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Fitting in fitness - the lunchtime answer


Fitting in fitness - the lunchtime answer

With our busy lifestyles today, finding time to give priority to our health and fitness is something that many of us aspire to, but somehow we just "don't have the time".

The good news is that a growing number of people who live or work in the Howick area are discovering that it is possible to include fitness in their busy schedules, without compromising fulltime work, family and other commitments. Working out in their lunch hour at the Howick Recreation Health and Fitness Club is proving to be an efficient use of time and avoids the busy morning and evening 'rush hours' at the gym. The Howick Recreation Health and Fitness Club on Pakuranga Highway offers a special off-peak membership that allows members to workout between the hours of 11am and 3pm from Monday to Friday for a reduced cost. Not only is it convenient for shift workers and at-home parents with children at school, it's excellent for nearby office workers who can fit their exercise in at lunchtime. The off-peak memberships offer great value and are a practical option for many people with busy lifestyles.

Ashmita Maharaj works fulltime at the National Bank in Howick and has three children. She says going to the gym at lunchtime is about smart time management, and is 'win-win' situation for her. It means her evenings are free to concentrate on family or other activities, and she likes that the gym is relatively quiet in the middle of the day. At Howick she describes the staff as very friendly and always keeping an eye on people in case they need any help, "The people are more like a family," she says. The gym provides lots of variety for her workouts, and friendly social contact during the day. An added bonus Ashmita has found is that by going to the gym, the temptation to simply 'go shopping' at lunchtime is removed - what a way to save money!

Local GP John Manning is another lunchtime gym-goer. He too finds it a great solution for balancing work and family commitments with regular exercise. He's been a member of other gyms, and particularly likes the relaxed and friendly atmosphere at the Howick Recreation Health and Fitness Club.

"It's very much a baggy t-shirt gym, with people of all ages," he comments. "If you go up at lunchtime it's really quiet and you've got any machine you want to use - but there is always someone else there to chat with too."

As a medical professional, Dr Manning is very keen to see people exercise. The staff at the Howick Recreation Health and Fitness Club are specialists at catering to people with various medical conditions or rehabilitation needs. Sherralyn Whatman leads a team of committed staff who develop individual programmes for each member, including people with various medical needs and conditions such as cardiac rehab, stroke and diabetes.

Dr Manning says "Sherralyn is very good at giving you advice. She keeps an eye on people. They (the staff) are used to catering to people who have various problems." He says members get treated much like a family, and that the gym is very non-intimidating.

Sherralyn says this comes down to a genuine enthusiasm to help people enjoy and benefit from their gym sessions, and valuing people as individuals. "People do find it hard today to make time for things like regular exercise, so we like to be encouraging and supportive to help our members achieve their goals. Many people are finding that the off-peak option can fit into their busy lifestyles, help them keep healthy and is very good value. Of course there is plenty of space for new members, so anyone who thinks they might like to squeeze in a daytime workout is welcome to come in for a visit and find out how we can help."

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