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Exercising options: Fall Family Fitness Fest shows what YMCA has to offer

September 07, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Some people save their money for a rainy day.

Those who attended the Fall Family Fitness Fest at the Chambersburg YMCA on Saturday saved their energy.

More than two dozen people escaped the wet weather and showed up to try their hands - and they rest of their limbs, as it were - at six different exercise programs that will be offered this fall at the YMCA on McKinley Street.

"It's something we wanted to do this year to get the community involved," wellness director Barb Houpt said. "We're letting people see the new things we will be having, and we want to get more families involved."

The fitness fest featured six different programs focused on improving conditioning, flexibility, balance, strength, coordination and overall health - family yoga, Zumba, tai chi, CorePole, belly dancing and Drums Alive.

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Participants got a full range of the programs, spending 15 minutes doing each to inspect whether or not it is for them.

Julie Beam, 29, of Greencastle, Pa., came to find more variety in her weekly exercise routine.

"I wanted to try the Zumba class," Bean said. "I just started spinning, but I don't want to do it every day because that would be boring. I want to find something for the other days in the week.

"Belly dancing wasn't my thing, though."

Belly dancing is a new program to the Chambersburg YMCA and is instructed by 23-year-old Michelle Gordon of Harrisonville, Pa.

The exercise helps acquire movement and flexibility to various parts of the body, enhances muscle strength and improves balance.

"Belly dancing is the oldest dance form known to man. It was started by women for women, which a lot of people don't know," said Gordon, a six-year veteran of belly dancing. "You learn to balance different body parts, and it tests coordination. But you have to have a sense of humor because it's fun, it's different."

The other new program that will be offered this fall is Drums Alive, which requires only an exercise ball and drumsticks. But a musical beat doesn't hurt nor does the willingness to throw you inhibitions into the wind.

It is considered part of a new dimension of fitness.

"I saw it in a certification brochure. We're always looking for new and interesting things to do at the Y," Houpt said. "The younger kids like Drums Alive because they can beat on things and make noise, which they normally can't do at home."

Exercises such as the CorePole - an anchored pole with resistance tubing that allows people to push, pull and twist for a workout - and tai chi are more geared to young adults and parents trying to shape up because they require mental focus and physical stability.

For information on the fall programs at the Chambersburg YMCA, call Houpt at 717-263-8508 or send an e-mail to bhoupt@chbgy.org. Classes begin as early as Monday.

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