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Resolve to Start the New Year Right With Exercise

January 06, 2012

Enlist a Friend to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Exercise. If it were in pill form, every health professional would prescribe it. In fact, study after study links regular moderate exercise with everything from stroke and cancer prevention to better sleep, and even improved mental health. But with busy schedules and other priorities, it’s easy to find reasons to put off exercising or avoid it altogether.

Are you looking for motivation to make 2012 the year of regular exercise? Research indicates that individuals who exercise with a friend are more likely to stick with it than those who go it alone, so enlist a friend and find a class that is right for you at the Washington Women’s Center.

“All of us can relate to being busy and tired at the end of the day,” says Kathy Hesser, R.N., clinical coordinator of the Washington Women’s Center. “Sometimes the last thing you want to do is go out and exercise. But, if you can turn that around and find times and classes that work for you, the biggest step is just getting yourself to do it.

“Bringing a friend along can help make sure you both stay motivated. And the Women’s Center has so many classes to choose from, there’s bound to be one that’s right for both of you.”

Programs designed for women

Motivation can be a big factor in getting regular exercise, but for some women, it’s about finding an environment they feel comfortable in.

The Women’s Center offers a variety of exercise and weight loss programs built around the needs of women in the community, particularly women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and even 70s who may have never done regular exercise before.

The programs at the center include:


One of the newest additions at the center is the Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program®, which focuses on slow, fluid movements and is appropriate for all levels of fitness.

“Our official Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program utilizes six basic core movements, six advanced extension movements and directional changes to add challenge,” Hesser explains. “These movements were all examined by the Arthritis Foundation and Dr. Paul Lam, a tai chi expert and family physician, for safety and effectiveness. The movements are based on the Sun style of tai chi that is very gentle, with no deep movements that can be done both standing and sitting in a chair.”

Exercise classes at the Women’s Center begin in the first half of January. For more information, call (866) 608-1301 or (510) 608-1301. To register for classes at the Women’s Center, call (800) 963-7070 or go online at www.whhs.com/womenscenter.

Exercise + Healthy Diet = Weight Loss
At the Women’s Center, Hesser says that women benefit from evidence-based programs that are proven to be effective while enjoying the camaraderie of a small-group environment. Additionally, regular exercise can play an important role in healthy weight loss. But exercise is only one part of the story.

At the end of this month, the Washington Women’s Center will begin the next session of its Right Weigh Program, a weight loss program designed exclusively for women. Focused on healthy eating and behavior modification, the program includes eight, small-group sessions over a 12-week period. Classes include individual weight checks followed by group education sessions on pertinent topics that help participants stay focused on their weight management goals. Each group session starts off with an interactive lecture and participants are encouraged to ask questions and provide their own perspectives.

Those enrolled in the program will also meet one-on-one with the dietitian for an hour-long session to evaluate and discuss individual goals and specific needs.

The Right Weigh to weight loss
To register for the Right Weigh nutrition program beginning Tuesday, Jan. 31, call the Women's Center Wellness Desk at (510) 608-1356. Group classes meet once a week for the first four weeks. Then sessions meet every two weeks for the next two months. The fee for the entire program is $185. Group classes and meetings will take place inside the Washington Women’s Center, Suite 150, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.