Riveroak Fitness+ has a brand new studio in The District community near Biltmore Village. These past few weeks, owners Nico and Eric Perkins have been busy getting their new space ready for a Jan. 2 opening.

After two years in a downtown Asheville location where parking could be a challenge for clients, the two business partners found a convenient location with ample parking in The District just off Fairview Drive. The new space in the modern complex of apartments and businesses is “above” Biltmore Village (where parking also can be limited), Nico noted.

Personal fitness training that is individualized and emphasizes positive change and a healthy lifestyle is the key focus at Riveroak.

When a person comes in for a consultation, the initial goal is getting to know him through an assessment process, said Nico, who only goes by his first name.

He and other personal fitness trainers then begin working with an individual to develop a program designed to help him move well and also address any physical issues with which he may be dealing.

“The service mindset is, “How can we help you?” Nico said. “It’s a team of people that care.”

In addition to certified and experienced personal trainers, Riveroak Fitness+ also has a licensed massage therapist who offers manual therapy. An added feature at the new location is an infrared sauna room for clients.

While assessing a person’s needs, a priority is to figure what is preventing him from moving well and why physical impairment and pain may have occurred in the first place, Nico said.

By taking time to learn about a person and his goals, an effective fitness plan can be developed.

If someone reaches out to Riveroak Fitness+ by sending an email through the center’s website, he is called—or can come by for a chat, Nico said. This process lowers the anxiety of a person considering a fitness program and allows a level of trust to start being built, he said.

After this first contact, a person comes in for a one hour functional movement screening that includes a series of movement patterns and starts a conversation about what his goals are.

The personal fitness trainers at Riveroak are focused on helping clients find a safe and effective way to train, Nico said.

“Exercise should never be a punishment,” he remarked.

A wide range of people come to Riveroak Fitness+, from athletes to those in their mid-to-later years who want to make positive changes in their levels of fitness and find a healthy balance, Nico said.

In addition to one-on-one personal training sessions, Riveroak Fitness+ also offers small group yoga classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. These classes with a maximum size of 12 participants are led by an experienced yoga instructor who offers Baptiste yoga.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force and later working in marketing, Nico decided to follow his natural interest in physical fitness. He and Perkins met while they were working together at a firm in New York a few years ago.

With encouragement from Perkins, the two decided to team up and open a fitness center in New York. Two years ago they relocated to Asheville, attracted to its favorable climate and culture.

Perkins was familiar with Asheville, having attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and visiting the mountain area. After living in New York, Perkins said he appreciates seeing blue sky and breathing in fresh air here.

Riveroak Fitness+ is at 200 District Dr., Suite 002; phone number is 828-505-7557. For more information, visit the website at www.riveroakfitness.com or send an email to info@riveroakfitness.com.

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