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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • New gym offers Haviland residents path to health

  • The Haviland Recreation Commission officially opened their newest facility last month. The new fitness center, located in the building that previously held the high school media center, offers a low membership fee, expanded hours and brand new equipment.


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  • The Haviland Recreation Commission officially opened their newest facility last month. The new fitness center, located in the building that previously held the high school media center, offers a low membership fee, expanded hours and brand new equipment.
    “The fitness center came through because of Haviland Superintendent Mike Couch; it was his idea,” said Jadon Ross, the part-time director of the new fitness center. “It was something he wanted to have for the community of Haviland — a local facility, so people wouldn’t have to drive to Pratt or Greensburg, so they could have something in town. It was Mike’s vision and I think people saw that and jumped on board.”
    The intimate space, which had been sitting empty since the consolidation of Haviland High School into the Kiowa County Schools, now hosts two brand new treadmills, a pair of elliptical machines, a reticulated and stationary bicycle, free weights and will soon have TVs and DirectTV.
    The air-conditioned building also houses lockers, restrooms, a vending machine and eventually will have Wi-Fi access. 
    “We get all ages,” said Ross, a 2001 Haviland High School graduate. “It’s 18 and over allowed in here. If there is a high school student, they can come if their parent is a member. We have members who are in their 60s, 70s and 80s. We also have members who are in their 20s and 30s. It is a good mix.”
    Ross said that the center already has nearly 50 registered members.
    There is a $25 per every six months membership fee. Memberships are available to families and/or individuals who live inside of the Haviland USD 474 school district and Barclay College students only.
    Members can access the gym from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. via a keycard system that allows them private access.
    “Most of the questions are about how to use the machines to meet their specific goals,” said Ross. “If there is someone who is a senior citizen than we advise them to check with their doctor about what their heart rate should be and then we guide them to a workout program. Making sure they know how to use the machines. That is the biggest thing, people have never used these machines before and so they ask about them.”
    Ross has been available to new members almost everyday to answer questions about the gym, the equipment and to help members find a workout program that suits their individual needs. He said that residents of Haviland should take advantage of the gym, which could do a lot to improve their overall health.
    “I think even minimal exercise can make a huge difference. If you go from doing nothing to doing 10-15 minutes, you are going to feel better about yourself. You may not burn a ton of calories, but it will get you up and get you moving. It’s great for your heart and muscles. For people who have done very little exercise, coming in here [a couple of days a week] could make a big difference.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Ross also noted that consistency is the best way to approach a new workout schedule.
    “It’s wise to start out slow, but to keep with it,” he added. “If you only come for two weeks, it isn’t going to do anything. But if you do it for six months, you will see and feel a difference.”
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