Dr. Kaaren Vargas was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the US at a very young age. Her whole life she has been passionate about fitness, studying everything from martial arts to cycling to weightlifting.
In her professional life, she completed her pediatric dental specialty training in 1992 at Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, NY and a PhD in 1998 at the University of Iowa. She became a full time faculty member at the University of Iowa Department of Pediatric Dentistry that same year. She has also lectured extensively both nationally and internationally.
After studying engineering for the first two years at the University of Iowa I decided to change my major to exercise science. This is when I got my personal training certification through ACSM and began my journey as a trainer. The first step was to find a gym to call home; this is when I found Thrive. Thrive gym really stood out to me; it wasn’t like the other gyms.
I could tell Thrive was different because it is a place where you can come in and be individual. No matter what your training style, Thrive gym had all the bases covered.
My goals as a trainer here is to help my clients better understand the key components to living healthier lifestyles as well as incorporating functional movement training.
My passion for health and wellness as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer has been a part of my life since high school.
I have worked in private clubs, non-profit settings and corporate wellness. Leading group fitness classes on land and in the water, as well as training individuals and small groups.
One of my favorite populations in which to work with is the Senior population (ie: Baby Boomers), educating them on how to stay as healthy and as well as possible during the second half of life. My approach is to work along side each person to maintain what they have and enhance areas that will progress them toward their goals.
With my experience as a Dementia practitioner, I also include brain health. While there is no cure or magic, we can challenge our brains by keeping them active in ways that we most likely are not doing in our day today life.
I was born and raised in the midwest and love everything about it except the weather!! I moved to VA for a few yearsI actually did not fall in love with fitness until college when I used it as an escape. A gym is my happy place. At first I started running and slowly lifting weights but nothing fancy until I became pregnant with my son. It was then when I realized I had a love for fitness simply because it made me feel amazing!! I was in the gym everyday during my pregnancy and in turn it was a breeze; no complications and happy healthy baby and momma! After having him, I quickly dropped the baby weight and thus my love for fitness grew!
Needless to say since then my love for fitness has grown into a passion and now everyday routine!