Healthier lifestyles ring in New Year for many locals

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Lisa Reid, left, teaches Sheng Khang and Chauna Yang, both of Exeter, in a body sculpting class at Cassville YMCA. Local fitness centers offer weekly opportunities to people who want to work out. Jason Johnston/

Cassville fitness centers offer workout opportunities

Before Thursday introduces the new year, many people make resolutions that indicate they want to live healthier.

"To me, it's not a great day until I work out," said Sara Vandiver, who is an Insanity fitness instructor at Cassville YMCA. "You get your endorphins going. You feel better. You sweat out toxins out of your body."

Anyone who is just starting a fitness regimen must create a goal and develop a plan, but should not set the bar too high because it makes it more difficult to stick with it, Vandiver said.

"You need to examine some of your daily habits," she said. "The number one thing that you need to look at is your water intake. Drink enough water to fully hydrate your body. A good rule of thumb is take your weight and divide by two."

If a person weighs 200 pounds, then that person needs to drink 100 ounces of water each day, Vandiver said. She recommended start working out three times a week.

"You've got to make time to work out," she said. "When you look at your workouts, you need to look at what your goal is. Do you need to increase endurance? Do you want to drop weight? Do you want to build muscle? Then, that's how you are going to tailor your workout.

"For that 30 minutes, you've got to come out of your comfort zone. You have to build up a sweat. You have to be breathing hard."

She also recommended to check out your diet, Vandiver said.

"Great abs are made in the kitchen," she said. "It's all about what you eat."

To live healthier, you must modify unhealthy or unwanted behaviors, said Judy Carver, director of nutritional services and diabetes program at Mercy hospitals in Aurora and Cassville.

"Trade up for healthier choices," Carver said. "Probably an important thing to look at would be something that is realistic and obtainable."

She said to look at what triggers those unwanted behaviors and to log what you eat.

"The triggers could be emotional, an event or thought," Carver said. "Then, you should look at some problem-solving strategies."

The nutritional foods would be anything from whole grains to fruits and vegetables, she said. You should be careful of processed foods because they have a lot of salt, sugar and fat added to them.

"If you eat healthy 80 percent of the time, I think that is a pretty good goal to set," Carver said. "It gives you room to succeed."

It is OK to leave enough room to indulge on non-nutritional foods, she said. Portion control is also important.

"If you don't have measuring cups with you, try to stick to the portions that are the size of the palm of your hands or use the plate method as far as maybe filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables," Carver said.

She said be aware of mindless eating, such as when watching TV, reading a book or driving, plan your meals and eat more slowly.

Local residents can work out at the Cassville YMCA, located at 408 Highway 248, the Family Life Center, located at 200 E. Fifth St., and the Jack Byrd Wellness Center at Cassville Mercy Hospital, located at 94 Main St.

The Cassville YMCA offers body sculpting, cardio strength, Insanity, Pilates and Yoga, Silver Sneakers, step aerobics and Zumba classes each week. Members can also use cardio and weight equipment, gymnasiums and indoor tracks. They have access to all Ozarks Regional YMCA locations, Cassville Family Aquatic Center and Monett indoor and city pools. The YMCA offers child care, teen programs, discounts on Cox Monett wellness programs and FitPath wellness appointment with one-on-one attention and a personalized workout.

The joiner fee is $1 until Friday, said Dove Haney, Cassville center executive. That fee will then correspond to each day in January. For example, people can join the fee for $3 on Jan. 3 and $31 on Jan. 31.

Monthly fees range from $17 to $50. For example, a college student pays $17 per month, an adult membership is $34 per month, a senior membership is $24 per month and a family membership is $50 per month.

April to October hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays; 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. November to March hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, contact the Cassville YMCA at 417-846-1535.

The Family Life Center, which is a ministry within the Cassville First Baptist Church, has treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines, rowing machines, stair master, stationary bikes, a racquetball court, two full-size high school level basketball courts, a game room and a study room. It also offers a senior adult group -- which does low impact aerobics -- that meets at 9 a.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

"Our goal is to give people a place to work out and to enjoy a Christian atmosphere," said Jeff Allee, recreation minister with First Baptist Church.

The center, which opened in January 2000, does not charge for general use of the facilities, Allee said. It is opened to the community.

Hours are 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and 3:30 to 5 p.m., Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

For more information, contact Allee at or the Family Life Center at 417-846-0003.

The Jack Byrd Wellness Center allows the public to use its fitness facilities in the basement of Cassville Mercy Hospital from 5--8 a.m. and 4:30--9 p.m. weekdays, 7--11 a.m. Saturdays and 1--5 p.m. Sundays.

An individual membership is $32 a month and a family membership is $42 a month, said Chris Hoge, director of therapy services and cardio pulmonary rehab at Mercy. The center has dumbbells, weight machines, treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowing machine, steppers and a walking track.

"You should work out on a daily basis because being fit is important, and it will help you live a healthier life and save you from heartache and even save you money in the long run because you will spend less in doctor bills and in medication," Hoge said.

For more information, contact the center at 417-847-6080 or therapy services at 417-847-6085.

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