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About Wackler Wellness


Wackler Wellness is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt non-profit organization committed to the improvement of the health and well-being of older adults through exercise.

Rebecca Wackler             Resume
President, Wackler Wellness

Rebecca Wackler founded Wackler Wellness in June of 2003. She is an ACSM certified Health Fitness Instructor as well as an ACE certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Leader.

She received a degree in Special Education for the mentally retarded from Florida State University in 1971.
She taught mentally retarded children for three years before she had her son. Teaching mentally retarded children and learning the principals of behavior modification has given her a unique ability to work with special populations and personalize exercise programs when she is doing personal training or teaching.

She began teaching aerobic classes in 1985 in Atlanta, Georgia. She specialized in Step Aerobics, Low Impact Aerobics, Aqua Aerobics, and strength and conditioning. She moved to Los Angeles in 1993 and was employed by Pritikin to teach at their health club on Ventura Boulevard. After the 1993 Northridge earthquake, the building was condemned, and the health club was shut down. Rebecca’s students were so enthusiastic about her classes that they asked her to continue to teach them. They found another space, and she continued the classes for two more years.

At that time Rebecca began to specialize in working with seniors. In 1995, she became certified as a personal trainer and began working with private clients. She was employed by Secure Horizons to teach low impact aerobics and strength training to seniors who were members of their HMO. For the next five years, she received continuing education from Secure Horizons and specialized in senior fitness.

In 1996, she began working at Westwood Horizons, a retirement hotel in Westwood. She continues to teach classes and work with private clients there. She discovered that not only was she interested in working with seniors, but specifically, she also wanted to work with seniors in their seventies, eighties, nineties and one hundreds. Excited about the new research on exercise and aging, she began encouraging her older clients to challenge their limits. As a result, she began to see incredible strength gains. As they got stronger, they became more empowered and less depressed. They were more independent than their peers and began to feel as though they had some control over the aging process.

Rebecca works with clients as old as 104 and believes that anyone can get stronger regardless of age or physical handicap. Currently she is lecturing and teaching classes and doing private training.


• Strength training increases muscle mass, strength, balance, and overall level of physical activity, all of which can reduce the risk of falls and resulting fractures. (Pollack et al. 1998)

• Strength training helps seniors cope with arthritis by improving muscle function and reducing the load on joints. (Hochberg et al. 1995)

• Strength training is a powerful tool against osteoporosis. (Nelson et al. 1995)

• Strength training improves insulin sensitivity and blood glucose regulation. (Miller et al. 1994)

Seniors older than 65 represent more than 12% of Americans. By 2040, the population of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to reach 70 million. (Hurley & Hagberg, 1998)

As many as one-half of people 65 years or older will experience a fall this year. When older adults are admitted to hospitals for injuries, 80 percent of the time the injuries resulted from a fall.

“The most common fractures caused by falls involve the hip and the forearm,” says Dr. Frederick Frost of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic, “Fifty percent of those who come into our hospital with fractured hips never return to their homes. They are either discharged to a nursing home or to the care of a relative. Either way, they lose their independence.”

The fear of falling often leads to the reality of falling. A study conducted at the Boston University School of Public Health found that 30-35 percent of elderly people reported a fear of falling. Being too cautious causes people to restrict their physical activities, which causes weakened muscles that can lead to falls. And people who are less active tend to spend more time alone. That can cause depression, more drug use (including alcohol), and -- you guessed it – more falls.

“Exercise is the cornerstone of treatment for preventing falls,” says Dr. Frost.

From the Arthritis Advisor, November 2004

More than two-thirds of older adults don’t get any regular exercise according to National Institute on Aging statistics – despite research showing that even frail people can benefit from simple activity. In one study, a group of age 80 and over folks discarded their walkers for canes after just 10 weeks of muscle-building exercise.
WebMD Medical News, February 2001

Work was done by Maria Fiatarone and others at Tufts University along with William Evans of Noll Physiological Research Center in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development. They found that 100 frail men and women in their 80s and 90s, all of whom have at least one chronic illness, improved their weight-lifting capacity 118 percent over 10 weeks. As a result, they were able to walk more quickly and climb stairs more easily.

Muscle strength declines by 15 percent per decades after age 50 and 30 percent per decade after age 70; however resistance training can result in 25 to 100 percent, or more, strength gains in older adults.

Most adults lose 40% of their physical processes between the ages of 30 and 80, but consistent physical activity can add 10 to 15 active years to adult lives according J. Jones Assessments for older adults quoted in IDEA Health & Fitness Sources, 2000.

From the World Health Organization, 1997, Summary of the Psychological Benefits of Physical Activity for Older Person

Immediate Benefits: Relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, and enhanced mood state.

Long-term Effects: General well-being, improved mental health, cognitive improvements, motor control and performance, and skills acquisition.