Working and working out

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

For Shannon Newbill, the Suffolk YMCA provides the perfect mix of business and pleasure.

Several mornings a week, Newbill heads to the facility to work the treadmills, lift the weights, or burn down the calories in a fitness class.

Then she goes into the locker room, washes up, and comes back – to work as the place’s new health and wellness director.

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&uot;I always wanted to help people,&uot; said the former resident of Orlando, Fla. &uot;I thought about going into nursing, but this gave me the chance to both help people and work out.&uot;

After getting a Bachelor of Arts in exercise sports science from the University of Florida (&uot;I bleed orange and blue!&uot; she said with a grin, referring to the school’s colors), Newbill went to work at a local YMCA as a part-time wellness instructor. She soon moved up to directing health and fitness, and eventually decided to move halfway up the nation.

&uot;I have family in Virginia and Maryland, and this was a great opportunity for me to further my career,&uot; she said.

Last week, she kicked off her Suffolk career, overseeing all aspects of wellness, programs and staff training.

&uot;It’s been exciting,&uot; she said. &uot;Everyone made me feel very welcome. I spent my first few days getting to know a lot of members and their families.&uot;

Over the next few weeks, the facility’s upstairs renovation will finish up, and Newbill can’t wait to fill it.

&uot;We’ll have yoga, spinning and Pilates classes,&uot; she said. &uot;We’ll be having 17 new classes, starting in July. We’ll have nutritional and behavior modification classes, and safety training. Some volunteers from the Red Cross will be here to teach people about CPR and first aid.

&uot;I want to increase family participation, like working out and taking classes together,&uot; she said. &uot;Personal training is available for the first time.&uot;