Debi Pillarella

Debi Pillarella

About Debi Pillarella

Debi has over 30 years in the fitness industry with experiences ranging from Director of Bariatric Services and Medical Fitness Program Manager for the Community Healthcare System to Author, Keynote Speaker, and Fitness Industry Presenter. She serves as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association in addition to her role as a Master Trainer and spokesperson for The American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.). Debi has a rich history of accolades as she was inducted into the Northwest Indiana Society of Innovators for her work in medical fitness, received the IDEA Director of the Year Award, ACE Fitness Director of the Year Award, and was honored with the Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award, Indiana’s premier Health Achievement Award. She is an adjunct faculty member at Purdue University Northwest where she teaches undergraduate classes for students interested in pursuing careers in personal training as well as group fitness. In addition to her Masters Degree, Debi is a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, as well as a Group Fitness Instructor from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Debi has served as the Fitness Specialist for EatBetterAmerica, in addition to contributing to numerous national and local publications. Most impressively, Debi is an active older adult who is a two time stroke, heart surgery, and brain surgery survivor. She personally understands the challenges of aging with medical challenges while striving for optimal mind and body health, fitness, and overall wellness.  Debi is also the co-creator of the Functional Aging Group Exercise Specialist.

GroupX…Old Method, New Science!

Using fundamental principles of Social Network Theory and older adults, this session will teach you how to create valuable group exercise experiences that stimulate the six functional domains while emphasizing cognition and of course FUN!


1. Understand the basic tenets of Social Network Theory and the important role group exercise can play in improving the quality of life of older adults & Understand how the dynamics of group exercise improve social, emotional health which improved physical and cognitive health

2. Learn new creative group exercise drills and movement patterns which are supported by evidence-based principles that improve all six domains of function

3. Learn how and why exercises within each combine a multiple-modality exercise program with mind-motor training


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