Exercise activities are simply not the same for everyone, especially as you get older. That is why Ellen Mullen is offering a personalized training studio that specializes in the over-50 crowd.

At Goodfit, 528 Post Road, which opened in June, Mullen believes she is meeting a unique niche, and doing so with the background and understanding necessary to service her clientele.

"I focus in, and I'm really, really good at working with people that are older -- my age and up," said Mullen, who is 50 but certainly doesn't look it.

"The whole business is really about specializing and customizing an individualized workout program for somebody over 50," she said.

While it sounds simple enough for anyone at any age to improve his or her body, Mullen believes different approaches need to be taken as someone gets older.

"Everybody wants to feel better, they want to look better," she said. However, as someone gets older, it becomes more likely he or she can injure themselves working out too vigorously to try and achieve goals. "It's so hard to work without injuring yourself," she said.

Mullen, who lives in Fairfield with her family, has been working in fitness for more than 20 years. "I started when my son was born, teaching a fit-and-fun baby class," she said. From there, she began as a regular trainer at the Fairfield YMCA, then later the Greenwich Y.

"I worked at the Greenwich Y for years, and then I decided to go off on my own and just do home clients and be a personal trainer," she said. This, in turn, led her to team up with Darien chiropractor Greg Birsky for a seven-year stint.

"He would refer me patients that needed to increase their overall fitness," Mullen said, "so my business kind of transformed."

More Information

Fact box

During this time she learned a new value and respect for exercise and training. In some cases, by working with Mullen on improving their fitness, many of Birsky's referrals who had received injuries were able to improve and recover without surgeries of extensive rehabilitation.

"By strengthening the different parts of the body, you could improve your overall fitness," she said. "We would strengthen what their weaknesses were."

Introduced to Mullen four years ago through an email that came from Birsky, Susan Painter, of Darien, said, "I had had several major injuries and was looking for more personal training than just going to Pilates and yoga at the Y. The fact that she was associated with a sports strengthening practice was a plus, as I was a beginning-middle-aged golfer and was looking to build myself up for golf as well.

"Ellen tailors her workout for the individual and varies the programs so it never becomes rote," Painter said. "She proceeds within your comfort zone while pushing you to gain more motion and strength nonetheless."

Mullen added, "Everyone works out differently. Everyone has different goals. ... I have so much knowledge and experience, I can work with the person and help them figure out how to work out."

Since she's been working with Mullen, Painter said she has "increased strength, balance, endurance and seen a significant reduction in joint pain from injury-based arthritis."

For information, visit www.goodfitdarien.com or call 203-615-2144.

Jarret Liotta is a freelance writer.