Infectiously Energetic With Paula Bernstein

Paula Bernstein Exercise Instructor at Oldfield Club in Okatie, South CarolinaMeet Paula Bernstein, the Director of Sports and Wellness at the Oldfield Club in Okatie, South Carolina. With 25 years of experience in Health and Fitness, she has immersed herself in every aspect of physical training, nutrition, and education, culminating in her current role where all these facets harmonize beautifully.

Paula believes that preparation is key in any sport or fitness endeavor. Mindfulness, stretching, and warming up are prerequisites for optimal performance. She comments, “Mindfulness entails being attuned to body and mind, crucial especially in competitive settings. Taking quiet moments for deep, slow breathing while mentally scanning each body part fosters emotional presence. Static stretches precede dynamic ones, focusing on opening hips, enhancing trunk rotation, and improving stability and balance—essential for activities ranging from tennis matches to yoga classes.”

Creating programs that integrate mind and body has been a longstanding ambition for Paula and the team at Oldfield. Initiatives like bimonthly sound bath meditation and weekly stretch clinics aim to merge physical and mental wellness. Classes not only enhance physical strength but also cultivate mental resilience. Nutrition and wellness sessions aid members in healthy meal planning and stress management. Monthly medical and wellness lectures at the facility cover topics from orthopedics to mindfulness meditation, emphasizing holistic well-being. The facility just added Tai Chi twice weekly to the programming.

Paula Bernstein Exercise Class at Oldfield Club in Okatie, South CarolinaDelivering these services fulfills a career objective, but personally, it resonates with Paula’s purpose: advocating exercise as medicine, not just for physical health but also for mental well-being. Bernstein notes, “Exercise, often underutilized, can alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma while reducing the risk of medical conditions like heart disease.”  She aims to dispel the notion that exercise must be punishing or time-consuming—it can be as simple as a walk or bike ride, tailored to individual preferences. Consistency and daily discipline are paramount; it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

What many don’t know is that Paula has applied this firsthand, having shed over 70 pounds by transforming her lifestyle—quitting smoking, revamping her diet, and committing to daily exercise. Maintaining this weight loss for three decades, exercise has been her solace from personal trauma, serving as a form of meditation. Its benefits extend beyond aesthetics to bolstering self-esteem, fortifying mental resilience, and embodying self-respect and self-care. She hopes to share her knowledge with others and create an environment at the facility where this then comes naturally throughout the members’ day.


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