by Eric Stearley
‘Tis the season for resolutions. In this, the third week of January, you may be among those still signing documents dated “2013.” As you erase and correct the date, 71 percent of Americans have already erased, or at least given up on, their 2014 resolutions, according to a study conducted by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Resolutions at the start of a new year are as numerous and as diverse as the people who make them, but there are recurring themes. According to the same study, the most common resolution is weight loss, and staying fit and healthy comes in fifth. In addition, 47 percent of resolutions have to do with self-improvement, with another 38 percent relating to weight loss.
Of course, making a resolution is the easy part. Succeeding is more difficult. By the first of July, less than half of Americans will be holding strong. Wabash residents, however, have a multitude of resources available to help them succeed in their resolutions, especially those in the area of fitness. With so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know where to go. Each option offers something different and there is a place for everyone.
The Place with Everything – In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, Wabash County has one of the top YMCAs in the state. The 76,000 square foot facility opened in 2009 and currently serves close to a third of the county’s population. While there are a lot of places to break a sweat, this is where you can find a seemingly endless number of exercise machines, a pool, group fitness classes, a sauna, racquetball courts, basketball courts, treadmills, yoga, ellipticals, an indoor track, personal trainers, and much more. The YMCA records 18,000 visits each month, and their 80 group exercise classes bring in ten percent of those.
They recently hired a new personal trainer and boot camp instructor, Kim Pilkay.
“He’s a really cool guy. He’s so passionate and he’s a great asset to the Y,” said Deanne Clifton, the facility’s director of operations.
They’ve also recently added a new director of their aquatics department, David Ringler. This will allow a wider variety of water-based exercise.
“There is something for everyone,” said Clifton, “no matter your skill level, or your abilities, your age, your disability, whatever it is, the Y has something for everyone.”
In January, the YMCA is offering a highly discounted membership, just over a quarter of the normal price. In addition, they are offering a Yoga workshop on Jan. 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., led by their yoga instructor Mary Fuson, in case you were looking to add a little Zen to your workout routine.
The Lifestyle Modification Station – The ladies over at NuStart know the importance of exercise, which is why it’s a key part of their program, but they also know the importance of nutrition, sleep, and stress management. These are the four pillars of the NuStart approach.
“Our program is really a holistic approach to adding in healthy actions into your lifestyle to provide health,” said nutritionist Kristen Gebhart. “We focus on implementing specific things that people can do to not just lose weight, but to get off medications, to feel better, to have more energy, to get down on the ground and play with kids…whatever they want to achieve, that’s the approach we take.”
Some of NuStart’s clients are trying to lose weight, while others are training for triathlons. They work with adults, kids, and whole families.
“We want to take diet completely out of their vocabulary and focus on how to create a healthy lifestyle long-term,” said Gebhart.
“When I was in medical school, I noticed that a lot of those disease processes that I was seeing and helping to treat were diseases that were preventable,” said Dr. Jamie Lindsay, co-owner of NuStart. “I felt like I needed to get to the root cause of what I was treating.”
The duo meets with clients once a week during the six month program. During that time, talk about how the client is doing, share workouts, teach clients how to cook and eat healthy, and talk about stress and sleep management. To help their clients even more, they created new payment options for 2014, making their services easier to access. They also just opened a location in Marion, which they are at one day a week.
The Factory for Fitness with Friends – For some people looking for a place to workout, 76,000 square feet is just way too big. For those looking for a more intimate group exercise experience, the Sweat Factory, now located at 1160 N. Cass Street, may just be the place for you.
If you’re looking to walk into a place, stick the ear buds in and lift some weights by yourself, this isn’t the place for you. Though they do offer some personal training, the Sweat Factory is, at its core, a group exercise venue. They offer Peer Pump, Zumba, Zumba Toning, contact kickboxing TRX, step classes, and free weight training classes and spin classes.
“I’m the type of person that doesn’t want to be scrutinized,” said Sweat Factory owner Shelly Ruch. “I don’t want people watching me, so if I feel that way, I know my clients do.”
The newest addition to the Sweat Factory is a fleet of new Real Ryder spin bikes. Unlike traditional stationary bikes, Real Ryder bikes articulates with the body’s natural motion, much like a real bike does when riding on the road. According to Ruch, this engages a person’s core, allows them to burn 20-40 percent more calories, and avoid certain hip and knee injuries that can plague stationary bike riders.
“Bringing the bikes here was so important in bringing it to the next stage for what I wanted for the studio and my members,” said Ruch. “I want it to be a place for group exercise. Everyone walks in and I introduce everybody and it’s a homey feel. Its kind of fun.”
The Girl Power Place – There are a lot of reasons why people go to the gym. Some go to get in shape, some go to socialize, and some go to be seen, but the latter of those reasons can keep some out of the gym altogether. Enter Curves, the fitness and weight loss center geared for women. It’s geared for women because, well, men simply aren’t allowed in.
“It’s all women, so that makes it even better,” said Jo Wagner, owner of Curves in Wabash. “That’s also a positive for the woman who maybe is a little overweight and not sure how she wants to do this. It’s a very welcoming facility for that.”
Curves offers a 30 minute circuit, utilizing hydraulic machines.
“It’s a smooth kind of motion, so there’s no jerking or heavy lifting,” said Wagner. “That’s why Curves is great for the beginner who has never exercised before and would like to get into shape, and also great for the woman who ahs been exercising and want to maybe tone and get that lean body mass, because you work at your own rate.”
Along with the regular circuit, they offer a Curves circuit with Zumba fitness classes and starting Jan. 27 will be offering Curves workout with Jillian Michaels, the celebrity trainer famous for, among other things, the weight loss television show “The Biggest Loser.”
January is a great time to join Curves, as membership this month is half price. This March will also mark 10 years since Wagner walked into her first Curves circuit.
The Place for Personal Training – For some people, group exercise is great, but others need the personal attention and direction that only a personal trainer can offer. While many of the fitness facilities in Wabash offer some level of personal training, at F.I.T. (Focused Individualized Transformation), personal training is their primary focus.
“My primary focus is to teach people what they’re capable of doing and help them believe in themselves,” said F.I.T. owner Jakae Francis. “My goal is to make connections with people so that I know where they’re coming from.”
At F.I.T., you won’t find a bunch of fancy machines. Francis teaches her clients how to get fit using equipment they can find anywhere, and most importantly, their own body weight.
“My goal is to teach them what they can do in their own home and make it so they don’t need me anymore,” said Francis. “When you walk in, you will be met exactly where your fitness level is and we will take you beyond and get you to your goals from there.”
In addition to F.I.T., Allison (Eads) Dawes offers personal training in her family shop near Lagro. After training athletes in Evansville, she moved back to Wabash and currently trains clients in Ft. Wayne and Lagro. She mixes group and individual training and tells her clients “you have to work as hard in the gym as you do in your kitchen.” Along with general fitness training, she trains aspiring volleyball players.
“My clients deserve all of my attention in the hour they are with me,” said Allison.
With the variety of options available to help with weight, health, and fitness related New Years resolutions, it’s hard to find an excuse not to be a part of the 71 percent who are still sticking to their resolutions. This, however, is not the only time you can set a goal and work towards it.
“At this time of year, you know, everyone wants to start the new year or everyone wants to start on a Monday, but the right day to start on a fitness program is today,” said Clifton. “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.”
“There’s a lot of synergy in this community and a lot of people who want to see this community do well,” said Dr. Lindsay, Gebhart adding, “and we enjoy seeing it get healthier everyday.”