Getting fit and staying that way: Y offers ways to keep those resolutions

Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Cardiovascular workout options at the Salt Fork YMCA include treadmills and elliptical trainers as well as stationary bicycles. The local YMCA is offering one-half off its joining fee through the end of January.

The Christmas fruitcake is down to the crumbs. The office parties have come and gone. And Grandma's fudge is a distant memory. Yes, it's another new year -- and time for many to resolve to lose those extra pounds and get "into shape," as in something other than round.

Ben Coffey, sports and fitness director at the Salt Fork YMCA in Marshall, said the first few months of any year are the busiest times at the local "Y." Membership picks up, with adults and families signing back up or looking for exercise options and Missouri Valley College students coming back for the new semester. On its busiest days, the YMCA will see about 800 people come and go.

While happy to see residents new and old making use of the YMCA over the winter months, Coffey said the facility and staff also want to help them stick with fitness resolutions for more than a couple of months.

A half-off offer on the joining fee through the end of January may help get new members in the door, but one of the best ways to keep them coming back, he said, is to help new members reach a level of comfort with an exercise regimen.

With that in mind, Coffey and the Y's two other certified personal trainers, Jennifer Thompson and Victoria Summers, offer a 12-week fitness plan for all members based on an individual's fitness level. One positive about the program, he said, is that it offers a good way to get back into the exercise habit. The individualized program includes meeting with a trainer once a week, receiving training on how to use Cybex weight resistance equipment and cardiovascular machines including treadmills and elliptical trainers. There is no charge for the fitness plan program.

Among upcoming programs at the YMCA is also a six-week Women Circuits and Weights class monitored by one of the female personal trainers and including an initial session of goal setting and fitness assessments.

And for teens ages 13 to 17, a Youth Boot Camp will be starting near the end of February.

Meeting twice a week, the class will include a series of group training sessions geared toward a progressive workout with instruction on the Cybex machines and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Another new class offering at the YMCA will be a group Pilates very low-impact aerobics class designed to increase range of motion and muscle elasticity while also encouraging relaxation.

Ready to test yourself against other Marshallites already? You might want to check out the indoor triathlon coming up on Jan. 14 and including a 500-yard swim, 12-mile ride on one of the stationary bicycles used for spinning classes and a 2-mile run.

From new class offerings to free aerobics classes to the range of equipment available, Coffey said the YMCA gears all its offerings toward helping individuals reach their personal goals.

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