Media Coverage


Exercise. Socialize. Repeat.

Henderson’s Over-50 Crowd Finds Strength & Community at Welcyon

If you don’t like the pace, pressure and attitude of big gyms, you’re not alone. That’s why Welcyon, a health club catering to adults over 50, is attracting a loyal following in Henderson. Small, welcoming, and non-intimidating, Welcyon offers one-on-one coaching, state-of-the-art equipment, and convivial community atmosphere. No wonder the health club sometimes seems more like a social club.


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Star Tribune Article Shows How Welcyon Keeps Athletes in the Game

Not so long ago, the number-one athletic activity for folks over 50 was bench warming. These days, droves of older athletes are storming the playing field to reclaim their sports. Check out this story from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to learn how health clubs like Welcyon are helping people from 50 to 80 get back in the game and stay there.


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Jim Fisher, the owner of Welcyon in Burnsville, MN used to lead a high-pressure, high-flying life as the president of a $100 million printing company. Then, the bottom fell out when he had a stroke in 2012. Learn more about his journey to stand again, walk again, and help others live healthier lives in this inspiring story from the Sun Thisweek.


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For many people, the New Year is a new opportunity to get in shape. Gyms are often overcrowded this time of year with people looking to maintain their resolutions. But for some, this type of environment isn’t conducive to getting the best results. Welcyon, Fitness After 50 is dedicated to creating a better environment for some fitness enthusiasts to thrive.


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Perhaps more than any previous generation, baby boomers are committed to staying active as they age. So it should come as no surprise that every year millions of Americans 50 and over commit themselves to starting a path to healthy aging in the New Year. “At any age, you can increase muscle strength, preserve bone density, improve balance and improve your overall health,” said Suzy Boerboom, Co-Founder and CEO of Welcyon, Fitness After 50.


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Welcyon, Fitness After 50, a new gym tailored to people 50 and older, has opened in Boise. It is the 5-year-old Minnesota-based company’s first Welcyon gym in the Boise metro area.

“There are many adults in their 50s and beyond who want to live healthier, but traditional gyms don’t offer the direction, support and sense of community they are looking for at this stage in their lives,” Welcyon co-founder Suzy Boerboom said in a news release. “We anxiously look forward to providing local residents a place that’s a better fit, a place where they can get stronger, leaner, re-energized and feel the best they have in years.”


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Fitness chain for 50-plus expands locally and beyond

​An Edina-based fitness club designed for older members is expanding in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Welcyon Fitness Over 50 is adding a Burnsville gym in January, following a new gym in Idaho and a gym groundbreaking in Las Vegas. That puts the company’s gym count at five, with two more in the works.


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Of the Right Age, but Can’t Seem to Stay Retired

SUZY BOERBOOM, a registered nurse, retired for the first time after a 35-year career in health care and ownership of several Curves exercise locations. She then devoted five years to helping her three daughters raise their children. “I was very close to both my grandmothers,” Ms. Boerboom said, “and I wanted the same relationship with my grandchildren.” But after several years, she felt too restless to retire, she said. “I just didn’t feel relevant,” Ms. Boerboom, now 66, said. “I was beginning to feel a little bored, and a bit out of the mainstream.”


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Being in Business for More Than Just a Balance Sheet

As veterans of the health industry, Jesse and Cori Reisch knew that they wanted to enter the fitness industry when they began looking into franchising. Opening a fitness franchise would allow the couple to help others while getting a crash course in entrepreneurship. Welcyon, Fitness After 50 brought something new to the fitness industry: a franchise geared to the needs of older people who might not feel comfortable in the average gym. Here’s what Jesse and Cori have learned about entrepreneurship since opening their Welcyon location two years ago.


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How to Capitalize on ‘Fitness After 50′

Baby Boomers. We have all heard the term, and many of us are a part of that generation. One hundred million Baby Boomers are now 50 and older. They are a huge market, but how many health clubs are taking advantage of this and offering services that target their needs? Welcyon Fitness Over 50 is a fitness concept specifically designed to cater to the unique set of needs and limitations of people 50 and over.


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Is weather a barometer of painful joints and achy bones?

​It’s a story Dr. Daniel Mueller hears from his patients all the time: When the weather turns cold, they can feel the change in their joints — and it hurts.

“Particularly here in the North, where there is a pretty dramatic change in seasons,” Mueller said, “the patients really feel that.”


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Exercise helps with diabetes

November is American Diabetes Month. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Another 86 million have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

For diabetics over the age of 50, exercising regularly is especially important.


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Welcyon: Fitness for the over-50 crowd

You get to a certain age, and perhaps you’re not as fit as you once were. All of a sudden, the thought of working out with 20-somethings and 30-somethings is pretty much a deal killer.


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How to Stay Fit After 50

Far be it from us to judge, but…have you exercised today? This month? This year? If need be, we have some suggestions for health clubs, programs and trainers that can get you up and moving. You should find plenty of company. More than 10 million health-club members in 2012 were 55 or older, up from just 1.9 million in 1990, according to the Boston-based International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.


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Welcyon Gym Offers Unique Services

High tech key cards, video games and relaxing music may not seem like things in your typical gym, but Welcyon Fitness in Fargo is looking to make working out fun and simple for those over fifty.

Barb Arneson started working out last September at Welcyon Fitness and immediately fell in love with the gym.


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Reaping the rewards: Reluctant exerciser makes turnaround at Welcyon

FARGO – According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an American turns 50 every 7 seconds. Welcyon, Fitness After 50, is hoping to keep up with that segment of the population. When Barb Arneson first walked into the Welcyon at 2603 Kirsten Lane S. in south Fargo, she knew it was different. She was pleased to hear music catered to adults over 50 coming from the speakers and relieved not to see any Spandex-clad bodybuilders grunting through reps.


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Best gym for the 50-plus set - Welcyon - 2014 Best of MN

If exercising in a room full of taut, Spandex-clad bodies feels more intimidating than inspiring, you might be more comfortable at Welcyon, a gym for people over 50. At the locally based chain, the atmosphere is relaxed, the music is easy on the ears and neither clothing nor abs need be tight. But the equipment is the latest technology. Workouts, customized to members’ health history and physical condition, are recorded on smart cards that plug into the gym’s air-powered machines, automatically adding resistance as strength increases.


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Fresh starts

If you are an aspiring franchisee who’s a fan of the new, look no further than the 258 companies on the following pages, all of which have been franchising for five years or less.


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Why I Franchised: A Fitness Business That Looks Out for the Over-50 Crowd

With the positive response to the ‘Franchise Players’ series, Entrepreneur has decided to showcase the flipside: the challenges, tips and successes of franchisors. Why I Franchised is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisors. Our first article ties into our week highlighting franchisees over 50, showing that it’s never too late to enter the franchising industry, as a franchisor or franchisee.


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A gym for the over-50s

For most of her 63 years, Sharon Merges hated exercising, and for a long time her rheumatoid arthritis and chronic back pain provided a convenient excuse to skip it.


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Get Fit: Mindful eating, working out quell diabetes scare

Mary Ann Hofer never used to worry about what she ate. She loved food — fried foods especially. “Fish and chips, fried shrimp with creamy, buttery sauce. It was all so good.”

And portion control? Forget about it. Hofer, a 76-year-old retired schoolteacher, ate what she wanted when she wanted.


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20 Lessons from Couples Running a Business Together

Running a business is stressful enough – maybe even more so when trying to run a company alongside your spouse. Ahead of Valentine’s Day, real-life couples share their tips for juggling love and business.


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Get Fit: After knee surgery and health problems, exercise improves aches, mobility and energy for 51-year-old

Jeff Davis used to joke that his body was falling apart.
“I always told my wife that she bought used when she got me,” the 51-year-old Sioux Falls man says with a laugh.


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Fitness after 50: Better health and less pain

At any age, one can increase muscle strength, preserve bone density and improve balance. It all starts with a work out program. Suzy Boerboom, Co-Owner, Welcyon Fitness After 50, joined KARE 11 News and said regular workouts can prevent or delay diabetes, improve heart health and reduce arthritis pain. Also, more muscle burns more calories which results in weight loss.


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In Twin Cities metro, more young people are moving to the urban core, while suburbs age

Ten years and a pair of preschoolers into their New Brighton starter home, Jaci and Scott Schloesser decided they were ready to make the big jump.


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Legendary Cobbers coach Christopherson back into coaching, this time as a trainer

Fargo - A Concordia head football coaching legend, Jim Christopherson is back coaching again. This time he’s helping a different age group. Christopherson is a fitness coach at a south Fargo health club, which is for people 50 and over.


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‘VetFran’ Program Helps Veterans Become Franchise Owners

In a slow-growth job market, many veterans are struggling to find work. According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate of post-9/11 veterans currently stands at 10%, above the national average of 7.3%. And young veterans between ages 20-24 are facing unemployment of over 20%. To help close the gap, the International Franchise Association offers discounts to former servicemen and women via its VetFran program.


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Senior-Itis

Few believe they’re seniors when they hit 50. But for a handful of fitness operators, that’s the magic age. Welcyon’s the newcomer; Nifty after Fifty the old-timer. Can they find the fountain of youth? Suzy and Tom Boerboom are both baby boomers. They come from healthcare backgrounds and they’re personally familiar with the aging demographic shift in America.


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Staying fit after 50

Baby boomers may be heading into retirement, but that doesn’t mean they are slowing down. Instead they are looking to accelerate their health and fitness regime. And while the housing industry has long offered specialized housing developments for retirees, not the fitness industry is targeting those older than 50.


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A Better Fit: Health clubs for the 50+ find a following

If you’re a hard-core fitness buff who favors high-intensity workouts fueled by throbbing dance music, Welcyon health clubs might not be for you. At these Midwestern gyms the average member is age 62.


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Women in Business: Q&A With Suzy Boerboom, Co-founder and CEO of Welcyon

After a long career in the health care industry, Suzy Boerboom—a baby boomer herself—took advantage of the booming senior demographic and created a new slant in the fitness industry by catering to the 50-plus crowd. Welcyon clubs have a smaller footprint and friendly ambiance, setting them apart from oversized, overcrowded big-box gyms. The clubs feature a highly-structured strength training program that allows older adults to exercise more safely and in a more welcoming atmosphere.


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Welcyon Adds Industry Veterans to Executive Team

Welcyon, Fitness After 50, a start-up franchisor with a new concept that caters to the 50-plus crowd, is flexing its muscle by adding a veteran cast of health and fitness industry executives to its senior team.


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New fitness centers cater to aging baby boomers

Baby boomers, the generation that vowed to stay forever young, are getting older, designing senior-friendly gyms and becoming their own personal trainers. In exercise havens for the over-50 set, the cardio machines are typically low impact, the resistance training is mainly air-powered and some group fitness classes are taken sitting down.


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Edina Expert Advice on Fitness Over 50

Fitness is increasingly important for folks over 50. Many baby boomers work past retirement age, due to longer life expectancies, smaller nest eggs or simply a desire to remain productive. They will also most likely become grandparents later in life, since their children are waiting longer to marry and have kids. The combined desires of this mature generation to keep pace at work, be active with the grandkids and lead dynamic and vibrant lives well into their golden years means they need to be extra health-conscious.


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5 Ways To Fight Your Fear Of The Gym

Being a bit uncertain or fearful about stepping into a gym is not something that is specific to age. But it certainly doesn’t help to be surrounded by younger, fitter and more experienced individuals lifting three times their weight and letting out guttural grunts while doing it.


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Pioneering the way for fitness after 50

Suzy Boerboom has spent her entire life in the healthcare industry. Her first position out of nursing school was as a charge nurse in a state hospital where her placement was on a unit full of mentally ill men from the pentameter.


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Building a Fitness Franchise for People Over 50

Small Business Spotlight of Welcyon, Fitness After 50, a fitness gym for adults over the age of 50.


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Fitness center strives to meet the needs of the over-50 crowd

Bill Zortman wasn’t much for exercising six months ago.
“My idea of exercise was 18 holes of golf in a cart,” said Zortman, 66, who is a radio personality for KELO-AM and a broker at Key Real Estate.
But last year Zortman did something his doctor and wife had been urging him to do for years: He joined a gym. His goal was losing weight and better controlling his Type 2 diabetes, all with frequent updates on the air.


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Local Fitness Chain For Boomers Plans To Expand Fast

Welcyon, Fitness After 50 is a small health club chain based in Edina, but by the end of this year, it might not be so small.


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Welcyon: A Club for Baby Boomers

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, there were approximately 77 million Americans born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1964. Americans within this generation are referred to as “baby boomers,” and are the largest population group in U.S. history.


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Fitness after 50: Strategies for staying healthy in new year

‘Tis the season to make New Year’s resolutions, and exercise tops the list for many Baby Boomers and older adults. According to a recent American College of Sports Medicine survey, one of the most popular fitness trends for 2013 is fitness programs for older adults.


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Fitness After 50

Doctors have been telling us for years that it’s important to fit exercise into our schedules every day.
But that’s not easily done when you find yourself dealing with an injury. And as you age it’s more common for the exercise you need to cause the problems that prevent you from meeting those goals.


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New fitness center targets people older than 50

A fitness center geared toward people older than 50 has opened in Park Ridge Galleria. Welcyon is a Minnesota-based concept that emphasizes personalized strength training, balance, aerobic and flexibility programs.


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Wooing seniors to weight rooms

Suzy Boerboom still remembers watching her grandmother’s physical health deteriorate, even as she remained mentally sharp. “Her spirit may have been the same. But her strength was very different,” recalls Boerboom of her grandmother, who was in her early 60s at the time.


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Small Business Snapshots

Welcyon, Fitness After 50 Small Business Snapshots with Suzy Boerboom.


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For athletes, aging can be a pain

Dick Anderson reached the pinnacle of his rock-climbing endeavors—literally as well as figuratively—10 years ago when, after 3 1/2 exhausting days of clinging to the side of a sheer cliff, he reached the top of El Capitan, a majestic granite monolith in Yosemite Park that rises nearly three-fourths of a mile straight up.


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A place where everybody knows your name

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name; where friends gather and life reinvents itself. If you think a place like this only exists in the imagination, just ask Lynn Thoreson of Edina or John Seward of Burnsville. Both Boomers have found a sort of Shangri-La within the walls of Welcyon, a 50-plus fitness center with locations in Edina and Bloomington.


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Fitness Franchises Muscle Up

It’s a busy time of year for fitness franchises. January is when Americans collectively migrate from the shopping mall and bottomless eggnog bowl to the gym. Not surprisingly, fitness clubs win at least a third of all new memberships in the first three months of the year.


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Active steps to aging better

More than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 years old every day. However, it doesn’t have to mean that their health retires, too. If you or your parents take steps today, active aging can help slow down or even reverse chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.


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Fitness at 50 and Beyond

After turning 63, Patty Storm decided she needed a make-over. She stopped coloring her hair, curious to see what the gray would look like. She began eating better and wanted some kind of exercise.


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Running hard

TOM AND SUZY BOERBOOM both have had long careers in the health care business, he as an executive with various long-term care providers, a role that he continues today as CEO of Mission Health, and she as a registered nurse and customer service expert.


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Get Fit!

Welcyon seeks to help clients over 50 strengthen bones and muscles. “A lot of people over 50 don’t get the muscle strengthening they need to go up stairs, pick up their grandkids and do all those things that used to be easy,” says co-owner Suzy Boerboom. Using pneumatic (air powered) exercise equipment, Welcyon works with members by assessing their fitness levels and adjusting the air-pressure of each machine, which translates into weight


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Fitness After 50

Diet and exercise are some of the biggest resolutions made each year. For many who are experiencing a decline in health, making a plan to incorporate more physical activity is the difference between health and disease.


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Baby boomers aim to stay fit after fifty

For John Seward, making it to the gym isn’t an option. It’s a necessity. “I’m not going to chase women or gain a six-pack. I’m going to stay alive,” said Seward, 62, who is determined to stay healthy and mobile through exercise as he ages.


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Claims of increased strength are based on an analysis of 716 members who exercised for two years. Results will vary based on each individual’s level of participation. Wellness claims are based on evidence in health and exercise science literature.
Franchises that receive federal assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration by law, may not discriminate, prohibit, or deny services to any individual who seeks membership at the franchisee’s facility.