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Families following trend of getting healthy together

All it took was Adam Hubbard looking at the picture of himself out by the family pool.

healthlink_family1.jpg

Adam Hubbard watches as his son, Shey, lifts weights.

He knew he needed to get in shape.

"I looked at that picture and I said 'You've got to be kidding me,'" Mr. Hubbard said. "My clothes were getting tighter and tighter; I was having to get bigger jeans. My whole family is bigger on my Dad's side; they are all heavy. It's horrible, the diabetes and all the problems that they've had, and I've made a vow that I'm not going to be that way."

So last September he signed up for a family membership at HealthLink Wellness Center and got his wife and children involved.

Mr. Hubbard's entire family, which includes his wife Elizabeth, son Shey, 14, and daughter Tawnee, 11, visit the gym five days each week. Mr. Hubbard and Shey walk on the treadmill and lift weights. Mrs. Hubbard and Tawnee work out some on the weights and equipment such as the rowing machine, and attend yoga classes.

healthlink_family2.jpg

Adam Hubbard steadies himself for a lift.

"The motivating factor was to give my son and my daughter something to get involved in after school," Mr. Hubbard said.

And the Hubbards are not alone.

Dede Keir, general manager of HealthLink Wellness Center, has noticed a trend of couples and families working out together. She said sometimes the adults are showing the children what to do, and other times the children are showing the adults some new moves.

"I thought (a family membership) was great. I thought it's about time that we can do something fun together and get some good results out of it. I have never done any long-term exercising. Having someone to exercise with makes a big difference," Mrs. Hubbard said.

It's all about combating growing obesity rates: a recent study by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports said about 64 percent of the nation is classified as overweight or obese.

"It's all health, I don't care what anybody says. You don't have to work as intense as I am, but you've got to do a little bit. I mean a little bit is better than nothing," Mr. Hubbard said.

healthlink family3.jpg

Mr. Hubbard decided to get back in shape after seeing himself in this photo.

But, his wife said, getting healthy is a process.

"Make the first step. Once you make that first step then stick with it. Don't give up if you don't see results immediately, because you won't immediately unless you make a drastic change," Mrs. Hubbard said.

Making it routine

Mrs. Keir said many people tell her they are intimidated to try coming to the gym because they feel everyone in there will be skinny.

"Once they come in here and see we're normal people, they realize we're not all walking around here in thongs, then they feel more comfortable," she said.

Mrs. Hubbard admits she felt intimidated the first time she walked in the gym, but she was more comfortable after meeting the staff.

"I've always been nervous, but Dede is so outgoing that she makes it real fun to be in there. It really helps when I've got my husband who knows what he's doing and he's right there to help in addition to the trainers in the gym," she said.

Now that Mrs. Hubbard knows how to work each piece of equipment in the gym, she said she and her daughter switch around, using different ones on different days for variety.

Mrs. Keir said the gym has more than 9,000 square feet of free-weight equipment and 22 cardiovascular machines. They offer Tae Kwon Do classes for children and adults, step aerobics and body sculpting, yoga and pilates.

"Now that we've learned all the machines, we try to do everything. We like to change up so it doesn't get boring," Mrs. Hubbard said.

Results in the mirror

When they began their workouts, Mr. Hubbard said he weighed 217 pounds and had 39 percent body fat. Today he weighs 225, but his body fat is down to 17 percent. Shey, who's goal is to bulk up his body, has gained weight from 117 to 124 pounds. Mrs. Hubbard said she has not noticed a big difference in her weight, but has "in the way the clothes fit. I've lost a couple of sizes in clothes already in the short time since we've started." She said Tawnee can notice the muscles in her arms getting stronger, and she is able to "go farther" in yoga than she could when they first began.

Mr. Hubbard said he knows a lot of people resolve in January to get in shape, and he has noticed a lot of new faces in the gym.

"It's a whole lot easier to sit in front of the TV and eat a piece of chicken than it is to work out. My advice is for them to look in the mirror or take a picture. That picture showed me," he said.



Web posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006











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