Augusta-area gyms, stores offer gift of health

Gym memberships, equipment in vogue

It might be the best gift you can offer: improved health through more exercise.

“We always say, ‘Give the gift of health to yourself and your family for the New Year,’ ” said Millie Schumacher, who is the community relations director of the Family Y of Greater Augusta.

The Y is trying to do its part by offering a membership special through January that waives the joining fee, normally $75 for an individual or $100 for a family.

“This year, with the economy being as such, we just really wanted to give that special gift to the community,” Schumacher said.

The Y is also hoping to bring attention to a new 45,000-square-foot building it is opening in Aiken next month on Trolley Line Road, she said.

The Y is building the Aiken facility in conjunction with Cedar Creek Church West, which will provide a facility for the Y most of the time but will of­fer the church a place to worship on Sunday mornings when the Y isn’t open, Schumacher said.

Gold’s Gym in Augusta is trying to entice gift buyers and new members by waiving its enrollment fee, normally $149,
General Manager Ben Daniel said.

To get started, they would pay the first month, $19.99 for a gold membership and $10 for a basic membership, he said.

Some people want to have their workout at home, particularly in colder weather, and are looking at elliptical machines, treadmills and stationary bikes, said Steve Bailey, the manager of Fitness Plus in Augusta.

Ellipticals are the most popular machines in part because they have lower impact, which can be important for people who are referred to the store from physical therapy or other recovery programs, he said.

“Ellipticals are easy on the joints and hips and low back,” Bailey said. “We sell more of the ellipticals than anything. It burns a lot of calories without the impact. That’s a big plus.”

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