Hour Fitness carries another great benefit as well. Members of the Pleasanton location automatically receive access to the more than 400 clubs the company operates from coast to coast across the U.S., including fitness equipment, cardio and resistance training, and group exercise classes, as well as online nutrition information at www.24hourfitness.com.

24 Hour Fitness also provides programs to businesses which allow companies to pass along savings on membership for employees under the reasoning that “when health management becomes a business priority, it can create healthier, happier and more productive employees, while increasing the company’s bottom line.” Access the company’s web site for more information.

Martial Arts Offer a Different Approach
Those seeking a different path to fitness may wish to consider Dave Camarillo’s Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu, which occupies over 10,000 square feet at 4464 Willow Road, Suite 102. Renowned for his work training a variety of champion mixed martial arts fighters, Camarillo now operates two schools offering instruction in a variety of disciplines including jiu-jitsu, women’s self defense, both anti-bullying and fitness programs for children, and also a full Muay Thai kickboxing program.

“Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu is primarily a non-striking, grappling art that provides the practitioner the tools to defend him or herself against opponents of all sizes and statures, emphasizing the power of proper technique as a force to balance out potential strength disadvantages,” Camarillo explains on his web site at www.davecamarillo.com. “Our focus is to encourage those interested in martial arts to reach their full mental, physical and technical potential, all the while participating and being involved in a fun, family friendly, yet hard working and focused environment. Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu is a martial arts system appropriate for anyone, whether it be the individual looking to get in shape, heighten one’s ability to defend him or herself, or the experienced practitioner looking to take his or her Jiu-Jitsu to the next level.”

Among Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu’s current offerings is a free, half-hour private session for newcomers. “We demonstrate what we do, just to show them the basics and to get them a little bit more comfortable with training in martial arts,” says Camarillo. “Also, if a business in the surrounding area wants to do a seminar to introduce our programs to them, we can do that. We do free women’s self-defense seminars regularly — the last one we did in San Jose had 46 women turn out.”

Other Opportunities Right Outside Your Door
Hacienda offers other, less formal fitness options as well. With a number of beautiful outdoor features, the park itself can provide the perfect setting for exercise and movement, whether fast or slow.

Owens Plaza Park, which is adjacent to the Archstone Hacienda apartment complex, spans more than three acres. This park features picnic tables, benches and a tot lot and is accessible through a tree-lined entry off of Owens Drive.

Hacienda’s Linear Park, a private greenbelt contiguous to Owens Plaza Park, is best accessed through the Owens Plaza Park entrance at Rosewood Drive and Owens Drive. The park covers several acres and offers a basketball court, tennis court, picnic area, tot lot, and open lawn area.

Creekside Park is accessible from W. Las Positas Boulevard between Owens Drive and Stoneridge Drive as well as from the Linear Park via a footbridge over the Tassajara Creek. A large 6.6-acre open lawn space and softball field are the primary features, but the park also includes courts for basketball and sand volleyball and a play area with swings.

Hacienda is also home to an 18-station outdoor parcourse for walkers or joggers. The course covers a 2.3-mile stretch within Hacienda. Maps of the parcourse route are available from the Hacienda web site at www.hacienda.org/pdf/parcourse.pdf. Hart Middle School has a number of sporting facilities, including soccer fields, basketball courts, a full quarter mile track, and a gymnasium. Public use of the facilities is coordinated through Pleasanton’s Parks and Recreation Department. Hacienda also has several hiking trails available to tenants and residents, and the park’s beautiful, tree-lined streets provide a great space for walking that’s right outside every office.

Information about health and wellness services available in the business park is easily accessed through the Service Locator on the Hacienda web site. Go to www.hacienda.org and select “Services” from the main menu and “Service Locator” from the drop-down menu. Open the service locator map on the following page and then choose a service such as Fitness or Health. The map will respond with the location of all the services within the park. Highlight the service icon to identify the business. Selecting the service icon will bring up details on the business including a description and contact information. 

In addition to the online Service Locator, Hacienda has compiled a printed Service Directory, complete with information on health and wellness services in the park. To order a copy, go to www.hacienda.org/forms/forms_order_orientation.html. Service Directories can also be obtained by contacting the Hacienda Owners Association at (925) 734-6500.


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