Fitness enthusiasts Tyler Brown and T.J. Arella are opening 8Well, a fitness studio in downtown Huntington.  Credit: Johnny Milano

As Long Islanders are learning to live with COVID-19, and with some turning to wholistic wellness in their quest to be fit and healthy, two Huntington natives are providing just the space and resources for residents.

Tyler Brown and T.J. Arella, both fitness and wellness enthusiasts, said they shared a vision to help people achieve a well-balanced lifestyle, leading them to establish 8Well, a fitness studio in downtown Huntington. The studio, set to open this week, will focus on the eight dimensions of wellness: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial and environmental.

"It’s a fitness studio but also a wellness company," said Brown, 31, a Queens resident who grew up in Huntington Station. He said what sets 8Well apart from other fitness studios is its wholistic approach to manage both physical and mental wellness.

The studio will offer strength training, exercise and nutrition instruction.

"Then we will bring in resources from other sectors of wellness to help our clientele and the community get an understanding of their well-being status and how they can optimize it," Brown said.

Brown graduated from Johns Hopkins University where he majored in public health studies. After college he worked in the financial sector and as a personal trainer.

In his discussions with both sets of clients he learned people didn’t have a good understanding of how addressing all possible stress factors in their life — managing finances, sleep habits, diet, relationships and a proper exercise regimen — was needed to improve overall well-being.

"If you’re not really taking care of all the areas of your life, you can’t optimize your well-being," Brown said. "Just like you need to create a budget to have good finances you need to step back and take a picture of your full wellness."

Business partner Arella, 26, of East Northport, said, "We want to help as many people as possible and spread the general knowledge of wellness, in every aspect both physical and mental."

Arella, who has a degree in exercise science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said now is a good time to open the business as people "are trying to be more proactive with their health."

"I think now more than ever people want to be in the best physical and mental position to stay on track with their wellness."

Adam Gonzalez, a licensed clinical psychologist and the founding director of the Mind-Body Clinical Research Center at Stony Brook University, said Brown and Arella are on the right track.

"We know from science that mental and physical health are interrelated and influence one another. So, when we’re talking about wellness and one’s overall health it’s really important we take into account all of the various factors that might be impacting both physical and mental health," Gonzalez said.

Huntington Supervisor Ed Smyth said when residents choose to invest in their hometown, it is a validation of the quality of life and unique character.

"We are a resilient community, as we saw during the pandemic when the state mandates closed some merchants’ doors, new merchants would quickly take their place," he said.

Vita Scaturro, chair of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, said it's nice to see a different type of business come into the downtown.

"Huntington is not just bars and restaurants," she said. "This is a great example of the variety of businesses in our downtowns."

8Well studio

8Well is scheduled to open this week at 52 Wall St., Huntington.

The studio, named for the 8 dimensions of wellness, will offer fitness and strength classes, nutrition counseling and will also incorporate mental health and meditation and breathwork specialist in its offerings.

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