Monday, January 19, 2009

'Get Fit' Resolutions Easier To Keep With Friends And Cool Workouts

“New Year’s resolutions to get fit are often made in the heat of breathing hard after a quick dash to get inside where it’s warm. Justin Hill, 13, of Bettendorf has been fulfilling his resolution to stay fit this year during workouts at the Bettendorf Life Fitness Center. He recently tried out an interactive Expresso bicycle at the center for the first time. ‘Right now I’m in school basketball and AAU basketball and doing some running. But sometimes I come in here to try to stay as healthy as possible,’ he said as he pedaled around a track. Expresso bicycles are equipped with LCD monitors and give riders a workout and a video game-like experience at the same time. An older rider on the center’s other Expresso bike selected a video ride along a route with the ocean on one side and clouds scuttling overhead. Keeping those resolutions is tricky, and many are often abandoned after the first month. Christin Powers, assistant director for Bettendorf Parks and Recreation, recommends walking for someone who doesn’t have a regular fitness routine. ‘You don’t just want to start jamming on the machine,’ she said. Belonging to a fitness club can motivate one to get out of the house. The Quad-Cities has plenty of facilities that are open 24 hours a day. Michelle Stump, a native of Florida, moved to Davenport in October and said having access to an indoor facility is critical to staying fit in Midwestern winters. ‘I like to run, but you can’t really run out in the snow,’ she said. ‘I guess some people can.’ Exercising is a release for her and it helps her feel better, she said, preferring to be outside but appreciating the set-up at the West Family YMCA. She has been running a few miles and makes a circuit of the resistance and weight lifting machines. ‘Part of the challenge is actually to get in here and doing it. You may say I’m just going to do a mile and then find it easier to keep going (once you’re working out),”’ Kathy Daggett of Blue Grass, Iowa, said. ‘I actually probably wasn’t much of an athlete until a few years ago when my youngest daughter was going away to college. I decided I wasn’t going to feel sorry for myself. Working out was a good healthy change for me.’ She met her cycling goals in 2008 but got out of the habit of participating in other fitness routines. This year she intends to run in a 5K event. Working out with like minded friends is a plus, she added. Her group, Team Escape, includes women in their 40s and 50s, and friends notice when one misses a fitness class.”

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