My friends, family, and students are always asking “What is the best exercise?” A really quick answer is– whatever works for you! Consideration should be given to what you enjoy, your available time, and current fitness level. No matter how great others say a particular activity is, if you don’t enjoy yourself, you won’t continue.
If you are not sure what you enjoy, consider your goal. Are you working on your balance, overcoming an injury, preparing for a sport or competition, losing weight, building muscle, lowering your cholesterol, or working on overall fitness, etc.? Ask yourself if you enjoy groups, outdoor activities, or competitive activities? Do you need individual instruction, or are you confident in your fitness knowledge? Do you need someone to be accountable to or someone who motivates you? What is your budget? What is your schedule?
Now that you have some questions to consider, let’s look at your options in the Athens area. First, let’s look at local gyms and some of their characteristics:
• Athens Limestone Wellness Center
• Lion’s Den
Not all gyms are the same. Prices vary. Some offer different memberships depending on what you use. Some require contracts, some have a signup fee, some offer a daily visit price. If you are interested in classes, look at what they offer and try a few before joining. Some even have 24-hour access.
Athens Limestone Wellness Center has a lap pool if you swim. SportsFit and the Wellness Center offer water classes. Membership at some gyms give you access to additional facilities in Huntsville, Madison, or Decatur. If you are looking for personal trainers, check prices and their training policies. Finally, check out the facility itself for cleanliness and type of members it serves.
Prefer to stay outdoors? Athens offers several great places to walk, run and bike.Jan Layton has started an outdoor walking group (firstname.lastname@example.org). Debbie Kulmer offers boot camps (256.777.2519). Elkmont has the Richard Martin Trail that is great for walking or biking.
Want to stay indoors and take classes? There are classes all over town and several places to walk indoors. Below is just a partial list of classes that I know about:
• Silver Sneaker Flex classes at Athens Senior Center 256-614-3530
• Silver Sneaker Flex classes at East Limestone Senior Center 256-614-3530
• Silver Sneaker Flex classes at Round Island Baptist Church 256-614-3530
• Zumba at Rec Center 256-233-8740
• Kettlebell, TRX, or Sandbag classes at Balance Training 256-777-2519
• Yoga with Kerry (256) 975-6820
• Yoga with Donna (email@example.com)
• Tai Chi, Yoga, and martial arts classes at UpDog 256-206-5488
• Miscellaneous classes offered at Athens Limestone Wellness Center, SportsFit, and Riviera.
All classes are open to all and prices vary to fit your budget. Some classes are drop-in and some classes you need to reserve space. Make some phone calls and do your research.
• Walmart, Lowes or Kmart
• Sardis Springs Baptist Church
• Jan Layton’s walking group - firstname.lastname@example.org
Last, but definitely not least, is personal training. Personal training can be either one-on-one or in a small group. The training is specific to you and your goals. Personal training is motivating and will hold you accountable. You can train indoors or outdoors, at your gym, your home or a trainer’s studio. If you are interested in personal training, do your homework to find the trainer that will best work with you.
For more information regarding fitness opportunities in the Athens Limestone area call Janet at 256-614-3530, email at email@example.com, or look for Janet’s Fitness on FB.
Note: I apologize if I left some fitness opportunities off this list. Please let me know and I will include them next time.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.