Move Baby, Move!™
MBM Productions, LLC dba Move Baby, Move! was incorporated March 16, 2006. The principals of Move Baby, Move! spent much time, energy, and their own funds bringing the business this far. The principals established strategic alliances with local, city, state, and national older adult organizations. These include: City of Dallas Senior Services Department, City of Dallas Parks and Recreation, City of Plano Parks and Recreation Department, Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services, The Area Agency on Aging of North Central Texas, The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Texercise, and The Arthritis Foundation.
The original concept for the business was developed in New Orleans, Louisiana where Mr. Palmer worked as Director of Operations for a home health care company while also owning and operating a karate school. Founding partner MerandaVarnado was working as Physician Liaison for the same home care company while teaching aerobics and Pilates at night.
Both Mr. Palmer and Ms. Varnado grew up in households that valued health and fitness. Mr. Palmer’s parents were actively involved in sports and exercise. Mr. Palmer’s mother was an avid tennis player into her 70's. Ms. Varnado’s father was a former Golden Gloves champion and martial artist. Thus, they both could attest to the positive benefits of movement and exercise-at any age.
While working at the home health agency two events transpired that caused Mr. Palmer and Ms. Varnado to have an epiphany.
The first was that it became apparent to them that many of their patients were unable to do the things they used to do because they had stopped moving and were just sitting around waiting to become ill. They could no longer perform their activities of daily living (ADL’s). Thus, they became “sick” to qualify for home health aides to assist them with their ADL’s. The majority of their ailments could be attributed directly to their lack of physical activity/exercise - Diabetes, Obesity, Hypertension.
Secondly, Ms. Varnado was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. This arthritis-like disease is similar to chronic fatigue syndrome and affects women disproportionately to men. She found herself in the same position as many of their patients - but she was only 35 years old! She became depressed and isolated. Then, one day she was watching the Wayne Brady show where Jack LaLane was the featured guest. Jack LaLane said "there is no excuse; whatever you do standing you can do seated." She had an epiphany and began to choreograph chair-based movements that became the genesis of the Move Baby, Move! program.
Together, they developed an exercise program that anyone, at any age could do. They made it simple and fun utilizing seated movements similar to the ones that were used for the aerobic classes. They added music, martial art breathing techniques, relaxation and self-massage modalities. They called their program “Just Move, Baby!” and started conducting classes at senior centers, retirement complexes, and health facilities in, and around New Orleans. They both got certified as Older Adult Fitness Specialists at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, TX. They established relationships with the Orleans Parish Council on Aging, the Jefferson Parish Council on Aging, the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Volunteers of America and others. They performed at the Mayor’s Senior Summit in 2005 and were scheduled to perform at the AARP’s 50+ convention in September 2005; but then came Katrina.
Moving to Dallas in2006 they incorporated the business as “Move Baby, Move!”(There was a real estate company in Houston that had the “Just Move” in their name). The principals worked diligently and established strategic alliances with local, city, state, and national older adult organizations. These include: City of Dallas Senior Services Department, City of Dallas Parks and Recreation, City of Plano Parks and Recreation Department, Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services, The Area Agency on Aging of North Central Texas, The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Texercise, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Heart Association.
Ms. Varnado was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in July of 2011. She fought valiantly, but lost her battle on August 20, 2012 at 2:25pm.
Mr. Palmer has kept both her spirit and their dream alive by working with UnitedHealthcare, Black Enterprise magazine, Xavier University, Snap Fitness and Family Independence Initiative to keep the Move Baby, Move! program at the forefront by increasing the quality and quantity of life for thousands of Americans.