The dreary doldrums of winter will not be found in the West Shore Community College Recreation Center.
Rather, it bustles with activity, energy, and so much more that is positive.
“This is our busy time of year,” said Julie Page-Smith, director. “We do have a lot going on. Once the weather cools down and people are looking for a safe, warm place to workout during the fall and winter months, this definitely (becomes our) busy season. We get individuals from the Ludington area, Pentwater, Oceana County, Manistee, Lake County – it really does cover our whole region.
“There’s no better time to focus on your health than right now. This is when a lot of people start to think about really improving their health and wellness. We have something to offer for all ages and all fitness levels.
“The pool is busy right now,” Julie said. “A lot of the hours that our pool is open is for lap swim, water exercise, (and) by appointment for our members. We’re open all of the week days for our lap swim exercise. The water exercise is really, really beneficial.”
Currently, she said, and due to lifeguard availability, the center does not have evening hours at the pool, “so it’s most generally in the mornings and early afternoons.”
She said the center does host individuals “of all ages.”
“When they do their membership it does cover the whole facility,” Julie said. “We have different pieces of cardio equipment – lots of different choices. We have treadmills, we have elliptical, stair climbers, recumbent bikes, a rowing machine. We have a circuit weight training program which is really great, too, that is located in the Wellness Center, to work on strength conditioning.
“When a member joins up we encourage them to schedule an orientation session with myself so that we can go through the equipment in our Wellness Center area and help the individuals to get set up on the machines properly.
“We also take into consideration if they have any type of health limitations, like what machines we need to be careful on, which ones we need to potentially omit based on any health limitations.”
Julie said the center has one racquetball court.
“That can be reserved by just contacting us,” she said. “We do have rental equipment – rackets, protective eye wear, and racquetballs.
“We also partner with the local Ludington area pickleball club and we reserve space for them in the gym during the fall and winter months. They are out here six days a week playing pickleball. We have three pickleball courts lined off in our gym area. It’s very popular.”
Julie estimated the center currently has about 700 members.
“That will change as the semester starts up and students are coming back,” she said. “Our students start back up on January 16.
“We do have age requirements for different parts of the facility. For our free-weight area, for safety reasons, individuals need to be at least 15. If they are not with their parent or guardian they need to be at least 15 for the Wellness area.
“We have a gym area that’s used for multiple activities. We have families that come out and play drop-in basketball. Thursday evenings, from 6-8 p.m., we have drop-in volleyball. So, either our members, or our day-passers, can come in for that type of activity.”