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Beyond the Treadmill and Weight Machines
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In order to add variety, many health clubs are now offering outside activities programs to their membership packages. Located near Denver, Colorado, the Lakewood Athletic Club offers members and non-members a complete lineup of outside activities including hiking, cycling, golf, running and grass volleyball. Every activity incorporates something social and fun. For example, after a hike, participants may stop for ice cream (after burning all those calories you can dig in to it!) The groups are a great way to meet people outside of the typical social outlets like bars and nightclubs where the objective seems more often to be to "pick up." During the outside activities, individuals can meet others with similar interests and it provides a springboard for them to arrange hikes, bike rides and runs on their own in the future.

Hiking: The summer begins with easier hikes at lower elevations and by the end of the summer, hikers are climbing 14###ers (that###s a mountain over 14,000 feet). Kathy Quizon, the Activities Coordinator, is impressed as she says, "With the 14###ers hikes, there is a 98% success rate. It is gratifying to see people complete these more difficult hikes." And many people would never have attempted such a climb had they not had the group opportunity.

Cycling: On Mondays, cyclists meet at the club for a one hour lunchtime bike ride on a nearby bike path. A great way to brush off the office for a while. In addition, every Thursday, cyclists hit the mountains for trail rides or on the road, which, like the hiking, increases in difficulty throughout the summer. A chiropractor offers expertise to riders on proper bicycle fit and injury prevention. Each year, Kathy organizes week long group bike tours. This year, they plan to do Pedal the Peaks, which is a Colorado and Wyoming loop.

Golf: Even if you have never played golf, you can participate in this fun golf scramble outing where you combine your score with the others in your group. Just make sure the others are fairly good players if you###re not!

Running: The running club meets once a week and each week they alternate track and trail workouts. They will set a goal for a race that they will all participate in at the end of the summer.

Volleyball: At a nearby park, there is a grassy area where volleyball nets are set up for weekly volleyball games. Every six weeks there is a tournament. All skill levels are invited.

Even in the fall and winter, there is plenty of opportunity for individuals to participate in activities outside the club. Bowling, ice skating, snowshoeing, and attending local plays are all very popular activities that can be done despite the colder weather. Activities are free to members of the club and for non-members your first activity is free and after that the cost in $15 for a 6-month Activities Membership.

If you live in the Denver, Colorado area and are interested in participating in an activity, call the Lakewood Athletic Club at (303) 989-5545 and ask for Kathy Quizon, Activities Coordinator.

Written by Regina Fontaine, Fitness Director, Lakewood Athletic Club