Fit and Fun

Jeannie and Ben Landis turn workout time into playtime at FitLab, Virginia Beach.

Story and Photos by Angela Blue

Somewhere between childhood—where we absolutely couldn't wait until recess—and adulthood—where physical activity feels like a chore—we've ruined the concept of exercise. And the reason is simple: we've taken the fun out of it.

Ben and Jeannie Landis aim to change this mindset by changing workout time to playtime. The husband and wife exercise aficionados and movement specialists opened an interactive exercise space, FitLab, on Great Neck Road last November, where people of all ages and fitness levels can focus on moving better and feeling better. "We want to focus on building strong bodies so that people can take what they learn in Fitlab and do whatever it is that lights them up," Jeannie explains.

Ben—a resistance training specialist—and Jeannie—a wellness coach, Muscle Activation Technique specialist and GMB fitness trainer—lead the sessions held at Fitlab. Services include personal training, as well as small group training, where the class maximum is six, so no large crowds.

The atmosphere itself is also anything but crowded; it's chic and fresh. A garage door opens to reveal a bright kitchen area (where nutrition coaching will eventually take place), as well as an open and airy exercise space. Here, you won't find rows of treadmills or intimidating machines. Instead, you could be swinging from the ceiling like a trapeze artist, dangling from the monkey bars that extend the entire length of the room or climbing the rope ladder that looks as if it should lead to a treehouse. "Exercise can be enjoyable in itself," Jeannie says. "In order for it to be sustainable, it's got to be fun, and it's got to feel good. It's got to be building you up, not tearing you down."

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FitLab is located at 1440 North Great Neck Rd., Virginia Beach. Visit  for more info.

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