Exercise, yoga can help improve life, health

MARQUETTE – Residents who attended the activity night Wednesday at Marquette General Hospital were able to partake in a sampling of different exercises as part of the Healthy Lifestyle Journal: Community Wellness Challenge 2013.

About 30 people attended, ranging from elementary-age to senior citizens, true testimony that exercising is important no matter what your age.

Brian Claus, Director of Health and Human Performance at Marquette General Hospital, couldn’t agree more.

“Exercise is extremely important to achieving a healthy lifestyle,” Claus said via an email interview.

“You know the old saying: move it or lose it… this is very true in regards to exercise. If you don’t move your body, then you will lose muscle tone as well as bone mass.”

Claus attended and helped lead the activity night. During the gathering, individuals were led by Dawn Lundin in an introduction to yoga. From there, Amanda Thompson led an abbreviated cardio class. Ashley Carlstrom taught three songs worth of Zumba, a latin-dance exercise, and Drew Hanson rounded out the evening with flexibility.

All in attendance are working toward the same goal: to lose weight and adapt to a healthier lifestyle. According to Claus though, it takes a lot of hard work and determination.

“The most common mistake that I see when people exercise to try to lose weight is that they think exercise is a “magic pill” and the weight will just disappear if they work out.”

He emphasized that it takes a proper balance of nutrition and exercise to achieve more sustainable results.

He added that although some think they need fancy equipment or a personal trainer to lose weight, none of that is needed to reach your goals.

“In Marquette all you need to do is look around you. We have fantastic walking, hiking and biking trails… there are low or no cost activities everywhere that can definitely get you on a path to a healthier you.”

One such activity he highlighted is the healthy lifestyle challenge. The program, which lasts eight weeks, offers four activity nights and four education nights. The activity sessions include two indoor classes that showcase classes offered by Synergy Fitness of Marquette, such as Yoga, Zumba, Body Attack and stretching. For the outdoor classes, program coordinators are hoping to highlight the Noquemenon Trail Network by taking participants snowshoeing.

“The Healthy Lifestyle Journal is a great way for the community to gain some insight on ways to improve their nutritional and exercise habits as well as introduce them to what our wonderful communities have to offer in terms of resources for nutrition, recreational activities and exercise options,” Claus said.

This week will be an education night in the four regions: Marquette, Ishpeming, Negaunee and Gwinn. To learn more about the role of dietitians in a healthy lifestyle, visit ww4.mgh.org/wellnessCenter/. The Healthy Lifestyle Journal meets each week with four education nights and four activity nights for each region. Meeting times are 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Gwinn Clubhouse in Gwinn; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays in The Empire Room of Bell Hospital in Ishpeming; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the Nelberg Building- 3rd Floor Gym at Marquette General Hospital in Marquette; and from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the West End YMCA in Negaunee. For more information about the Healthy Lifestyle Journal, call 225-3221.

Abbey Hauswirth can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.