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February 13, 2008 > Ladies, Make It Your Choice to Have a Healthy Heart

Ladies, Make It Your Choice to Have a Healthy Heart

Learn About Exercise Program at Upcoming Class

A strong heart is the foundation for overall health. At one time, heart disease was mostly considered a man's problem, but heart disease has become the number one cause of death among American women. In fact, many women don't realize or acknowledge that they are at risk for heart disease.

Exercise and good heart health go hand in hand, and Washington Hospital's Ladies Choice Fitness Program offers women an individualized heart-health exercise program in a comfortable and friendly environment.

"The Ladies Choice program is open to all women who live in our community," says Phyllis Fiscella, R.N., Noninvasive Cardiac Manager for Washington Hospital. "The program is designed for women who can benefit from the support of a personal trainer and for women who want to exercise in a group setting."

The focus of Ladies Choice is on aerobic exercise, strength, flexibility and relaxation, which all promote overall health. Workout sessions include aerobic endurance training, strength training on a weight bench and with hand weights, stretching, sit ups and other mat exercises.

"The great thing about this program is that there's no competition and it doesn't matter what level of fitness you've achieved," says Fremont resident Nancy Stewart. "There's always room to improve and the staff is very knowledgeable and supportive."

Stewart, a 2-time cancer survivor, has 14 grandchildren and has undergone two knee replacement surgeries. Since joining the Ladies Choice program a year ago, she has seen a noticeable improvement in her strength and stamina.

"I think it's all the more important to take care of yourself and do all that you can to maintain fitness and good health when unexpected challenges come your way," she says. "The Ladies Choice program helps promote fitness in many aspects of daily living and I have made some wonderful friends in the process of participating in the program."

Participants are free to drop in when they can and work with certified personal trainer, Fran Joslyn, R.N., who is also a licensed psychologist. Joslyn teaches proper techniques for effective and safe exercising.

"Our participants really enjoy having their own choice on how they want to exercise and become fit," says Joslyn. "This program is great for those women who might be a little reluctant to join a gym because of their shape or level of fitness. We want everyone to get fit, stay fit and have a good time in the process."

Joslyn keeps classes fresh and interesting by mixing in new exercises such as a relaxation exercise component that is designed to help with stress management.

"We always try to find different exercises and methods to help relieve pain and discomfort." she adds.

Participants may also attend monthly, group sessions led by a registered dietitian who discusses a variety of topics related to healthy eating and weight loss.

Entry into the program requires clearance from a physician. "Clearance is different than a referral" explains Fiscella, emphasizing that Ladies Choice is for healthy women. Women with heart disease or risk factors for heart disease may need to be referred by the physician to the medically supervised cardiac rehabilitation program.

"You are never too old or too young to start taking care of your heart," says Fiscella. "If you start exercising and maintain a healthy weight, you will have improved heart function, lower your blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol. A heart in an overweight body needs to work harder, which may lead to heart problems."

Ladies Choice is open between Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m. The program costs $8.50 per visit. For more information about the program, call (510) 494-7022.

Learn More About Ladies Choice
The Ladies Choice Exercise Program will lead free tours and discuss the importance and benefits of exercise on Tuesday, February 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Ladies Choice Program takes place inside the Cardiac Rehab Gym located at 2500 Mowry Avenue, 2nd floor (Washington West), in Fremont. The gym is fully equipped with large endurance training equipment, such as eliptical trainers, treadmills, rowing machines, stair masters and a variety of stationary exercise bikes. Call (510) 608-1356 for more info.

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