A welcome addition

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This week, I want to promote a new addition to Cassville that is proving to be a real asset to the community. The new Cassville YMCA fitness center is providing citizens of all ages with a place to workout that is affordable and accessible.

Located in the Cassville Gymnastics Center, the fitness center offers weight machines, free weights and exercise equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes. There are also step aerobic classes offered, and YMCA membership also includes free admission to the pool and reduced pricing for gymnastics, youth sports programs and water aerobics.

Personally, I have been thrilled with the fact that Cassville now has its own fitness center. Open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and 9?a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, the center offers long enough hours to fit the schedules of most area residents. The facility is busy but not too busy, and I've never had to come back because it is too full.

The center is also designed to meet the needs of all ages. There are a lot of teenagers who use the facility to keep in shape between sports, and many college students returning home from the summer are finding the Center a great place to train. Adults also find the Center an enjoyable place to get in shape.

Exercising at a fitness center also provides a social atmosphere where workouts are more fun because you're doing them alongside friends and neighbors. I'm not one to talk when I exercise but I do enjoy seeing friends there and meeting new people. For the first time in a long time, I am working out consistently and enjoying my workouts. I think this is partly due to the fact that I feel like I need to utilize the YMCA facility after paying the very affordable annual membership fee.

The YMCA also offers Healthy Lifestyle appointments that are free when you join. These one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer allow you to learn the equipment and establish a personalized workout routine. Goals are set and adjusted every few weeks. In larger cities, appointments such as these would be costly, but here in Cassville, the service is part of the cost to join the Y. What a bargain.

Currently, the Cassville YMCA is sponsoring a summer fitness challenge that encourages people to workout at the fitness center at least 36 times, or three times a week, throughout the summer months. Those who meet that goal will receive a free T-shirt. Since I am competitive, I love programs like these. You put your name on a poster and then chart your workouts with stickers. These charts are on the walls for everyone to see and they serve as further motivation to keep working out.

Another big plus offered by the Center is free childcare during certain hours of the day. I know as a young mother I would have loved the opportunity to exercise without two energetic little boys running around my feet. It's also a pleasant sight to see all the kids at the Center enjoying the facility and having fun while mom and dad exercise. It was a great idea to place the fitness center within the gymnastics center, and the transition seems to have gone smoothly.

I want to thank members of the Cassville YMCA Founders Committee for raising the money and support to make a fitness center in Cassville a reality. I'd also like to thank Jerry Watley and other community-minded businesses and individuals for their financial support of the facility. The City of Cassville also deserves recognition for its partnership with the YMCA program.

We'd encourage all area residents to visit the Center and consider joining the Cassville YMCA.