Time to Hit the Gym!

Plattsburgh locals are motivated during the winter months
to lose those extra pounds by hitting local gyms

Story and photos by Patricia Fifield

When the snow starts falling and that bone-chilling wind comes your way, you may think it is time to curl up on the couch with some hot cocoa and abandon your summer workout routine but it's actually time to hit the gym.

Plattsburgh State Fitness Center

Plattsburgh locals have to change their fitness routine from summer to fall. Many exercisers who would jog outside along Lake Champlain during the summer usually move inside to treadmills and elliptical trainers. Plattsburgh boasts several gyms such as Champlain Valley Fitness & Health Center, Bayside Tennis & Health Spa, The Court Club, and the Fitness Center at Plattsburgh State University College. These gyms feature fitness equipment and group exercise aerobics classes.

The PSUC Fitness Center is loaded with cardiovascular equipment and free weights in a 5,000 square foot area. It is also the home of a 1,800-square-foot separate area dedicated to aerobic classes such as body conditioning, spinning, kick boxing and Pilates. Group exercise director, Tracy Corey, said that attendance peaks during the spring semester, during which, chilling cold remains in Plattsburgh. With a potential of 3,000 students and 100 faculty and staff members and many locals flooding the gym during the winter months, new classes are going to be offered. Classes such as Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines acrobatics, music, dance, and fighting techniques, and aqua fitness will be available to members.

Memorial Hall
Memorial Hall on Rugar Street is the home of Plattsburgh State Fitness Center.

Many health clubs in larger cities are featuring a cardio stripping class with or without poles. The risque class is popular among women because it is a tough workout but also considered to be a lot of fun. Corey said the PSUC Fitness Center is considering a strip aerobics class but,"are struggling with the ethics of offering a 'strip' class on a college campus."

The Plattsburgh State Fitness Center also hosts the annual fitness center challenge during the winter to motivate members to exercise. This challenge forces men and women to step outside their comfort zone. "Points are set up differently for men and women," Corey said. "So if a man goes to Pilate's class it's worth more points than let's say, lifting weights." Members are able to expand horizons and fitness routines by challenging themselves to try new classes and equipment. Exerciser, Eric Wollman said, "I love the challenge; it is really fun seeing everyone try out new things."

"Our membership definitely increases during the winter"

Champlain Valley Health & Fitness Center

Champlain Valley Health & Fitness Center has 15,000-square-feet of workout space including a cardiovascular and a weight section along with a heated swimming pool. The gym offers a juice bar for members to enjoy a refreshing beverage and a full line of supplements to ensure their member's health. Large windows cover the gym's front, allowing members to view outside and also allowing non-members to view in. The gym offers aerobics classes including spinning and Pilate's to all members. With a membership of approximately 500 local residents, CVHCFC has to be prepared for an increased membership during the winter months.

"Our membership definitely increases during the winter," employee Darrel Collins said. Collins said that membership increases because of the tradition of the New Year's resolutions. With New Year's sneaking around the corner, many locals will be making their resolution to lose that spare-tire around their belly. Although these weight loss resolutions sometimes fail, CVHCFC along with other Plattsburgh gyms will be preparing for new members.

When the new members join they will be greeted by new and returning classes. Champlain Valley lost yoga because the instructor left but Collins said that yoga will be returning in time for those who join after the New Year. He also said that new classes will be offered at that time but have not been decided yet.

CV Fitness Center
Members working out at CV Fitness & Health Center can be seen from the crowded parking lot.

The winter months in Plattsburgh can be dreary and may even seem never-ending, but exercising may help the winter depression. According to a Mayo Clinic physical medicine specialist, endorphins are released during movement and can block pain signals from reaching your brain and can help ease anxiety and depression. Exercise can also improve oxygen and blood flow which contributes to an overall sense of well-being. With months of snowy, cold days, the winter blues can sneak up on anyone, but heading to a local gym for a kick boxing or spinning class can helpcure the blues.

The Court Club

Located at the Comfort Inn, the Court Club is fully loaded and has the area's largest membership in the North Country. Loaded with strength training equipment, a 25-station cardiovascular room, and three racquetball courts, Plattsburgh exercisers can spend their winter days here. The club also features classes such as water aerobics, yoga, Pilates, spinning, step classes, and relaxation classes. Also, an indoor heated pool with a 70-foot water slide and a hot tub, sauna, steam room, and tanning beds allow for an escape from the cold winter winds.

What is your favorite local gym?


Membership Fees:

The PSUC Fitness Center membership fees are $65 a semester for students. Faculty and staff pay a fee of $80 a semester and alumni pay $100 per semester. Located in Memorial Hall on Rugar Street, the fitness center is open: Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Fridays are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday noon to 10 p.m.
Summer hours and hours when college is not in session vary.

CV Fitness Center membership fees vary depending on how long you would like to keep your membership. The fees start at $50 a month with no contract so new members can join for a month to see if they enjoy it. A three month contract is $45 a month and a one year contract is $35 a month. Senior citizens are offered a discount of $5 per month and students are charged $115 per semester. The fitness center is located at 26 Plattsburgh Plaza right on Cornelia Street.

The Court Club is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Members enjoy full access to the tanning beds, heated pool, sauna, and all classes. Located at 411 Cornelia Street, membership rates vary call (518) 562-2730.

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