PITTSTON — A new year means new opportunities to stay in shape and get healthy.
A place to make that happen is the Greater Pittston YMCA, which offers programs throughout the mornings and evenings for those willing to do the work.
Programs include deep water exercising, cycling, yoga and more.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert Duliba said memberships have gone up heavily, giving the Greater Pittston YMCA over 50 new members since the calendar turned to 2016.
“We do pretty well for the month of January,” he said. “These past two weeks have gone pretty well with this whole ‘new year, new me’ attitude. People are getting to the gym wanting to shed those holiday pounds, that whole new year resolution. This place will stay pretty busy the next couple of months.”
To help members stay in shape and lose weight, Health and Wellness Director Scott Jamieson, Dietician Emily Richters and Family and Youth Director Leslie Whiddick are on the scene to offer guidance.
They are only a few who teach programs and serve as personal trainers for YMCA members looking to stick to their goals.
Jamieson said, as a personal trainer, the hardest part about keeping members around is teaching them results in body transformation do not happen overnight.
“You need to listen to what their overall outcome goal is,” he said. “If they want to lose weight, then you have to explain that there’s no magic here; it’s going to take time. They have to set realistic goals along the way to achieve their overall final goal. If they want to lose 30 pounds, it’s not going to happen in a week and it’s not going to happen in a month. A rate of one pound a week is a safe rate to stay at. You want to let them know it’s going to happen, but at a reasonable time.”
New members to the Greater Pittston YMCA include Pittston Township residents Joseph Carchilla, 16, and Joe Mancini, 17, who were on hand to play basketball with their friends Justin Fitzpatrick, 16, and Paul Moska, 16, both of Pittston.
“We want to work on our basketball game and get to the gym,” said Carchilla.
The four boys said their goals are to get to the YMCA and play basketball more than once a week throughout the year.
“Sometimes we get a couple more friends here, especially if we come on weekends,” said Moska.
Despite the heavy attendance now for the YMCA, Duliba said memberships tend to decrease by a significant amount when the warm weather rolls around, but he and his staff members are coming up with new ways to ensure that doesn’t happen.
“We’ve been trying for the past few years to look at those trends and see where they start falling out and where, as an organization, do we step in to keep them here and keep them on track,” said Duliba. “We try to do more outdoor activities. Last year, and we’re going to bring this back, in May is when we start our running season. We had a five mile race to participate in and that will begin in May and then, hopefully, focus on running and being outdoors with activities that can be done outside the facility as members.”
Duliba is confident he and his staff members can keep the positive energy into 2017.
“There’s a lot of moving parts,” he said. “It’s getting people to realize that this organization is the supplement of what the community is lacking. Not too many of the boroughs and townships around here have a recreation board or a building they can go to where kids can hang out and families can go to, and that’s where this organization comes in to play. So, if someone is looking to better themselves, this is the place to go.”