New health for the new year

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 6, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

Since she started working out at the Suffolk YMCA about two years ago, Amy Vanderburg’s friends and family have been seeing less and less of her.

Oh, she’s still around, still her typical outgoing, friendly self. It’s just that there’s less of Vanderburg than there used to be.

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&uot;I lost 40 pounds in six months,&uot; said Vanderburg, between cardio stints at the YMCA. &uot;This has been a big stress reliever for me, and it gives me time to myself. If I don’t come, I feel terrible.&uot;

Four times a week, Vanderburg and her friend Ginger Giles hit the facility for cardio and free weights.

&uot;I smoked for about eight years, and this helped me quit,&uot; said Giles, who joined the facility in December. &uot;It gets my heart going and my lungs working, and I have more energy. I would turn to cigarettes for stress, boredom, everything, and there’s nothing positive about smoking. Working out helps everything.&uot;

These are just a few of the reasons why working out is the most prevalent New Year’s resolutions, especially among women.

&uot;This is the busiest time of the year for us,&uot; said YMCA fitness director Jane Burgess, who estimates that her facility has signed up 75 new memberships since 2005 began. &uot;Everyone wants to start working on their shapes for the summer.&uot;

Until Jan. 10, the YMCA waives its joiner’s fee ($50 for individuals, $75 for family). From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, it will offer a Passport to Wellness fitness expo for newcomers to get acquainted with their fitness opportunities. Cardio exercise demonstrations will be performed, as will introductions to free weights, along with blood pressure testing, nutrition education, and demonstrations of various exercise classes. Yoga, body design, step, kickboxing and spinning mini-classes will be available for tryout. The facility also offers Aquacize workouts, and a new endurance/weightlifting program called Power Cut.

Over at her Curves for Women workout facility in Carrollton, assistant manager Gail Taylor sees her clients get more out of fitness than just feeling good.

&uot;We have a lot of ladies come in here and meet new people and friends that they haven’t seen for a while,&uot; Taylor said. &uot;A lot of people want to lose weight and get fit for the new year, and the majority of them stick with it.&uot;

Like the YMCA, Curves’ membership increases in the early weeks and months. The program consists of 13 stations that deal with hydraulics and resistance that work virtually every part of the body, as well as free weights, jogging in place, stretching, and recovery stations between machines. The entire routine usually takes just about 30 minutes.

Like the Carrollton location (238-3702), the Suffolk facility on Main Street (925-2878) slashes its joiners fee in half to $74.50 for the new year. A 12-month membership is $29 per month, and three- and six-month offerings are $39 per month.