Many people are striving to be more healthy and get into better shape, and there are several area fitness centers working to help people achieve their goals.
The Elkins/Randolph County YMCA has been working to provide a better facility and more classes for its 1,728 members. In addition to a full weight room, swimming pool and Nautilus equipment, there are 23 different classes offered at the YMCA.
Executive Director Sid Gillispie said the Y has been striving to improve its facilities and increase the number of members over the last couple years.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Anthony Gaynor
Members of the Elkins/Randolph County YMCA?participate in a water aerobics class. Aside from classes in the pool, the YMCA also offers a range of fitness opportunities from free weights to basketball courts to Zumba classes and more.
"We are in the process of expanding our weight room," he said.
Gillispie said the facility went through some major repairs in the last year. He said the entire roof has been replaced and work has continued on the top floors.
"We are working on some balconies in the front and back of the building," he said. "They will look like the one on the side of the building."
The Y is also working to install a sprinkler system for the safety of the members and the facility.
"We got a chairlift installed and have done a lot of painting throughout the facility," he said.
A new computer system also has been installed that helps Y staff track the popular classes and who is using the Y.
"It is so important for people to just do something to improve their lifestyle," he said. "Do something active."
Some of the more popular classes at the YMCA include kettle bells, cardio kickboxing, Zumba, yoga and spin classes.
He said a new "bootcamp" class incorporates all kinds of cross-fit training.
"I would recommend for people who are out of shape to start slow," he said. "You need to take an hour each day. Everyone can find an hour of time."
Meanwhile, the Tucker County Wellness Center provides a facility with an open floor plan that allows people to take advantage of aerobic and weight equipment. The facility is a nonprofit funded through the city of Parsons.
Executive Director Steve Putnam said he hopes to see membership at his facility increase.
"With the way the economy has been, we've been down the last couple months," he said. "We are hearing that a lot of families are only paying for the member who uses it the most."
The center has about 150 members each month, and he said January, February and March are the busiest months.
"We want to get people back in and using the facility," he said.
The Wellness Center features a section dedicated to a class area, and there is a dance aerobic class twice a week. The back portion of the building has free weights and plate machines.
He said a lot of the clients are seniors, people with special needs and school-aged students.
Putnam is a master-level exercise physiologist and he provides rehabilitation services to clients.
"Our biggest population is the aerobic side with treadmills and steppers," he said.
This spring, the facility began offering bike rentals for people to take out on the Allegheny Highlands Trail. Bikes are available by the hour, half-day, a full day or for a full weekend.
The Buckhannon Fitness Center provides several classes, equipment and professional trainers to assist customers get into the best shape. Head Fitness Coach Jason Kerner said the facility provides all kinds of cardio and weight equipment.
"What sets us a part is we have a large room with kettle bells, pullup bars and monkey bars," he said. "We use it to do a lot of group classes."
He said one popular class is the Fit Club that meets five days a week, three times a day. The class is split and does different activities on different days. On Monday and Friday, the class does circuit training.
"To get results we mix in different training," he said.
He said the variance in training helps people achieve better results.
"It is beyond sitting on machines," he said. "What differentiates us is that we have a facility that allows us to do this."
He also said many women make use of the Fit Club and are seeing real results.
"We are lifting weights here and empowering women," he said. "They are flipping tires and throwing medicine balls."
The Total Training Fitness Center located along the Glenmore Loop Road in Elkins offers a variety of classes for the entire family. The family-owned business is operated by certified trainers Tammie Elza and her daughter, Elizabeth, and it was established in 1998.
Total Training began as a one-room facility and has grown into a large fitness, tanning and weightloss resource center.
The facility offers a variety of programs, including the Silver Sneakers Program for seniors, a six-week body makeover and kids/junior strength training and sports strength training.
One of the most fashionable workouts offered at Total Training is Zumba. Described as a dance fitness party, the calorie-burning workout is Latin-inspired and easy to follow. Elizabeth Elza is a certified Zumba instructor and offers classes from the basic to more advanced steps.
Total Training also offers beginning, intermediate and advanced gymnastic classes to children 2 years old and older. Other classes offered by Total Training include a Body Boot Camp, circuit training, yoga and spin cycling. Exercise physiologists, nutritionists, and personalized trainers are available to keep folks on track with exercise programs and nutritional plans.