By Tim Leeds
Connie Peterson and Annmarie Robinson are continuing a tradition of fitness with the Havre Public Schools' Community Education program.
Peterson holds the Body Shaping class at the Havre Middle School weight room on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and Robinson holds Musical Weights there on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m.
Peterson, who has been holding the class since 1984, said some of the students in the class have been attending for quite some time.
"I've had some people with me for 15 years isn't it unbelievable?" she said.
Peterson said some of the students in her classes are husband and wife, some are mother and daughter, some are just friends teamed up for the class.
Robinson, who has been teaching her class for eight to ten years, said a lot of her students form friendships in the class.
"We have a ball," she said. "It's pretty laid back. It's the fact that you go there and the same people are there every week. They form some pretty good friendships."
She said she has a lot of couples in her class as well.
"It's a great time for a husband and wife to come out," she said, "or a boyfriend and girlfriend."
The two conduct their classes in similar fashions. Both are set to music, with teams rotating through the 16 weight-machines at the middle school. Each team rotates through each station twice during the workout.
At each rotation, one team member works the weights for 30 seconds, then swaps with their team member and does aerobic work for 30 seconds.
Peterson said the purpose of the class is to use the weight machine more aerobically. It's more to tone than to build muscle.
Robinson said her class is more to elevate the heart rate and pump more blood to the muscles. She said they're not really looking for bulk, although some of the men in the class do lift pretty heavy weights. It's more for trimming and toning, she said.
One of the benefits of the class is that people can work to their own pace, Robinson said. She said if the person ahead of you had the machine set to pretty high weights, you can adjust it down to whatever you would like, or vice versa.
She said she starts with a five-minute warmup before the class, then holds a 10-minute cooldown at the end.
"The cooldown, they say, is harder than the workout," Robinson said.
She said they work to stretch out the muscles after the class to help regain flexibility.
Peterson said they also do the warmup and cooldown in Body Shaping. The cooldown, she said jokingly, is mainly just a lot of talking around.
The classes run through the school year, with the second quarter about to begin. Robinson said they work about eight to 10 weeks, take a week off, then go back to finish the year.
To find out more information about the fitness classes, and other Community Education classes, contact the Community Education program at 265-6890. There is also online registration at the Community Education section of the Havre Public Schools website, effective for the next session on Jan. 8.
On the 'net: Havre Public Schools Community Education: http://www.havre.k12.mt.us/commedreg.html