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YMCA offers new, creative workouts for health seekers

Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 11:12 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 11:30 a.m. CDT

Southern Prairie YMCA’s new fitness class is helping individuals with hectic schedules find time to workout.

Fit in 30 is a new workout class during the lunch hour — 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. — for anyone wanting to gain fitness, but having trouble getting to the gym in the morning or evening.

“We are trying to get more engagement for folks who are struggling to achieve their well being,” said Southern Prairie’s fitness coordinator Lynn Irr.

The new class format is part of a national effort by the YMCA called Activate America. Irr said the class was a creative effort to meet the needs of residents in the Creston community who want to get in better shape, but are constantly crunched for time.

ACE certified personal trainer Dana Phelps leads the class on Mondays and Wednesdays. The groups starts with an active warm up known as dynamic exercise. The core of the workout mixes kickboxing, body weight movements, weight training and several other workout techniques. The class ends with light stretching.

“It is a mix of everything and it is intense, but it can be modified for individuals at all levels,” Phelps said. “We have a wide range in the class ... SWCC students, seniors and people on their lunch break.”

Phelps said a workout around the lunch hour also combats boredom and temptations to snack during the afternoon.

Senior workouts

Another new program — senior functional walking — is geared toward senior citizens to help them stay functional and independent. It meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:15 to 11 a.m.

“We found it was a time a large majority of our senior members were available,” Irr said.

Phelps directs that class, as well. She said the class uses a majority of the gym walking and shuffling back and forth to build muscle strength. Advanced and capable members can add weights or resistance bands to increase the difficulty.

“Newcomers don’t need to feel stressed about trying to keep up with everyone else,” Phelps said. “The class is easily adjusted for different fitness levels.

Irr said Activate America encourages classes to be inviting to new members by adjusting the difficulty of the workout for beginners through experts.

The YMCA has redesigned several of its other programs by adding levels — one, two and three — so the instructor of the program knows the experience of each participant.

Health seekers

“A health seeker is defined (by the YMCA) as people in the community who are struggling to obtain well-being,” Irr said. “For some people, it is hard to step into the Y. Sometimes they don’t know how to use the equipment or feel they won’t be able to keep up in a class.”

That’s why Irr and Rose Wignall developed a class that meets every Monday in a small group or individual setting. Wignall has experience as a counselor and personal trainer for the YMCA.

The cost is $20 for members or $30 for community participants.

Each week, Wignall meets with the individuals or groups to create a social support group to help re-enforce healthy living.

“It really is a pathway to a healthier you,” Irr said.

The YMCA also extended its yoga class. The traditional yoga class still meets Mondays and Wednesdays. The new class, on Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:15 to 5 p.m., is a variety of power yoga.

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