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Phatty Nattie’s Celebrates 10 Years of Changing Lives

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Community news

LRH Group Fitness Facility to Hold Open House on February 6th

(FERGUS FALLS, Minn.) – Phatty Nattie’s started as a small fitness facility focused on the importance and motivation of working out in a group setting in small downtown Fergus Falls location in 2009. Owner, Natalie Knutson had a vision of changing lives.

“I wanted to create a comfortable environment in which the most fit individuals get a challenging workout, while less athletic individuals are able to get a kick-start on fitness,” she said. “From the very beginning we’ve worked hard to create an unintimidating experience in which all participants feel a sense of belonging and personal success,” Knutson added.

Judging by the almost cult-like following Phatty Nattie’s has developed, her vision and approach worked. In 2012, Phatty Nattie’s was acquired by Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) as part of the organization’s efforts to expand their preventive health & wellness services. “Natalie was working as a personal trainer for us in our Athletic Republic training facility and we could see that her vision aligned extremely well with ours,” said LRH VP of Marketing & Communications, Katie Johnson. The partnership was a natural fit and LRH remodeled a brand new space in the basement of the Cancer Center for Phatty Nattie’s group fitness classes and a Spinning® Studio. A grand opening of the new space was held in October of 2012 and both programming and participation has grown through the years. Over 1,000 participants have stepped through the doors in the past 10 years which Knutson says is an undeniable sign that Phatty Nattie’s has had a positive impact on our community. Knutson would later become the Lake Region Healthcare Director of Wellness, a leadership role she still holds today and which involves oversight of Phatty Nattie’s in addition to the CrossFit Fergus Falls, CrossFit Kids, Personal Training, Wellness Coaching, and Lifestyle Medicine programs, along with many community events and initiatives.

“We try to offer a great variety of class times and types to include all ages, interests and abilities,” Knutson said. From our low impact core classes and yoga classes to our high impact bootcamps and HIIT classes, all of our classes are meant to be social and to promote friendship and motivation among participants. We all have different goals, but the main goal is a sense of achievement, making you feel stronger and more confident,” she said.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary milestone, all past, present & future participants of Phatty Nattie’s, are invited to an Open House on Wednesday February 6th from 4:30pm-6:30pm. The event will be held at Cascade Station– Dining Car 423. Attendees will be invited to reflect on the past 10 years while enjoying delicious healthy snacks and beverages and socializing in a positive, relaxing environment. There will also be prize drawings.

To learn more about Phatty Natties, visit www.phattynatties.comor stop by the Open House on February 6th.

About Lake Region Healthcare

Lake Region Healthcare is living out its vision to be Minnesota's preeminent regional health care partner and its mission to help people in our region improve their health. With over 80 providers and over 900 employees, its team is dedicated to serving its patients and community with integrity, teamwork, compassion and excellence. For more information about Lake Region Healthcare, visit

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Attached photos: 1) Phatty Nattie’s Trainers and then LRH CEO, Larry Schulz, at the Phatty Nattie’s grand opening ribbon cutting at the LRH Cancer Center location in October 2012. 2) Natalie Knutson 3) A Pump-Up Class at Phatty Natties