BY TOM LAVIS
In an effort to support people’s New Year’s resolutions to become healthier in 2013, the Greater Johnstown Community YMCA, 100 Haynes St., is offering a number of programs to satisfy the tastes of participants.
Fitness director Debra Smith has made it her mission to get people to make lifestyle changes and get fit.
By continuing exercise programs and expanding a weight-loss challenge, Smith is striving to achieve the YMCA’s goal of making humans better when it comes to maintaining their health.
The organization is starting its third annual Lean Team Weight Loss Challenge, which begins with a facility tour and weigh-ins from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
The program is designed to help people lose unwanted pounds and adopt lifestyle changes.
“The goals are to make people understand how to eat healthy, develop a great attitude, gain self-esteem, lose weight and maintain a lifestyle that will keep the weight off,” Smith said.
During the 2012 competition, 25 teams accepted the challenge.
Some teams consisted of two people while others had as many as eight.
“We want to encourage corporations, churches, friends and neighbors, and families to form teams to meet the challenge,” Smith said.
The program will last 12 weeks, which has proven to be a good fit for people to make a commitment and continue on their own.
Smith said every Thursday during the challenge updates will be published in The Tribune-Democrat listing the biggest losers and the top three teams leading the effort.
Following the team challenge, an awards ceremony will be held in April to recognize the participants.
The cost for the program is $35 for YMCA member and $85 for nonmember team participants.
The cost covers full use of the YMCA’s facility and equipment.
“We decided to conduct the weigh-ins during a two-day period to give participants an opportunity to get an equipment orientation from me,” Smith said.
“I will walk people through the facility, showing them the equipment in the Nautilus and weight room, aquatic and locker-room facilities, the gymnasium and indoor track.”
The participants will be permitted to take part in aquatic classes and fitness classes.
“We also will have wellness lectures associated with weight loss, stress and osteoporosis programs,” Smith said.
The wellness programs are free to Highmark Inc. participants.
“For anyone not covered by Highmark, we will offer them the programs at our cost,” Smith said.
“The real challenge is committing to a change in lifestyle to ensure continued success.”
The YMCA offers the Les Mills Body Pump, which is a barbell workout for the entire body.
It is designed to challenge all major muscle groups by using the best weight-room exercises, such as squats, presses, lifts and curls.
“This program was so popular last year, we split it in two sessions and purchased additional equipment,” Smith said.
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