Turn Your New Year's Resolution Into A Lifestyle

COVER STORY

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"Get in shape," is perhaps the most common New Year's resolution made while looking at the face of the bathroom scale after a good month of holiday eating.

Fortunately, there are at least as many ways to exercise and be healthy as there are excuses.

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The Rim Country has a number of options for those resolving to get in shape during the New Year.

Exercise options abound in the Rim Country.

Why should people exercise?

"First and foremost, to keep healthy and maintain a good outlook on life," said Lindy Gibson, a personal trainer at Payson Athletic Club. "Exercise is not only physical, it's also mental, and boosts your self esteem.

"Personal training is my passion in life and I love being able to help people achieve their health goals."

Someone who is not accustomed to working out should start slow. Thirty minutes of exercise two to three times a week is a good starting point.

"Then you progress from there depending on what kind of goal you want to achieve -- maintain or lose weight, endurance, strength training or cardio," Gibson said.

The job of a personal trainer is to build a realistic program for their clients.

"If someone comes in and says I weigh 180 pounds and in three months I want to weigh 120 and be a size four, that is not realistic," she said.

But a healthy diet and exercise routine will get them headed in the right direction.

Gibson encourages her clients to check with a doctor before beginning an exercise program because "your doctor will know every aspect of your health."

Silver Sneakers allows seniors to come to the gym for free through their health plan.

"Insurance companies are finally starting to figure out that preventative health maintenance is worth it to them in the pocketbook," said Payson Athletic Club owner, Louise Echols.

The Mogollon Health Alliance MHAX III program, with its team of health care specialists, is also alive and well at Payson Athletic Club. The program is geared toward anyone who has experienced a loss of function due to heart, lung, stroke, arthritis and other ailments.

Indoor swimming and a workout can also be found at the Tonto Apache Gym.

Curves offers a gym routine strictly for women.

Club USA has a variety of classes and Cybex weight equipment.

And several physical fitness classes are offered each semester at Gila Community College, ranging from yoga to power walking.

If going to the gym is not your style, a walk around the big lake at Green Valley Park is .6 miles. Cross the street and walk the top loop around the bandstand lawn and the trek is a full mile.

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Qigong is a gentle moving meditation taught by Penny Navis-Schmidt. The non-strenuous, non-martial arts qigong class is good for any age. It involves shifting weight back and forth in a balanced way, she said. To contact her about classes, call (928) 474-4628.

The winter/spring edition of the Payson Parks and Recreation activities guide is out.

Sign-up for adult league basketball season is held through Jan. 31. Play begins in mid-February.

Co-ed softball registration ends March 28.

Fresh for 2007, members of the Town of Payson Striders walking club have their first walk at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Also new to the activity line-up is an adult dodge ball tournament. Registration ends Feb. 2 for the event on Feb. 24.

And the Walk A Hound, Lose a Pound 5K is set for March 21.

Walking is one of the best things a person can do for their back because it gets everything moving, said local chiropractor Charles Williams.

Stretching, especially as people get older, is an important component of a fitness routine.

"As we get older, we need to especially work on our balance," he said. "Do simple things like standing on one foot. Then try closing your eyes. That is an eye-opener. Try it, you'll see what I mean. It's amazing."

Drink plenty of water while you exercise.

Often, when the body is not hydrated, the discs in your spine get thin and lose their water.

So, you want to have an ample supply of water for your back and your whole body, Williams said.

WHERE TO GET FIT

Payson Athletic Club

(928) 474-0916

Exercise machines

MHAX III

Silver Sneakers

Aerobics, yoga, Pilates and belly dance classes

Male and female certified personal trainers

Supervised child care

Club USA Health and Fitness

(928) 474-CLUB

Cybex Weight Equipment

Cardio and aerobics

Personal training

Hydromassage

Gila Community College Gym

(928) 468-8039

Pilates

Hatha Yoga

Strength and flexibility training

Conditioning and Assessment

Power Walking

Curves

(928)474-9797

The workout for women

Tonto Apache Gym

(928) 474-7093

Weight room

Swimming pool

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