Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

center not just about rehab

By Kevin Pearcey

Residents looking for a place to work off the stress and pressure of everyday life need only look as far as Crenshaw Community Hospital's Physical Therapy Department.

Because, said Public Relations Director Bonnie Trotter, although physical therapy is a major part of the department's objectives, it isn't the only reason to take a visit to the center.

The hospital also makes its fitness center available for anyone wishing to make daily exercise a part of their lifestyle.

For $30 per month, said Trotter, people can work out at an appointed time each day and receive expert health and fitness advice courtesy of the center's resident Fitness Coordinators Kristin Kelley and Bill Norman. The center is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at night, Monday through Thursdays.

While many people come to the center knowing what they want to accomplish, there are those who may need help in designing a fitness program. That's where Kelley and Norman come in.

Kelley described the program she assigns to her clients as a two-day split of cardio and free weights. Her workouts, she said, are usually 30 minutes per day but members are allowed to exercise as long as they like. She can also help formulate a person's nutrition plan - which, she said, does not involve the current Atkins' low-carbohydrate diet so popular with dieters.

"Especially for exercisers the body needs some carbs to function properly," she said. "What I like is something called 'sugar busters' where you cut back on sweets like candy bars and potato chips. Also, I recommend eating smaller portions to help speed up your metabolism."

Sue Beall, who works out at the center, has lost 20 pounds in two years and that's a healthy weight loss said Kelley.

"You don't lose weight, you lose inches," said Beall and Kelley agreed.

Many people, said Kelley, come into fitness with the idea that they want to lose weight. However, what they really want to lose is unwanted body fat.

Beall said she doesn't follow any particular diet plan, but does try to watch her portion size as recommended by Kelley.

Trotter said the center currently has 65 members and once renovations are complete at the hospital physical therapy and fitness will be housed in a larger facility.

To sign-up for a fitness program, call 334-335-1108.