State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Area Offers Several Gym Destinations to Get Fit in the New Year

by on January 21, 2013 7:00 AM

Feeling down about your weight? Want to get to the gym and work off the lingering holiday pounds? Just want to get back into shape and feel better again?

Fortunately, the area offers several gym and fitness club options, including two that recently opened downtown.

And, with Penn State implementing a new policy that restricts access to recreational facilities to only those with a valid Penn State ID card, the potential for clientele has grown. The policy change was announced in July in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. So, members of the public who relied on the indoor track at Rec Hall or basketball courts at the Intramural Building for their daily exercise may need to look elsewhere, especially when winter weather can interrupt an outdoor run or bicycle ride.

Of course, the holiday rush for gym memberships has hit, too, and this time of year is full of resolutions and goals for the next year. Sometimes they can feel overwhelming, and the thought of getting started on that goal may never be more than just a thought.

But why should you work out?

The Penn State Kinesiology Club lists just a few reasons why getting outside or getting to the gym might be just what you need.

  • Improves overall health.
  • Lower the risk of stroke.
  • Reduces the risk of becoming diabetic by almost 50 percent.
  • Reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer.
  • It improves your mood.

So, what are some options around town?

Ki'netik Fitness, located at 2301 Commercial Blvd, may have some of your answers.

"We're a community of great people," owner Scott Ludwig said. "We're getting healthier every day. We're a fitness program that thrives on your success. No judgment, no mirrors, no muscle-heads. Just qualified coaches there to assist you in reaching your goals."

Friendly surroundings and a nice indoor and outdoor fitness circuit certainly make Ki'netik an option for your holiday weight loss.

Ki'netik also offered the "Holiday Weight Challenge," where members were paid $10 to lose just one pound over the holidays - and were paid $2 per pound after that. If they gained weight, they had to donate one item for every 0.5 pounds gained to the State College food bank.

Over at 227 Northland Center, a newly opened KoKo FitClub offers an open gym for members 24 hours a day and staffed from 7 a.m to 7 p.m on the weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. You can even sign up online to try out Koko FitClub's services for free during your first visit.

KoKo FitClub boasts a workout that takes only 30 minutes complete and one you'll have fun doing, members said.

Just down the road from KoKo FitClub sits The North Club, 1510 Martin Street.

With all the amenities of a normal gym, The North Club focuses all aspects of your workout with 120 cardio training stations and training circuits. The North Club also offers up classes during the week for popular programs like Zumba and Bodystep. You could take cycling classes, too.

If you're looking for a workout closer to downtown State College, there are at least two gyms that can fit that need. LionHeart Fitness on the corner of Atherton Street and College Avenue has classes and memberships that test your mental and physical strength. A free first class gives you an idea of what to expect, and a $110 monthly fee gives you unlimited classes and open gym workouts.

Down into the heart of town, located at 114 Heister Street, Momentum Fitness is another alternative to your early morning workout. Bootcamp, yoga, Brazilian jiu jitzu and kickboxing are all options to fit into your schedule.

If that isn't your thing, you can always head to CrossFit Nittany out on Hawbaker Industrial Ave. 

"An elite fitness as the original CrossFit affiliate in State College," program literature reads. "Our training, our community and our gym is unlike any other in Central Pa.  We’ll put a smile on your face while getting you stronger, leaner and healthier than you ever imagined."

Member Matt Shaffer, 27, of State College, agrees.

"The best part about being a member is the community," Shaffer said. "Everyone is very supportive and it's one of the most encouraging environments I've ever been in. People do the workout at different speeds and weights but always stick around to cheer on the people who are still going. That kind of encouragement really helps me want to show up and work my hardest. Every day I look forward to going to the gym, something I never thought I'd have said at this time last year."

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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