Getting off the couch — or out of the car, or up and down the stairs — used to be a cinch.

Once you pass the half-century mark, probably not so much.

Although they have a while to go in that regard, Bethel Park residents Jason and Rachel Zawodniak understand.

“We want to help people restore their flexibility and strength so they age better, and ultimately so they can live a better life after 50,” Jason said. “That’s the ultimate goal for us, with the book and with the business. It’s about giving them their life back, allowing them to do the things that they want to do.”

Their business is the personal training studio A50 Fitness — yes, the A is for “after” — on North Highland Road, near the confluence of Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon. And the book is “Get Flexible After 50,” Jason’s 37-page guide available by free download.

“We often tell our clients or anyone we meet that flexibility is the foundation of any goal after 50, whether it’s aging better, whether it’s moving better, whether it’s keeping up with family or playing their favorite sports,” he said.

“Strength, balance, endurance, stamina: They’re all important. But to me, if I can get you flexible, all the other blocks fall into place so much easier.”

His intent with “Get Flexible After 50” is providing a concise, practical plan involving seven types of stretches that require at most a doorway or sturdy wall, and he realizes that such endeavors may be new to a lot of people.

“To go from zero to seven seems really overwhelming, and it is,” Zawodniak said. “We start by implementing one at a time and building a stretching routine.”

The guide features step-by-step instruction on how to stretch properly and the reason for doing each of the exercises. For example, doing high knee holds by lifting the legs while braced against a wall improves range of motion and strength in the hips, “one of the tightest and weakest areas of the body.”

Each stretch is accompanied by a troubleshooting paragraph, and Zawodniak even includes his email to receive and answer questions.

“As much as we love our personal training studio and we know that this a great solution, for some people it’s too big of a first step,” he said. “The book gives anyone the opportunity to start and have a first step that is sustainable, that is realistic, that’s doable. And then, they can continue from there.”

That could include training at A50, he acknowledged:

“Of course, we’d love to have them come in so they can continue with all the other attributes.”

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Harry Funk is a TribLive news editor, specifically serving as editor of the Hampton, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine Creek and Bethel Park journals. A professional journalist since 1985, he joined TribLive in 2022. You can contact Harry at