Leslie Eckstein finds Inspiration in Spreading Wellness

For Leslie Eckstein, mother of four and owner of Studio Lakeville in Lakeville, Connecticut, the sudden challenge of owning a health and fitness business during a pandemic, and the isolation of the elderly population gave way for an opportunity to provide support on two critically important fronts.

“I contacted Noble Horizons knowing that the folks there needed active support and hoping to stay relevant in a business sense myself,”  says Leslie. “My heart breaks for the seniors across the country, but especially in our area, who have endured months of isolation. The least I can do is provide an outlet for them to be active.” The resulting collaboration between Leslie’s Studio Lakeville and Noble Horizons has presented residents and local seniors with a free workout class that takes place every Wednesday afternoon via Zoom.

Leslie’s business venture began a few years ago with a modest facility where she conducted personal training and massage sessions, as well as some limited spin classes. The buzz quickly spread around the Northwest Corner, and in 2016 she opened a larger space above Prime Finds along Route 44. Even with a rapidly-growing business, Eckstein continued to work with individual clients in her original location. Today, Leslie offers spin classes seven days a week out of Studio Lakeville which quickly became the hub of Lakeville and a bustling business until Covid hit.

The collaboration with Noble ostensibly offered seniors a great opportunity to get on their feet while enduring quarantine restrictions but it also offers welcome social connections. “Sure, we work on improving our balance and strength together - and those are very important,” reflects Leslie. “Perhaps most importantly though, is the ability to visit with one another via the digital platform. Each session has become more fun and engaging than the last and we are consistently getting the same folks who attend — it really has become a weekly gathering of friends and neighbors.”

Leslie’s.weekly class offerings are open to community members as well and she  says the workouts provide residents with a window into their community — something that has become rare during covid. “I think many of the residents use the classes as a way to talk with each other and find out what’s new in town,” she says. “They may come for the exercise, but they stay for the bonds and friendships they have created.”

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