By John Coffelt, Staff Writer
Amanda Anderson, of Manchester, finishes her workout Thursday at the Manchester Recreation Complex. Anderson, a regular at the center, said that her New Year’s resolution is to “eat clean” by cutting out junk food. (Staff photo by John Coffelt)
Whether it’s a few pounds packed on over the holidays or a total body makeover, losing weight tops the list of New Year’s resolutions.
Bonnie Gamble, Parks and Recreation Director said that a focus on just losing weight is where many go wrong.
“We want to promote people getting healthy. Loss of weight does not necessarily mean getting healthy,” she said.
Not surprisingly, this is Manchester Rec Complex’s busiest season.
The center has a range of activities and equipment to help with total body health.
“We have fitness classes for those that are active and those that have been, what we sometimes call ‘deconditioned.’ ”
For those deconditioned people who aren’t in top shape, there are a number of beginner programs like a 9 a.m. Wednesday beginner’s step class or yoga.
“Yoga is a flexibility and stretch class that tones…the core muscles.”
She said that most people think that aerobics classes involve too much jumping around.
“You get a good workout with the yoga and Pilates that reinforces your core and your balance.”
Pilates, a class at the center, is method of exercise that improves agility, economy of motion and flexibility.
Gamble said that balance is an increasing issue as people age. Yoga and Pilates help prevent falls by helping to maintain a good sense of balance.
A variety of senior classes are held at the center five days a week.
In addition to water zumba and water arthritis classes, the center offers a deep-water aerobics class.
Participants wear flotation devices in the deep end of the pool to exercise for a zero-impact work out.
“The benefits of exercise goes home with you,” Gamble says, “A person who exercises regularly will burn more calories doing the same activities as someone who dosen’t.”
A Lunchtime Express class is being formed that runs from 12-12:30 p.m.
“We’re going to give you an half hour of good exercise,” Gamble said. “You’ll have time to shower and get back to work.”
Those with schedules too tight for weekly classes can walk on the center’s indoor track or on the city’s Greenway.
The scenic Little Duck River Greenway winds from Coffee County Middle School, past Dave King Park, Fred Deadman Park, the Recreation Complex to the Old Stone Fort State Park at the Caretakers Entrance. It is open for walkers and joggers.
Youth spin classes and the youth wellness room, with kid-sized cardio equipment, provide children an opportunity to stay active.
Katie McMinn, Public Health Educator at the Coffee County Health Department, relayed state information for healthy resolutions.
According to state health experts, short walks around the neighborhood, while not as effective as longer ones, still provide health benefits and are a good place to start
Partners for Healing Clinical Services Director Teresa Myers, RN, suggests making achievable goals.
“Make a goal that you can obtain. Start slow and expect a few setbacks, but keep going even if you experience setbacks.”
Myers general nutritional advice centers on making smart food choices, like cutting back on fatty foods, salt and sugars.
“Eat a variety of foods everyday – fruits and vegetables. Smaller portion sizes [help] if you need to loose weight or stay at a certain size.”
One thing that Myers advises many of her patients is to cut out non-nutritional calories from sodas.
“I call them empty calories, they don’t provide much for the actual nutritional state,” Myers said.
According to state information, reducing one 12-ounce drink per day could equal a weight loss of more than 10 pounds a year.
Overall, she suggested talking with your physician or healthcare provider for specific information on individualized nutritional needs.