Fitness classes return to fall schedule
Fitness classes, held at three different POA facilities, offer a variety of experiences for POA members. As members settle into their fall schedules, fitness instructors prepare for lots of new students.
“I feel like there’s going to be a huge influx,” instructor Lucy Quarti said. “We’ve already had some great turnout for classes this fall.”
Classes are offered at Riordan Hall, the Metfield Clubhouse and soon, at the newly renovated Branchwood. All summer when Branchwood was closed, classes usually held there met at the Highlands Clubhouse, in the room that was once the restaurant’s dining room. Branchwood’s water classes moved to the pool at Kingsdale.
When Branchwood reopens, it will have a large room for an exercise class which, recreation director Joan Glubczynski pointed out, is a big improvement over their old space — a basement racquetball court. Branchwood also has the only indoor pool in Bella Vista.
There’s a variety of classes to serve a wide range of abilities. At Riordan, a Silver Sneaker Classic class uses small hand weights and balls as participants work on range of motion. While at Metfield, an indoor cycling class is designed for a more ambitious clientele looking for a cardio work out.
Lucy Quarti teaches several types of classes, including Total Body Workout, which uses some Pilates moves.
“It’s my passion,” she said. People who take her class are better able to face the challenges of everyday life. They may find their balance improving as well as their fitness level.
Her students are very loyal. They enjoy coming to her classes, she said.
“I try to foster a class where we pull for each other and become friends. At the end of every class, we come together and do a chant. That’s what keeps them coming back.”
Students can begin at any time. She tries to make sure everyone feels at home and lets them chose when they want to participate or when they would rather just watch.
“It’s hard to walk in and be the new girl,” she said.
Pam Hudac was surprised to find herself leading a water aerobics class. When she moved to Bella Vista, she didn’t own a bathing suit, but she tried a class at Branchwood and got hooked. After earning her certification, she teaches a class called Power H2O, which will return to Branchwood as soon as the indoor pool there reopens.
“If you want to work hard, you get a hard cardio workout, but you don’t have to do the power moves,” she said.
Hudac has a background in music and spends hours developing her playlists for classes. She has a lot of playlists — some cover an era, like the ’40s or ’50s; others concentrate on a specific artist or genre. All her playlists are designed so students can exercise to the beat of the music.
She doesn’t encourage conversation during class, but she does encourage singing.
She thinks the music is part of the reason she has loyal students who come back time after time. But she has also seen some impressive results.
Her students have reported inches falling off and stamina growing. Their doctors are happy with their blood work, and some diabetes patients report their numbers improving.
“One lady told me she got a hole in one,” Hudac said. That student, Hudac said, thought improvements in strength and range of motion improved her golf game.
There are two ways to pay for classes, Glubczynski said. Some insurance companies pay for Silver Sneakers or Silver and Fit classes. For other types of classes, a student can buy a punch card which gives them 10 classes for $30. The punch card can be used to try out all of the classes, she said.
Some people chose to pay for each class as they go. Pay as you go classes cost $4, but members without a photo ID will also be charged a $2.50 facility fee each day.
The best way to find out when, where and how much each class is, is at one of the fitness centers, Glubczynski said. The number for Riordan Hall is 479 855-8170. Metfield is 479 855-8165. Branchwood, which is due to open sometime this month, is 479 855-8181.
A Silver Sneakers fitness class at Riordan Hall is just one in a wide range of fitness offerings at various locations in the village.