Fitness options

CDC encourages finding fun ways to get healthy

ERIN O’NEILL The Marietta Times Carol Stacy leads a group arthritis exercise class at the Betsey Mills Club pool Monday. Three different classes are offered in the heated pool as an option to keep active through the winter months.

With the holiday season in full swing, it is easy to get busy, eat too much and exercise too little. But keeping control of your waistline is as simple as taking a walk and, even in winter, there are plenty of options for getting much needed exercise and experiencing the outdoors.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that regular physical activity helps with weight control, reduces the risk for many diseases and strengthens muscles, bones and joints. The CDC encourages finding fun, creative ways to spend time being active instead of overindulging.

“It’s OK to eat Christmas cookies but just be sure you’re getting in your exercise and keep up a routine because it’s harder to get back into it once you stop,” said Suzy Zumwalde, director of the Marietta Family YMCA.

The YMCA will be celebrating 115 years in the community with a membership special the entire month of December and current members can enjoy a visitor pass to bring out-of-town guests. Members of other YMCAs can also utilize the facilities in Marietta.

“We’re open regular hours with regular activities except Christmas Eve and Christmas and this time of year we see a lot of visitors from out of town,” Zumwalde said.

Judy Baker can often be seen walking from her home on Glendale Road to the YMCA and she makes a habit of meeting with friends on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to walk the River Trail, the trails at Washington State Community College and the Devola multi-purpose trail.

“It’s just so important to stay active, especially to me personally. There is rarely a day that I don’t get out and do something,” she said.

If walking and hiking is something that you enjoy, there are several hikes planned in the Hocking Hills, the Ohio River Wildlife Refuge and Wayne National Forest.

“Our planned hikes are here at our ranger station in Nelsonville but the Wayne is open year-round for hiking,” said Gary Chancey, public information officer. “Our ATV and horseback trails close for the season on Dec. 15 but hiking and backpacking are options 365 days a year.”

Archers Fork Loop Trail and North Country Trail are both active hiking areas in the Marietta area of the Athens Ranger District.

Though riding a Segway doesn’t take a lot of physical activity, it does require one to be able to balance and is also a great way to get outdoors.

“We operate in daylight hours only and it needs to be at least 40 degrees with no snow or ice, but we do operate year-round,” said Scott Reynolds, of Fleming, owner of Scott’s Super Adventures. Tours start in Muskingum Park and can be customized.

If a warm dip in the pool is more your thing, there are several options at the Betsey Mills Club and drop-in classes are $6. Stretch and tone, joints in motion and arthritis and joints classes are available almost every day of the week. The Betsey also offers open swim every day but Sunday.

Carol Stacy, of Fleming, teaches two of the classes for five hours a week at the Betsey and tries to remain active throughout the colder months. She says the warm water of the pool is really good for helping maintain range of motion and dealing with arthritis and surgery.

“We have a lot of fun, do a little cardio and use the water weights. For some, it’s even more about the socialization,” she said. “But it is true what they say, if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

What’s ahead

¯ Wild Weekend Discovery Series at the Wayne: The wonders of camouflage; Saturday; Space is limited to 20 seats per session; pre-register by calling 740-753-0542.

¯ Yoga and aromatherapy workshop; Sunday at Dyson Baudo Recreation Center; Contact

¯ Hikes at Hocking Hills: Friday, 10 a.m. – Evergreen hike; Dec. 15, 10 a.m. Whispering Cave Hike; Dec. 16, 10 a.m. Cedar Falls Stroll; Dec. 22, 10 a.m. Winter Solstice hike; Dec. 23, 10 a.m. Conkle’s Creep;

¯ Ryan Jobes 5K at Williamstown High School, Dec. 16 at 8 a.m. For more information, visit River City Runners and Walkers at

¯ Saturday Morning HIIT (high intensity interval training) at Marietta Boot Camp; 8-8:45 a.m.;

¯ Birds of a Feather bird walk at Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge; every Saturday at 8:30 a.m. For more information call 304-375-2923, ext. 117.

¯ Segway tours through Scott’s Super Adventures; 40 degrees or warmer and no ice or snow; Contact or 740-516-0002.

¯ Marietta YMCA December membership special to celebrate 115th anniversary; Contact the Y at 740-373-2250 for more information.