Together We Thrive Community Celebration: Jay Kappes

In 2021, the City of Lebanon launched Together We Thrive, a community wellness campaign that reimagines the idea of health and wellness to create a vibrant community through all aspects of healthy living. This year, we are enhancing Together We Thrive with community celebrations to highlight the stories of your neighbors and friends who prioritize health and wellness every day.

As we age, our bodies change. These changes can include decreased range of motion, loss of strength and decreased balance. All of these changes can lead to an increased chance of injury. So how do we slow down these changes to stay healthier and mobile for longer? One answer: strength training. Meet Jay Kappes, a Lebanon community member who prioritizes strength training in his health and wellness routine to stay active and mobile for years to come. Continue reading Jay’s Community Celebration to learn more about why he started on his wellness journey, his current routine and why he finds strength training to be important for healthy aging.   

Q: How did you get started in your fitness and wellness journey?
I found motivation to begin my wellness journey when my business partner had a health scare. I looked in the mirror at myself and I did not like what I saw.

Q: What were your goals when you first started? How did you create those goals?
My goals at the beginning were focused on weight loss and bettering my eating habits. My wife was very helpful in all aspects of changing some of the bad habits I had found myself in.

We chose small goals at first that we were sure I could sustain. Mostly walking and low impact activities. Over time, we added 5K runs and biking to the program.

Q: What is your current workout routine? 
Currently, I am doing CrossFit workouts at 5:30 am six days a week. The first hour of my workout is CrossFit, followed by more of a strength-based cycle of movements. I focus on areas that I notice I have a weakness in.

Q: What do you like about CrossFit workouts?
I like CrossFit and thoroughly enjoy the endless variety it offers. We cover strength training along with cardio. CrossFit workouts are done with a community, which offers healthy accountability with a great group of people.

Q: As someone who is a little bit older, in what ways have you noticed strength training benefitting your health?
At my age, the benefits of strength training continue to offer a great opportunity to develop mental clarity and relieve stresses that accumulate. It also has helped with bone and muscle density.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to start a health and wellness journey – what would it be?
One thing I would like to offer is to encourage people of any age to just start moving. Exercise offers many benefits that will last a lifetime.

Can a 27-Year-Old Keep Up with Jay?
Hi – I’m Rebecca! I’m the marketing and social media coordinator for the City of Lebanon. I was invited to work out with Jay as part of his Community Celebration to see if a “younger” person could keep up with his workout. Spoiler alert - no, a 27-year-old could not keep up. But I did have fun working out with Jay and the early morning crew at the gym! For some background, my workout routine consists of exercising at least five times a week. I do a mix of running, indoor cycling, Pilates/yoga and strength training.

My morning started bright and early with a wake-up call at 4 am so I could be on time to the 5:30 am workout with Jay. When I arrived, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was warmly welcomed by everyone the minute I walked through the door. I met Jay and he helped me work through understanding the abbreviations that were written on the board to describe the workout for the day. Immediately, everyone at the early morning class had great things to say about Jay. I learned that he encourages and motivates everyone in the morning class, pushing them to lift heavier and work harder throughout the workout.

We began the warmup and there was already a sense of friendly competition between all in the class, noticeable by all of the fun banter. As we moved into the strength portion of class, I realized I may be in over my head. When we started on the workout of the day (WOD), I realized how much everyone in the class challenged each other to keep working. From the start, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Jay. I had to scale down the weights (by quite a lot!) and the workout to finish within the time allotted for each exercise. And on top of that, I took photos and videos of Jay working out, framing it as “just part of the article.” In reality, it was because I needed to take a break from the workout.  

To conclude and answer the question, no, a 27-year-old could not keep up with Jay. But it was nice meeting Jay and seeing how strength training has benefitted him with healthy aging.