‘Boot Camp’ to return next month

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sally Greb stretches after working out during a free boot camp sponsored by the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community.

Sally Greb stretches after working out during a free boot camp sponsored by the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community.

Boot camp sounds intimidating.

But the regulars say the free weekly workout sessions, taught by personal trainer Sandy Spiro, are fun and motivating.

The owner of Sandy Spiro Fitness Solutions has taught three six-week fitness sessions in Suffolk over the past year, all free to the community and funded with grants from the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community.

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A new session is scheduled for 6:15 a.m. Thursdays from Jan. 7 to Feb. 11 at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St.

“Once a week keeps me on track and makes me do more exercise on my own,” Suffolk resident Donna Hedge said, stretching and cooling down after last week’s workout at the East Suffolk Recreation Center.

Hedge, who has taken all three of Spiro’s boot camps, says the extra exercise has helped her shed 30 pounds during the past few months.

“The classes have motivated me to do other things — running, walking, watching what I eat,” Hedge said. “It’s also an exercise class I can afford.

“I’m looking forward to the one after the holidays.”

Spiro’s classes are a series of 10 stations, arranged so that people rotate through sets of exercises at their own pace. People move among the stations, doing lunges, squats, cardio and strength-training exercises.

Her gym is mobile, stored in bins in the back of her white SUV: resistance bands, balls, mats, small weights, kettle bells and the like. Most importantly, all of it can be purchased affordably or replaced with an existing item in the home, Spiro said.

The beauty of the fitness routine is its flexibility, mobility and portability, Spiro said.
“All of these workout stations can easily be replicated at home,” Spiro said. Two of the past classes have been at the East Suffolk Recreation Center; another has been held outside in the downtown area.

Ideally, Spiro envisions classes spreading through the community, taught in places like church fellowship halls or community meeting centers.

Spiro hopes the January class will draw at least 30 people.

“All I need are the people,” Spiro said. “Once I have them in the building, I can help them change their lives.”

She asks class participants to invest 21 days to making changes, taking small steps at first.

And it works, Spiro said.

One person is meeting her goal of drinking two extra glasses of water per day. Another couple has set up a training circuit — similar to the stations in Spiro’s class — in their driveway. Others have upped their daily walking goals.

Spiro also offers more than organized exercise. While in class, she talks to participants about their eating and exercise patterns, encourages them to plan how they can deal with holiday party food challenges and urges them to set — and keep — boundaries on their eating.

She also recommends using My Fitness Pal, an app that allows people to track their daily food and exercise.

“But the most important thing you can do is to keep moving,” said Spiro. “It’s so easy to pick up two or three pounds over the holidays … and that adds up after a few years.”

The class starting in January is free and open to people of all ages, Spiro said. Registration is required, and enrollment is capped at 30.

People with questions or wanting to sign up should contact Spiro at 581-7773 or by email, sandyspiro@verizon.net. People signing up should include phone numbers, email addresses, ages and any physical limitations.