I am Tulsa - Alton Arevalo
Physical trainer, fitness specialist and member of Tulsa's Young Professionals
Alton Arevalo wants Tulsans to stop sitting and start sweating – something he’s more familiar with than most since he lives and breathes a healthy way of life as a physical trainer and fitness specialist.
“Living a healthy lifestyle keeps you full of energy and you tend to approach things with a better attitude,” he says.
Born in Houston, Texas, but raised in El Salvador, Arevalo moved back to the United States to attend college at John Brown University in Arkansas, where he majored in biology.
He moved to Oklahoma after graduating so he could pursue a medical degree at one of the state’s medical schools and because his college roommate was from Tulsa and encouraged Arevalo to relocate.
But instead of attending medical school, Arevalo decided to do something he cared about since his youth – fitness.
“I said, ‘I really want to stay in the medical field and try to make a difference for people,’” the 27-year-old says. “I had a lot of experience training people throughout college. I did it just for fun. People would come to me and ask me questions about training … so I went ahead and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to make a living off what I know.’”
Arevalo received the necessary health certifications and trained clients at a friend’s training studio, followed by a move to the Health Zone, Saint Francis Health System’s medically-based, 70,000 square-foot fitness facility.
“I moved here to the Health Zone and realized you can make a huge difference in health and wellness by being a personal trainer,” he says. “I’m definitely contributing to the community in the aspect of health by changing their (clients) lifestyles – physically and mentally.”
A typical day for Arevalo begins at 5:15 a.m. at the Health Zone, where he trains clients until the late morning hours, followed by training sessions in the early evening hours at the end of his clients’ workdays.
The majority of his clients, he says, are those who are trying to lose weight. Others are clients who want to stay healthy and just need an extra push to exercise on a regular basis.
“If they can just workout three times a week for one hour each time, that would be perfect to keep in good shape,” he says.
He also recommends healthy dining options, such as requesting salad dressing on the side because many restaurants pour the dressing over the salad, which is loaded in calories.
“Any place you go, you can always find healthy choices because Oklahoma and Tulsa have gotten better at trying to keep healthy choices at their restaurants,” he says. “Always try to stick with your protein, your greens and a little bit of carbohydrates like a chicken breast.”
When he’s away from the gym, Arevalo spends his time running in local parks with his dog, bike riding, barbequing with friends, or hanging out in downtown for trivia nights at Joe Momma’s Pizza, or indulging in an occasional fried food splurge at McNellie’s on Wednesdays for $3 burger nights.
“I’m a very people person, and I’m a very outdoor person, as well,” he says. “I like spending time with friends just playing games.”
Arevalo also spends his time attending events through Tulsa’s Young Professionals (TYPros). He joined the organization last summer after friends, who belong to TYPros, told him about its networking opportunities.
“TYPros was the place to go and meet people who work in different areas in a very wide variety in Tulsa,” he says.
Members are very willing to help each other professionally, he says, which helps promote their local businesses. “They want you to talk to them and introduce yourself… They inform you of new things going on and happenings in Tulsa.”
Since Arevalo moved to Tulsa four years ago, his youngest brother of two younger siblings moved to Tulsa to receive his master’s degree at the University of Tulsa. His other brother plans to relocate his medical practice from El Salvador to Tulsa later this year.
Although Arevalo’s parents, whom he thanks for giving him the opportunity to attend college and establish a career in the U.S., remain in El Salvador, he says he plans to stay in Oklahoma so that he can contribute more to the community by teaching Tulsans how to live healthier.
“Being a personal trainer … I think I’m an asset to the Tulsa community by helping them stay healthy, by helping them lose weight, by showing them a good way and different lifestyle from what they’re used to, and by trying to teach them tips on how to obtain those physical goals they want.”
I am dedicated to Tulsa because I am all about giving back to the community. Tulsa has a great amount of resources to complete your dreams and goals. It has definitely helped me establish my business with a large clientele and the opportunity to start a medical career.
I am a member of Tulsa’s Young Professionals because I get to interact with a wide variety of young entrepreneurs. All of these young professionals have something in common - a strong drive towards success.
As a personal trainer networking is a key factor to make your business grow. TYPros has definitely given me the opportunity to spread my name and business within the Tulsa community.
I am passionate about helping others, especially the ones in need. Recently I have been gathering with a small group of young, underprivileged people with the purpose of encouraging them to pursue their dreams and also to aid them with necessary garments.
I am looking forward to the Tulsa community becoming more involved with their physical well-being and watching Tulsa families make healthier choices in life. This will ultimately decrease obesity, cardiovascular problems and diabetes in the state of Oklahoma.
I am proudest of finally accomplishing one of my goals, which was to start a career in the medical field. I am currently enrolled in nursing school, and I am looking forward to completing my medical career. This will help me follow my passion of helping others.
I am an asset to Tulsa because Oklahoma is one of the highest ranked states for obesity. As a professional personal trainer, I believe I am an asset to the Tulsa community by making them become more physically active through boot camps, weight loss programs and personal training.