ASANA Wellness offers ‘one stop shopping’ for health and fitness


When first-time visitors enter the newly opened ASANA Wellness center in Jacksonville, they see the cardio machines and free weights most expect to see at a typical gym. But that’s where the similarity to other fitness centers ends, ASANA staff say.

Unlike other fitness facilities, they say, ASANA brings together physical fitness with medically supervised health and wellness monitoring to help people achieve optimal fitness.

“We’re not just another gym – we are really the first fully integrated medical wellness and fitness center in Jacksonville,” Director of Operations Jarrod Saracco said. “We bring everything under one roof. Our tagline is ‘being healthy just got easy.’”

The 15,000 square-foot facility is comprised of an 11,000 square-foot health club and fitness center along with a 4,000 square foot medical wellness center that is under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Ruterbusch. Complete with both indoor and outdoor training areas, ASANA offers 30-, 45- and 60-minute group workout sessions where participants are tracked to monitor their heart rates and maximize metabolic burn. Working with the medical wellness center’s staff of 10 clinicians, ASANA develops a “personal wellness score” for each member built around what it calls its “6 Pillars” – fitness, nutrition, cardio-metabolic, hormones, environment and well-being.

“Fitness is more than just working out,” Saracco said. “Our staff works with each person individually to see where you are on a cellular level, where you want to go and the best plan of action based on your personal wellness score. There’s no cookie-cutter system that works for everyone.”

Building off its six pillar, ASANA staff also take a holistic approach, considering how factors such as the environment impacts a person’s health.

“There are over 84,000 chemicals that create toxicity in the body – and 70 percent of them are unregulated,” Saracco said. “That impacts our bodies’ ability to live well.”

Hormones, meanwhile, can impact your mood, weight and how fast or well one ages. Of particular importance, Saracco added, is ASANA’s cardio monitoring. “Heart disease, stroke and diabetes are three big killers,” he said.

ASANA Wellness was founded by Dr. Rey Perez. As the owner of three chiropractic pain management centers, Saracco said, Perez became interested in developing a facility that would help prevent many of the diseases and injuries he was seeing in his chiropractic practice.

“The goal was to combine fitness and wellness in one fully integrated facility,” Saracco said.

To that end, ASANA offers chiropractic services in addition to heart-rate tracking. The facility also has its own on-site blood lab testing facility on site for use in monitoring members’ health.

Special programs

ASANA prides itself on being the only Jacksonville fitness and wellness center to offer a number of fitness programs and offerings. In addition to offering the STRIVE Smart Strength training system, the facility offers an outdoor Crossfit-style training area with a “Ninja warrior-style” training center.

ASANA is also the only Jacksonville fitness center to offer the ZUU fitness program. Created in Australia and popular in both Asia and Europe, ZUU uses no equipment or weights. Instead, participants employ what the program calls “primal animal movements” to achieve an intense workout. From leaping like a frog to crawling like a bear, ZUU works muscle groups that are rarely impacted when using seated gym equipment or free weights.

“When you complete a 30- or 60-minute ZUU workout,” Saracco said, “you can feel the power of your body.”

Yet despite the special programs and intense workouts, he stressed that ASANA Wellness is a fitness center where everyone will feel welcome.

“Whether you’ve never worked out in your life or you’re an experienced Crossfit trainer or a new mom looking to get back in shape,” he said, “you will be comfortable here.”