Paulene Kipke was not planning to open a business when she bought seven exercise machines last year.
But, that is what soon happened.
“I had knee surgery that didn’t go well,” she said. “In trying to recoup the one, I ended up damaging the other. I was using a wheelchair in public and crutches at home.”
Kipke had that knee surgery about two years ago.
“I knew I had to strengthen my knee, but I couldn’t do traditional exercise, so that was my option,” she said.
The option she referred to were machines that would tone and strengthen the muscles around her joints.
Last October, Kipke purchased seven such machines that had been part of a business in Iola.
“My intent was to put it in my basement for my own purpose,” she said. “But, I couldn’t get up and down the basement stairs.”‘
Around the same time, space at 112 E. Union St. in downtown Waupaca was becoming available.
“This place kind of fell into my lap,” Kipke said. “Within a couple weeks of buying the first machines, I was looking.”
She bought five additional machines and last October, began renting the space on Union Street.
Kipke spent the next couple months getting ready to open Just Losin’ It.
She opened the business last January.
Kipke is the nursing assistant training manager for the American Red Cross’ eastern Wisconsin territory, and she began using the machines last December.
“I went back to see my knee surgeon in March. He said as long as I keep what I’m doing, I’m able to put off surgery,” she said.
Kipke said the machines are an option for those who have mobility issues.
She and staff members Anna Kipke and Tanya Christianson will help people get on and off the machines if they need assistance.
“It’s toning and strengthening. We’re not a diet center,” Kipke said.
She said customers are able to rebuild their leg muscles and that she is happy to be able to walk and run again.
Just Losin’ It is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m Tuesday and Thursday and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.
“People typically come three times a week,” Kipke said. “Each machine has a number of different exercises you can do to target different areas for toning.”
She describes the motions as being passive and repetitive ones that help to strengthen the muscles around joints.
“It’s a circuit. You start out about five minutes on each for a minimum and build up to seven or eight minutes per machine. That is the max,” Kipke said. “Because it is passive, there is no impact on the joints.”
She recommends that those who use the machines also do some type of cardio exercise and said customers lose pounds but more in inches.
Open to men and women, Kipke said they have a free, two-week trial membership and that those as young as 16 can join, with a parent’s signature.
Those younger than age 16 may be able to join, with physician approval.
Monthly, annual and family memberships are available. For information, call 715-412-0636.
An appointment is not necessary for those visiting for the first time.
Kipke has strengthened her knees and enjoys taking her granddaughter Nora for walks. She is also looking forward to competing in the 5K Warrior Princess Mud Run next month at Mosquito Hill in New London.
“Initially, it wasn’t my intent to start a business,” she said. “It was my intent to walk again.”