West Elementary third-grader Tabitha Goodwin isn’t waiting to get in shape. She’s already started a workout program at USA Gym and plans to stay active.
“I take jiu jitsu karate and I like to bowl,” said Tabitha, who says the best part about learning self-defense is the ability to take down her older brother. “Next year I want to try out for basketball,” she said.
Maintaining an exercise program is not only good for your waist, it also has health benefits. The American Cancer Society estimates about half of all cancer deaths are preventable if health is made a top priority.
This includes staying at a healthy weight, getting at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Avoiding tobacco and too much alcohol are also factors, the American Cancer Society says.
USA Gym manager Paige Northcutt says the gym has enjoyed its usual flood of new members at the beginning of the year.
“We had six new members on Wednesday and they all came at the same time,” said Northcutt. “We’ve had quite the increase so far.”
Northcutt says there are many benefits to regular exercise. She says it helps improve heart and lung function and also helps with cholesterol levels. Weight-bearing exercises are good for seniors, she says, because they help maintain bone density which diminishes with age.
“The healthier you are, the happier you are,” said Northcutt. “Exercise can give you a positive self-image.”
To encourage new members, USA Gym is offering a three-month special for $109. Other local workout facilities include Etch and McMinnville Civic Center.