The Auskell Women’s Fitness Centre opened its doors on August 17. The opening of this Fitness Centre had been looked forward to with anticipation and excitement by many in the community and, despite torrential downpours, many ladies were already standing outside the doors waiting for it to open at 12 noon. Registration continued until 7:00 p.m. Business was brisk as many people signed up anxious to get started on their fitness regimens.
Any ladies signing up were first given a health check at which their weight and blood pressure were recorded. These will be monitored at regular intervals during their training sessions. Persons signing up during the open house received a special discount off their membership fee and also received a gift bag containing a t-shirt and water bottle needed for their workouts plus other giveaways including pens and whistles. Exercise equipment such as yoga mats, jump ropes and toning bands were also available for sale.
Angie Collie, Managing Director of the Abaco Auskell Advanced Medical Clinic and Fitness Centre, stated that the reason for opening the Fitness Centre was because she knows that people need to be fit to live healthier, longer lives. “There is a very high rate of diabetes and heart disease in the Bahamas which needs addressing,” she stated. “One hour three times a week can turn a person’s life around so that they feel better, look better and have a longer life. Now there is a nice environment for women to exercise in; the gym is fully air-conditioned with new equipment and instructors. We want to motivate people to want a lifestyle change.”
Dr. Keith Lewis, who has been instrumental in setting up this Fitness Centre, will be starting an Herbal Weight Loss program in September. Ms. Collie stressed that the gym can also be used for persons needing therapy but therapy patients must bring a note from their doctor giving a release and stating instructions to be followed.
The Fitness Centre will offer customized weight loss programs, one-on-one evaluations, whole body vibration, PACE circuit equipment, convenient hours and a safe environment. The goal of the Centre is to provide a fun, non-intimidating, safe and motivating atmosphere where people can build a support team, meet new people and join together in achieving their fitness goals.
PACE (Programmed Accommodating Circuit Exercise) is a fun, nonthreatening group exercise program that quickly and safely changes your body shape. PACE utilizes hydraulic resistance machines that match the effort of the user at any fitness level. According to proponents it is fun, fast and produces results quickly.
There was an atmosphere of excitement in the gym amongst those who signed up that day. Several ladies were enjoying trying out the new machines when Churton Toote, who will be teaching aerobics and Zumba classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., started an impromptu aerobics session which people enjoyed joining in and got a good workout.
Sophie Smith-Bootle and Sharona Etienne-Cole both signed up for a year and stated that they could hardly wait for the gym to open on Monday morning for their first session. They both plan to attend every day both in the morning and in the evening.
“This is awesome. It is one of the best ideas to come to Abaco in a long time. I am a preschool teacher and I am hoping that this exercise will give me the energy I need,” stated Ms. Etienne-Cole. Ms. Smith-Bootle was not shy in publicly stating her weight and she is looking forward to taking off a good deal of that weight.
“I have three babies and I can’t keep up with them. This Fitness Centre is long needed, it is a lifesaver and a life changer,” she enthused. Both ladies plan to challenge each other to keep coming. “It will be a lot easier exercising in a gym with other people than trying to do it on our own,” they agreed. They further stated that Pastor Lennie Etienne has been preaching recently on health, exercise and eating habits. This spurred them on even more to take his advice and become healthy.
Angie Collie was excited to announce that the footing is already down for the new Auskell Medical Centre on Don MacKay Boulevard and that 501 tax exemption status has just been approved by the United States so that any US citizens wishing to make donations for the building will now have the advantage of this tax-free exemption. The Auskell International Board for tax exemption consists of Judy Johnston, President, St. George Reviere, Director, Marva Mercius, Secretary, Denise Williams Vice President and Nassau representative and Dr. John Fifer and Sandra Watson US representatives. Ms. Collie stated that she hopes soon to start tea parties and functions all around Abaco to inform people about the new building and to seek donations.