Ferris' clients get a workout

Sandy Ferris says she encourages participants in her step-aerobics classes to proceed at their own pace.

Sandy Ferris says she encourages participants in her step-aerobics classes to proceed at their own pace.

August 05, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

KEEDYSVILLE - Sandy Ferris says bringing the benefits of exercise and physical fitness to South County residents is a joy as well as a way to pursue her second career.

"It's important to provide healthy exercise to our local area so people don't have to travel to Frederick or Hagerstown to get it," Ferris said.

When Ferris moved to Washington County, she already was involved in regular exercise programs in the metropolitan area. She found the classes at the center and began attending.


Now, she holds classes of her own at Little Antietam Community Center at 40 Mount Vernon Drive in Keedysville.

Step-aerobics workouts are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.

"The participants are encouraged to proceed at their own pace," Ferris said.

On Saturdays, the exercise program shifts to Pilates, where the "work" is done on mats and with a stability ball, Ferris said. She has some steps to share and some extra stability balls but clients may want to bring their own, she said.

There are no lockers at the center so clients must bring what they need each time and then take any such items home until their next class, Ferris said.

After more than 30 years of commuting to her administrative job at the American Psychiatric Association in the Washington, D.C., area, Ferris said she is now "retired." She has lived in the Boonsboro area for about 20 years and can't say she misses that 21/2-hour drive each day.

Born in Fairmont, W.Va., Ferris lived on Long Island in New York before finding her way to Arlington, Va., where she attended Sullins Junior College and then George Washington University.

"I've been teaching for about eight years - it's what I call my second career," Ferris, 54, said. "Myself, I was never very athletic or into dancing but I enjoy exercising to stay fit."

"I believe in the benefits of exercise (as) the true fountain of youth," Ferris said. "If you want a way to reverse aging, this is it."

She said she is certified by the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America and the National Dance Exercise Instructors Training Association. Ferris has her CPR certification, which she said she updated in April.

"There is room for more people in my classes, men and women, all ages," Ferris said. "I need to get more people aware that I am here ... I do pay the rent here so I need people in my classes."

"For those who are not used to exercising, I would recommend they check with their doctor before starting," Ferris said. Some people with high blood pressure, heart problems, etc., will need to know their limits.

Ferris said she is not a believer in pain as a necessary result of a good exercise program. "Indeed, if one feels pain, that's not good," she said.

She did warn that feeling sore the next day, especially when starting an exercise regimen, is to be expected.

Those who are interested in joining can call Ferris at 301-432-5320. The cost is $48 for 16 classes, or $4 a class, Ferris said.

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