Sunday, March 16, 2008

LIFE Center make it as easy as falling off a treadmill

One of the perks of working for Fauquier Health System is a discounted membership to the newly opened LIFE Center.

The fitness center is located near Holiday Inn Express on Holiday Inn Court, off Walker Drive in Warrenton. It’s on the second floor of a professional building and offers a breath of fresh air to those who want to get in shape.

I’ve been to the center six times so far: Once for my health evaluation with Sara Freeman, once for a session with Alyson Lilley, a personal trainer, and four times to put their advice into practice.

The LIFE Center provides a soothing environment for working out. There are lots of machines – treadmills, elliptical trainers, several different kinds of stationary bicycles, free weights and circuit machines.

Personally, I like the newer treadmills. Each comes with its own personal TV screen. I live in the wilds of Goldvein and don’t have satellite, so my family and I are pretty much cut off from the world of television. (Thank heavens for DVDs.)

It’s a guilty pleasure to hop on the treadmill (or the recumbent bike) and walk (or pedal) my way through Seinfield reruns. Before I know it, a half hour has passed and I haven’t felt put upon because I’m “working out.” I like the Food Network too, but will sometimes put on CNN or the Discovery Channel, so any fellow athletes who might be looking will think I’m smart.

Every so often, a LIFE Center employee will stroll by to ask how I’m doing, or if I need anything. I haven’t proven to be too high-maintenance yet, I don’t think, except for the time I fell off the treadmill.

I didn’t fall too far; I just suddenly found myself standing on the floor instead of on the treadmill. I had, for some reason, closed my eyes for a moment while on the treadmill and lost my balance a little. I scared Ali, who was walking by.

Note to self: pay attention when you’re on the treadmill.

Health screenings are held periodically at the LIFE Center as well. On Tuesday, March 25, I stopped by for a free Diabetes screening. I filled out a form indicating risk factors, then had my blood sugar checked with a quick prick of my finger. (I’m fine, by the way. My blood sugar came in at 95, which folks at the LIFE Center assured me is in the “good” range.)

The LIFE Center also offers classes in yoga, pilates, and water workouts (held at the Warrenton Overlook Aquatic Center). There is also a class in Guided Imagery (a relaxing workout for the mind) and one in Tai Chi.
I haven’t had a chance yet to take any classes, but I have watched them briefly through the windows of the big, bright classrooms. The students look like they’re having fun.

I am looking forward to catching a glimpse of the Island Dance class (moving energetically to island music), but don’t know that I’ll be taking that one. I’ve heard some folks talking about them very enthusiastically, but I think my grass skirt is in the cleaners.

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