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January 13, 2012 > It's Time to Get Moving

It's Time to Get Moving

Washington Women's Center Exercise Class Can Help You Get Started

January is here and it's time to get moving. No matter what your goals are for the new year, exercise can help you reach them.

"If your New Year's resolution is to lose weight or improve your health, exercise can help you get there. It can also help to reduce stress and increase your ability to concentrate," said Kathy Hesser, RN, Washington Women's Center coordinator. "Now that the holidays are over, we can focus on our health."

Hesser will help women get started on their exercise plans when she presents "Exercise for Your Health," on Wednesday, January 18, from 7 to 8 p.m. The free class will be held in the Women's Center Conference Room, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) in Fremont. You can register online at www.whhs.com or call (510) 608-1301 for more information.

"Exercise offers so many health benefits," Hesser said. "And if your goal is to lose a few pounds, it's nearly impossible to do it without exercising."

In addition to weight loss and other benefits, exercise can actually help to reduce your risk for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, according to Hesser. Studies show that physical activity strengthens the heart muscle, increases good cholesterol, and lowers blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and blood sugar. Aerobic exercise and strength training can also help to prevent osteoporosis by slowing the loss of bone density.


Motivational and Interactive

"Even if you had a good routine before, it can be hard to get started," Hesser said. "Many times women are sidetracked during the holidays and January is a good time to get back on track and start exercising."

The class is designed to be motivational and interactive. Hesser will begin with exercises you can do in short increments for either a quick routine or a warm-up for a walk or run.

"It will include some stretching and exercises that help to wake up the muscles and joints," she said.

Next she will move to cardio exercises that can be done indoors. These exercises help to increase the heart rate and provide an indoor alternative to running or power walking, she said. This will be followed by strengthening exercises that can be done without equipment other than hand weights. Hesser will end with some gentle cool-down exercises.

Each participant will have the opportunity to develop an individualized exercise plan or routine that incorporates some of the exercises demonstrated in the class.

"Everyone can leave with an exercise routine that works for them and a plan of action," Hesser said. "It will make it much easier to get started."


Keep it Up

Once you get started with your exercise plan, it's important to keep it up. The Washington Women's Center offers a number of programs that can help you stay motivated, including the Ladies Choice Fitness Program. Workout sessions are held on a walk-in basis from 2 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"The gym is clean and well-equipped, and you get the benefit of a certified personal trainer who will assist you," Hesser said. "Ladies Choice is an individualized program that will provide you with a great workout."

Workout sessions include aerobic endurance training on a number of machines, including the treadmill, stationary bicycle, rowing machine, and elliptical; strength training using a weight bench and hand weights; stretching; sit ups and other mat exercises.

"Exercise is so important for overall health and wellness," Hesser said. "Now is the time to get started or get back at it. You will receive a lot of support and encouragement at the Women's Center."

To learn more about Ladies Choice, go to www.whhs.com/ladieschoice. For information about other services offered at the Washington Women's Center, visit www.whhs.com/womenscenter.

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