FRANKFORT — The first step toward physical fitness is often the toughest to take.
To encourage a healthy active lifestyle, the Betsie Hosick Health & Fitness Center in Frankfort, part of the Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital system, is offering a new fitness education series that began this week and runs through September.
Both the health education speaker series and the fitness education classes at the center are free. Each of the sessions also comes with a free day pass to the facility at 102 Airport Road.
“Paul Oliver has a long history of hosting community education,” Hosick manager Stephanie Williams said. “It’s really important for us.”
The importance of being physically fit is simple, even if it needs to be stated occasionally.
“Prevention is always important to us and keeping people out of the hospital,” Williams said. “People do better when they are out of the hospital, healthy and thriving.
“This is one of the ways we can support those healthy behaviors.”
Michigan residents could use some modification in that regard.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and The State of Obesity, 32.3 percent of Michigan adults were considered obese. The 2018 statistics ranked Michigan 19th among the 51 states with the largest percentage of overweight adults.
The health education series is scheduled for the second Thursday of the month from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Naturopathic medicine was the subject of the first speaker series on March 14, led by Abigail Ellsworth.
Williams said the speaker series came from a Parkinson’s Support Group Paul Oliver launched last year that targeted older adults. She said topics were broadened “to attract a wider audience.”
Other scheduled topics in the health education speaker series include:
— April 11: Swallowing, Speaking and Throat Care
— May 9: Medication Management
— June 13: Caring for a Loved One with Dementia
— July 11: Injury and Accident Prevention
— Aug. 8: Advance Care Planning
— Sept. 12: Infection Prevention & Antibiotic Stewardship
Williams said the sessions will be led by different people. Following Ellsworth will be Rob Slate, Adrienne Jones, Rosemary Russell, Kate Gilbert, Kate Withington-Edwards, Jeanette McNinch and Kyle Peil.
“We pull our speakers from the Munson Health Care system and Paul Oliver as well as community organizations,” Williams said. “They all have different backgrounds.”
Fitness classes will be held at 1 or 5:30 p.m. at the Hosick Health & Fitness Center, beginning with “Getting Started – Creating a Fitness Routine” scheduled for March 27 at 1 p.m. All of the fitness classes will be led by a certified athletic trainer or physical therapist.
“Those are geared toward a wide range of ages and activity levels,” Williams said. “It’s a wide range of topics for that series.”
Certified athletic trainers from Paul Oliver, Alexis Donovan and Arthur Adkins, will lead several of the sessions. Donovan said the sessions will be valuable educational safety pieces, both from a physical and nutritional perspective.
“A lot of people aren’t confident in the gym and don’t know how to work out,” Donovan said. “We can help them on how to use the equipment, proper nutrition, how to create a workout plan. That way people are confident in using the equipment and are not hurting themselves.”
Fitness topics beyond the initial session by date include:
— April 24 at 1 p.m.: Free Weights versus Machine Weights
— May 8 at 5:30 p.m.: Free Running and Walking Assessments. Registration is required for this session by calling (231) 352-9661.
— May 22 at 1 p.m.: Equipment Tutorial
— June 12 at 5:30 p.m.: Knee Pain
— June 26 at 1 p.m.: The Role of Exercise with Diabetes
— July 10 at 5:30 p.m.: Prevent Running and Exercise Injuries
— July 24 at 1 p.m.: Strength Training Across the Lifespan
— Aug. 21 at 5:30 p.m.: Body Mechanics Training for Parents and Coaches
— Aug. 28 at 1 p.m.: Supplements
— Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m.: Lower Back Pain
— Sept. 25 at 1 p.m.: Taking Care of Sore Muscles
The free day pass to the Hosick Health & Fitness Center that comes with each of the education series events is a bonus that can save participants up to $170 over the year. A day pass is normally $7.50 for students and seniors and $10 for adults.
“You don’t have to be a member,” Williams said. “If they are here and want to check out our facility, they are welcome to do that.”
Rates also are available for the day, week, month, three months, six months or for a year. There are different rates for individuals, seniors, students, couples and family. More information on rates is available at https://bit.ly/2UEgDmc.
The Betsie Hosick Health & Fitness Center is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. More information on the facility is available at https://bit.ly/2Jcidue or by calling 231-352-9661.