New you for the new year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Are you carrying around extra holiday pounds? Has your family's fitness level sunk to couch potato status?

The Greenville Area YMCA is ready to help local citizens of all ages shape up, get fit and have fun in 2007.

&#8220In addition to our 14 different exercise classes - aerobics, yoga and Pilates - we have a complete fitness center with a certified personal trainer on duty to help you with your individual needs,” YMCA Executive Director Amanda Phillips said.

Along with the free weights, weight machines, treadmills and other equipment already carried in the center, several new exercise machines have joined the line-up at the Y.

&#8220We have two brand-new Matrix treadmills, two new elliptical trainers, a new Cybex Arc trainer and a new leg press with weight plates to offer our members,” Phillips said.

Fletcher Whittle of Georgiana, who works out at the Y three to four times a week, said the center's equipment provides a good workout.

&#8220Once you get past that initial soreness, it really does make you feel better,” Whittle said with a chuckle as he worked out on one of the new elliptical trainers.

&#8220The elliptical trainers provide a great upper and lower body workout for full cardio benefits. However, you can also work out with the machine just exercising the lower body,” Phillips said.

The new arc trainer, which combines elements of a treadmill with an elliptical trainer is &#8220very challenging,” she said.

&#8220I have people who can easily do an hour on the treadmill, yet start out doing only five minutes on this new trainer. It's a real workout.”

The fitness center is open to ages 15 and up, with those aged 15 allowed to work out if a parent or guardian is in attendance with them. (Ages 16 and up can work out without an adult in attendance.)

For members with younger children, the Y also offers a Child Watch Program from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, for children ages six weeks to 12 years.

&#8220This is a great program that allows parents or guardians to come in and work out and know their children are in a safe, supervised and structured program nearby,” Phillips said.

The Y offers a myriad of youth activities, including soccer, football, cheerleading, dance team, basketball and swim team. There are also tae kwon do classes for ages 5 through adult and swim lessons for ages 3 through adult.

For those who want to assess their fitness levels before beginning their new exercise regimen, a new device on its way to the local YMCA will help determine how &#8220fit or fat” you really are.

&#8220This new device measures your Body Mass Index, or BMI, which is something really being stressed in fitness today,” Phillips explained.

&#8220Once we get the device in, people can measure their BMI, work out for two or three months, then measure it again to see if they have made progress.”

Dawn Heartsill, Phillips' assistant, is in charge of new program at the Y, Shape Up Alabama.

&#8220We plan to have a weekend later this month (date to be announced) where families can come and tour the facility, meet our instructors and learn about general health and well-being, not just physical but financial, mental and so forth. We're very excited for people to see all we have to offer,” Heartsill said.

Healthy, fit employees mean less time off from work, a reason for local businesses to get on the Y bandwagon, Phillips said.

&#8220We are encouraging area businesses to encourage their employees to join the YMCA. After all, workers who are in good physical shape take less sick time and require less hospitalization. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

For those interested in joining the facility, membership rates for the YMCA are as follows: $40 a month for families, $30 a month for adults and $20 a month for youths.

New this year is a special discounted rate for senior citizens, at $30 a month for couples and $20 a month for individuals who are ages 65 and over.

Phillips emphasized those who join the Y in January can save.

&#8220Our normal joining fee will be waived for the month of January, which saves you $100 a month on a family membership and $50 on an adult membership,” she said.

&#8220We are looking forward to a year in which we help folks from Greenville and all across Butler County get stronger and more fit. We want to help you with your health and wellness wishes for the New Year.”

For more information, call 382-0550 or visit the Greenville YMCA at 177 Academy Drive.