The Roanoker - January/February 2018 - 37
HE GYM RATS just roll their eyes. Every January, the routine
is the same: an influx of eager, smiling, chatty 40-year-old
(on average) newbies looking for a return of that 22-year-old
waistline with six-pack abs. The second week of January is the busiest
time of the year for health clubs, but nearly 80 percent of the eager
beavers are gone by the second week of February, according to quora.
The gyms are up on the numbers and know that 18 percent of
those buying new memberships will use them. In fact, The Washington Post says the $30 billion industry counts on that, selling far
more memberships than capacity would allow if memberships were
used. About half the consistent 50 million members of gyms in the
U.S. work out 100 times a year (a little more than every third day).
A few-12.5 percent-take advantage of one of the 300,000 personal trainers in the U.S., but that can be expensive and expense is
a major consideration. Gym memberships go for $40-$50 a month
in general, the personal trainer costing extra.
Says Gail Wimmer Nordhouse of Roanoke, who recently turned
59, "I'm physically active but lately it feels as if age is attempting a
hostile takeover of my body. This is why I'm working with a trainer.
So, I wouldn't say I'm settled into a routine. Actually, I feel that I
need to mix it up and give my routine a good shake up."
The gym is not the only way to stay in shape, but memberships
often announce to the world, "I'm shaping up." Gym or no gym,
Roanokers who have been successful
in their efforts go about it in a variety of ways.
A range of Roanokers with
different goals, competencies,
schedules and commitment
levels took a few minutes to
share their roads to success
as the new year approached.
Lisa Stauffer, a 50-yearold former bank, real estate,
communications and insurance
executive is a former gymnast who
recently rediscovered her passion for
working out. That led her to take class"Exercise helps with who I
am and I need that release,
es and become a trainer because stayotherwise I feel like 'arrrrgh!'"
ing in shape had become "hard with
so many things pulling at my schedule ... Exercise helps with who
I am and I need that release, otherwise I feel like 'arrrrgh!'"
She now teaches/works out five days a week for about 12 hours
and is eager to take on more classes as she earns experience. "It takes
more effort now as I age," she says, "and it starts in the kitchen" with
a healthy diet. Sticking to a routine, she says, must involve doing
"something you enjoy and preferably with a friend or in a class,
which has a social aspect. You need to make it a priority part of
Bonnie Pritchett, a retired special education teacher in Roanoke and Franklin Counties, has found that exercising in class
has given her a brand new focus on her life. "When I was teach-
S T AY I N G I N S H A P E
Works For You
A short question on Facebook-"How do you stay in shape?"-
resulted in a wide range of responses:
Mary Prillaman wrote, "I run intervals for 30 minutes almost
every day. Sprint for a minute, walk for two. Taking your heart rate
up and down burns a lot of calories."
Jenni Nolen works out "at the Y five days a week for one and a
half to two hours a day. I lift weights, primarily strength with some
hypertrophy. I've been lifting now for seven years. Becoming a
routine probably took about four to six months."
Retiree Linda Pharis found that "with health issues that include
heart failure, COPD, diabetes and arthritis, I had lost so much of
the athleticism I had as a young woman. Doing research led me
to tai chi. A friend took me to a class at the RAC as a guest, and
it was immediately do-able ... It didn't look like much of a workout,
but I was beat at the end of class. After three years of tai chi up to
three times a week, I am amazed at the mind/body connections the
practice has made. I've lost weight, become more coordinated, have
better balance and more stamina."
Stuart Zaikov walks a "minimum 10,000 steps a day scattered
throughout the day" and 60-year-old Rebecca Frederickson (who has
fibromyalgia, arthritis and two resurfaced hips) works "aggressively
with a trainer four days a week, pole dances for at least four hours
and does two hours of belly dancing." She says that "what it took for
me was doing stuff I enjoy."
Fincastle artist Nancy Dahlstrom swims "two to three times a
week, a quarter mile with fins on my feet and hands, to increase
Mark Feldman started working out three afternoons a week
for an hour after heart surgery. "Basically, stretching, cardio, weight
stations, walking cool off and stretching. Check weight and blood
pressure before and after."
Young Tracy Judd Townes has found that working with another
person makes a difference. "I ran four marathons, qualified for
Boston three times and completed a triathlon because I didn't want
to stand up people I was training with."
Artist Greg Osterhaus says, "Walking did it for me. I still
struggle with the frequency, but try to go at least once a week for
three miles. I take it slow, pick a route with a few hills. Don't try to
kill yourself. A slow pace is more than enough."
Writer Betsy Ashton has "been doing yoga for over 45 years.
Regular workout, varied poses, varied times. At least four days a
week. Keeps me upright. More important, it keeps me calm."
Educator and technical writer Therry Neilsen-Steinhardt
"worked with a trainer for years, first to lose weight and then to
regain strength and function from decades of multiple sclerosis.
I have ready access to my endorphins, so it was easy to get into
a routine. I lift, walk and do yoga. I will say that when I started in
1998, I was too weak to use the treadmill, and it took me a year on
the stationary bike before I could use the treadmill."
PR professional Teresa Gereaux says, "I'm finally walking and I
enjoy listening to podcasts while I walk. Sorta my reward for doing it."
Non-profit exec Susan Coryell is adamant about doing "only
exercises I enjoy: golf, yoga, kayaking and interval walking with a
group of friends." -DS