Doug Clark doesn’t care if the wind chill is below zero.
He doesn’t have to. He just changes his walking route to inside the Wellington town hall and logs his two miles.
“I do it for my health issues and my heart,” said the 62-year-old, who walks about five days a week. Clark said he deals with high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which have gotten better since he started walking regularly about four years ago.
When the weather cooperates, Clark heads outdoors and sometimes walks around the Lorain County Fairgrounds. At home, he does push-ups and jumping jacks along with some free weights.
Walking, however, is his favorite. “It relieves stress and anxiety, and I do it for the health benefits of a longer life,” he said. “And it’s free.”
Meanwhile, just down the road a bit, Nancy Fisher chooses to work out at Inner Circle Personal Fitness. Her arthritis was so bad she couldn’t walk for a year.
Today she’s off all her medications and doing an hour-long circuit training with a personal trainer and her friends, lifting weights, stretching, and doing light aerobics.
“You really do have to move it or lose it,” she said. “You have to get back to basics: diet and exercise. Nobody wants to hear that part of what the doctor says.”
Kathie Stiles was the first member to join what is now informally called Inner Circle for Fun Girls. Stiles, Fisher, and about six others are regulars in the group that meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for fitness and fun with a personal trainer.
“The best reason to join a gym is you get grouped with people and many of us have become friends outside the gym. You stick with it a whole lot more when you have a friend waiting for you,” said Stiles.
“And you have more fun when you have a group,” said her workout buddy, Pam Mazzone.
Between repetitions of lifting weights, they laugh and support each other. On this visit to the gym, they’ve exchanged little tokens for Valentine’s Day.
For the past four years, Joe Bockmore, owner of Inner Circle, has done a three-month Dream Team competition among teams of two to six with winners being those who lost the most body fat.
This year he’s tweaked it to become a 10-month commitment challenge.
It’s focused more on general lifestyle changes with points for attending classes, turning in a good food log, and drinking plenty of water.
“We’re just trying to get people to focus not just on the scale, but on doing the right thing,” he said.
Bockmore’s interested to see whether a longer challenge keeps people engaged who might otherwise quit their workout routines.
Catherine Gabe can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @ReporterGabe on Twitter.
Photos by Catherine Gabe | Wellington Enterprise
Doug Clark walks five days a week, regardless of the weather. On a recent snowy, cold day he walks inside the Wellington Village town hall. Hours are 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays.