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Exercise equipment to handle the crunch in NL

Recreation Director Shelly Simpson demonstrates a stepper machine, one of 10 pieces of new cardio equipment the recreation center added to its fitness arsenal. (photo by Lori Lindner)

NORTH LIBERTY– When North Liberty residents resolve to get in shape this coming New Years Day, the North Liberty Recreation Center will be ready for them.
The department just purchased 10 new pieces of cardio equipment to add to their upstairs weight/exercise/track area: two treadmills, three elliptical machines, two stair steppers, two stationary bikes and a rowing machine. The equipment is positioned along the track facing a wall of televisions, with updated transmitters so users can plug their own headsets into the machines and walk away the pounds while distracted by the next episode of “The Biggest Loser,” or whatever program sets their hearts pumping.
The acquisition is part of the North Liberty Recreation Department’s efforts to both meet increasing demand and also keep its equipment in as good shape as the facility’s users.
“Some of our equipment was bought in 1997,” said Recreation Director Shelly Simpson. “It is recommended that equipment should be replaced after five years, because after that, maintenance costs become too high and the prices for parts increase. After 10 years, sometimes you can’t even find replacement parts at all.”
Therefore, Simpson proposed to the North Liberty City Council in 2011 to build regular equipment replacement into the city’s capital improvements plan. The council approved the recurring expenditure– $30,000 for fiscal year 2012– and now the facility’s inventory will likely be replaced on a rotating schedule.
It’s just one more way to accommodate the growing number of users who are looking to slim down and shape up. Memberships are available for a wide variety of user levels; the Gold & Silver package allows people unlimited use of both the pool and the weight/exercise/track area, while a Gold membership is just for the exercise equipment, weights and track. Users can purchase a pass to use the track only– currently a mere $2 annual fee– and anybody can use any part of the center for a daily fee. Membership sign up must be completed in person at the Recreation Center’s main desk.
“I think our prices are very competitive,” compared to a gym facility, Simpson said.
The center is open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Personal trainers are available for an additional fee, and if exercising with friends better fits your style, the center offers dozens of classes that target cardio improvement, strength toning, muscle conditioning, relaxation and yoga for all levels of fitness. “We offer reasonable rates and you can get a good workout,” Simpson said.
Gift certificates are also available; just in time to give the gift of health for the upcoming holiday season.