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HK Health and Fitness Marks One Year

Submitted by Karen Therrien

(January 11, 2023) —HK Health and Fitness celebrated a year under new ownership this past December 1st.  Owned by Karen Therrien (Higganum) and Cortney Emshwiller Swokla (Haddam), the gym has steadily been growing over the past year in memberships, improvements, and now in space.

Since taking ownership the gym has expanded from offering free weights, circuit weights, and cardio equipment to including Indoor Cycling, Yoga, and Strength classes, Personal Training and Health Coaching.  Karen and Cortney are currently working on a small expansion at the gym which will allow them to better utilize the space to accommodate the needs of the members and add a few more “toys”, including battle ropes.  

They pride themselves on running a gym where members can feel welcome and inspired to workout, not intimidated.  Karen explained, “After focusing my attention on raising my family for the past 17 years, jumping into owning and running a business took a leap of faith in myself.  I have learned so much this past year and have so much more to learn. I thoroughly enjoy being in the heart of the community and getting to know our members. I get so excited for others when they reach a goal, no matter how big or small, and the gym is a great place for goals”.

Speaking of goals, it’s that time of year where many of us reflect on changes we’d like to make.  Some advice from these health and fitness advocates is “…to take your larger goal and break it down into smaller, more attainable goals.” So many people jump in head first on making a change instead of taking it one step at a time. This often leads quickly to feeling overwhelmed and giving up altogether. Every step matters as you work towards making a change.

Constantly chipping away at improving HK Health and Fitness these ladies are full of ideas for the future and always open to suggestions.  Staffed hours and more information about the gym can be found at or to  connect with the owners send an email to

Member Jason Jansak reflected, “Since becoming the owners of the gym a little over a year ago, Karen and Cortney have completely transformed it into a total fitness facility where people in our community actually want to go to get fit and stay fit.  They are truly invested in their member’s health and well-being.” 

Photos by Karen Therrien


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