Hello and welcome to my website! I’m Melissa Merkle, and it’s great to meet you!
One of the most important people in my life is my mom. Yes, I love my mom dearly and have been blessed to have this amazing woman guiding my life for so many years. We celebrated her 70th birthday this year in a unique quarantine-style fashion, and we look forward to celebrating her 80th, 90th, and the big 100! That’s our goal any way.
Have you ever thought, “I don’t want to end up in a nursing home”?
That thought plays frequently in my mom’s head these days. I know because I hear her say it every time we pass by the senior living facility in our town. She doesn’t want to end up there, and she doesn’t want to be a burden to my siblings or me as she ages. I think she’s more worried about it than we are.
She’s been a huge inspiration in my life both personally and professionally.
Our First Business – Boomers N Motion
In 2015, my boyfriend (now husband) and I started our very first business – Boomers N Motion. We provided fitness and health coaching services to baby boomers and older adults living primarily on Anna Maria Island in Florida. My husband, Kirt, and I had been fitness people for a long time. I started teaching group exercise classes back in 2002, and Kirt had earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. We had always dreamed of owning our own business, and in 2015 we went for it. It only seemed natural to focus our attention on working with older adults. Florida is the snowbird capital of the world, after all.
We loved working with this demographic. The training was different than what we had done before. Our clients (who have become like family to us) weren’t concerned with stepping on stage in a bikini or following an extreme diet. They were fun and kind people who wanted to feel better. They wanted to get stronger, have less joint stiffness, and improve their balance. They wanted to build up their strength after knee surgery. They wanted to keep their range of motion and upper body strength while living in a wheelchair. They wanted to have enough energy to play with their grandkids. Our classes and individual coaching sessions made an impactful difference. We found it wasn’t just because of the benefits of exercise though. The relationship we made with each person was just as important, if not more important, than the exercise.
One part of our business that I dearly loved was teaching Roser-Robics, a chair-based fitness class at Roser Church. When I taught that class, I just came alive. I know what you’re thinking – a chair-based class seems pretty slow and boring. They can be, you’re right. However, mine are different. The class I taught was like chair dancing. We focused on chair aerobics, strength exercises, and standing balance training. It was a blast!
In 2018, I wanted to teach these classes online as well as in person. My two main reasons were:
1. All of the snowbirds in my class would be able to continue with the classes when they returned north for the summer
2. My mom could attend the classes from Ohio too
It was perfect – I could teach my classes from Florida and people from anywhere in the world could join from their phone or computer.
Today, Kirt and I live back in our home state of Ohio. We got married last year and have had a lot of life changes. I recently launched Melissa Merkle Fitness where I help women over 60 get fit and stay active and independent. I continue to teach my virtual exercises classes including Silver Sweat (which is my chair-based fitness class) and Better Balance.
Back when I started teaching virtual classes, I had no idea how important it would be today. In the age of the pandemic and CoVid19, it’s so important to be able to offer safe and fun exercises classes that my students can do from their homes. Not only do we have fun exercising, but we also have fun socializing and connecting before and after class.
I currently teach 3 live classes a week and am in the process of partnering with other senior fitness professional to offer additional classes to all my students.
My vision for the future is to build an online Senior Fitness Platform that provides numerous virtual classes from instructors all over the globe. I want a place where my classes are offered in addition to classes like chair yoga, tai chi, meditation, post-rehab classes, and more. The possibilities are endless!
I’d love for you to join my classes and connect with not only me but also my wonderful group of students. I really do work with some of the greatest ladies from all over the world. I’m very blessed, and I’d be blessed for you to join us too.
I look forward to getting to know you better.
Certifications & Training
AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor, 2002
ACE Personal Trainer, 2010
ACE Health Coach, 2015
Senior Fitness Specialist
Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Fitness with Parkinson’s Training
At-home Fitness for Women Course
Beginner Yoga Course
Roser-Robics, chair-based fitness – Creator & Instructor
Boomer Bootcamp – Creator & Instructor
Weigh to Go – Weight Loss Coach & Presenter
Fit Finger & Healthy Hands – Workshop Creator & Presenter
Wellness Wednesday – Assisted-Living Wellness Outreach Coordinator
The Daniel Plan – Community Wellness Instructor
Living Lean – Corporate Wellness Program Consultant
Girls on the Run – Coach & Intern for 3rd – 8th grade girls
Food Is Medicine -Presentation & Lunch
Balance & Stability for Seniors – Presentation
Fitness Past 50 – Presentation
Learn About Living Lean – Corporate Presentation
Fitness Apparel Fashion Show – Director & Emcee
Experience training individuals with Parkinson’s, MS, Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Hip & Knee Replacements, COPD, Diabetes, and more.