Julie Bauer’s Fitness at 50: “Real wellness is…not just diet and exercise.”

Last year was an amazing year for me personally and definitely for Fitness on the Run. There were lots of lessons learned, more of growth opportunities taken, and there’s more to come! One of my most poignant moments was when Julie Bauer approached me to “get as fit as possible before that birthday.” She wanted to make a change that was lasting and paced. Both are top criteria for me as I approach any new client. I was IN!

Julie exudes balance. Julie is a rock star in her business life. She brings amazing calm to her home of two sons, ages 10 and 12, and her husband Dave, Mr. Fitness himself. She stays in close contact with her parents, who still live in Roanoke. And, she values her social support and friendships. She is beyond well rounded. All of these behaviors are humongous factors that lead to a lifestyle of wellness. I am psyched to celebrate her amazing success this year. I cannot wait to write to you next year after she’s accomplished so much more – inside and outside of the gym.

Here’s Julie’s story of patience, perspective, and placing her emphasis on getting fit, and about the all-too-common goal, losing weight.


It’s was big one. Let’s face it: some birthdays make you take stock and reflect on your own personal “state of play.” I am fortunate in many ways, including my health. I’d always had a “moderation in all things” approach and through portion control and sporadic exercise, I had maintained a fairly consistent weight, yet not necessarily a good fitness level. So as I contemplated my upcoming birthday, I knew I could and should do more to face 50 feeling strong. I decided I really wanted to increase my fitness in a meaningful way to be strong for the years ahead.

Last year, after knowing Adrien and Denise for years and wanting to be a committed client,  I finally decided that I could get to Fitness on the Run once a week and start a regular training session with Remi, their Head Trainer and self-professed Zen Master trainer. His style and humor made it an exercise appointment I consistently looked forward to, and I found I did not want to miss it.

That was progress.

After a year of “Remi time,” and realizing that the “big birthday” was coming, I decided to invest more time to deeply understand how to achieve a new fitness level. I took Adrien’s Fit For Life 5 Week Fat Loss Program as a kick-start to educate myself about health and fitness. I learned the importance of sleep and stress management, and thankfully I’m doing well with each. I also tried various classes and methods, including introductory sessions like Yoga Fundamentals at Mind the Mat, read fitness and nutrition books Adrien recommended, and increased my exercise sessions to three times per week. I learned real wellness is the result of a bunch of things, not just diet and exercise.

I set two short-term goals for myself to accomplish by my birthday: I wanted to finally learn correct push-up form and increase my reps to something not embarrassing, and I wanted to deadlift a kettlebell that weighed at least as much as I did.

Most importantly, I made a conscious decision to focus solely on fitness, not on weight loss. I think I have given up on fitness at times over the years because I was discouraged that immediate and remarkable weight loss did not accompany every trip to the gym! I know that fitness and strength are worth it regardless of numbers on the scale, so I kept that at the front of my mind. I found that approach to be a relief, and one that enabled me to enjoy my progress and accomplishments more fully.

I’m happy to report that I met the two goals I mentioned above, and thanks to my trainers and friends at FOR, also learned to do handstand push-ups, which I’ve used to try to impress my sons. My deadlift is actually more than my body weight and I’m working on pull ups now. I try to add a heavy deadlift and a handstand to every workout because they remind me of the progress I’ve made and how strong I’ve become. I’m looking forward to another great year at FOR.


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Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching literally thousands struggle with theirs, in 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Today, “FOR” is home to more than 250 clients, 12 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. She is passionate about helping others view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of a 4-5 hard workouts per week to some days getting in her 10,000 steps and her 7.5 hours of sleep and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Now, she believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s only for five minutes a day. Adrien works daily to help clients understand that the three most vital components of any effective fitness program are consistency, sustainability, and fun. Adrien believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and our health and that change, or improvement, is always within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. She believes her vocation is to help Alexandrians learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness and listening to FOR client’s success stories. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Fitness on the Run is Fitness for Life. Combining a focus on strong bodies and strong minds with a robust wellness education program and unparalleled personalized attention, we provide fitness for health, longevity and functionality.


Fitness on the Run
210 N Lee St.,
Alexandria, VA 22314


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