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January 6, 2010 > Exercise - One of the best ways for every woman to improve her health

Exercise - One of the best ways for every woman to improve her health

This New Year, there's a party going on and everyone's invited. The occasion: A chance to get healthier through regular exercise, no matter what your current physical condition.

"Many women who are excessively overweight or have diabetes, a heart problem or arthritis, for example, are often fearful or intimidated about going to a gym or joining an exercise program," says Kathy Hesser, RN, coordinator of the Washington Women's Center at Washington Hospital. "Washington Hospital's Ladies Choice Program is for healthy women who would like individualized guidance with exercise and weight management.

You can learn more about why it's important for you to adopt a regular exercise program and about the range of classes offered by the Washington Women's Center at a free introductory session called "Kicking Off the New Year Right with Exercise." The class is scheduled for Tuesday, January 12 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Washington Women's Center Conference Room in the Washington West Building, 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont. It will be led by Hesser and Fran Joslyn, RN, certified personal trainer and facilitator of the Ladies Choice program.

"In our program, the intimidation factor is gone because the women who come here are all ages and body shapes. People feel comfortable right away," explains Joslyn. "Each woman receives a personalized exercise 'prescription' designed just for them, taking into account any special needs. Other participants are very friendly and supportive of each other, and everyone has fun while working on their individual program."

During the introductory session on January 12, you'll learn and have a chance to ask questions about the many benefits of regular exercise and why the U.S. Surgeon General recommends that every American should get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. You'll also find out about the various exercise programs offered to the community by Washington Hospital and which program may be right for you. The class includes a tour of the facility's exercise gym, which features modern exercise equipment and all the same comforts and conveniences as any local exercise club.

"Ladies feel comfortable right away in our clean, well-equipped gym," says Joslyn. "We have a wide variety of exercise machines and we provide towels, drinking water and a dressing room and shower facilities."

In addition, the Washington Women's Center offers a yoga program and an exercise program for women with arthritis, presented in conjunction with the Arthritis Foundation. A registered dietitian is also available to provide advice on diet and nutrition.

"The emphasis is on aerobic conditioning, strength training, stretching and relaxation," Joslyn adds. "The only thing that's missing is the intimidation factor many women feel about joining a health club."

The Ladies Choice exercise program is offered between 2 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Participants come for the time that fits their schedule, following the routine recommended for them in a very non-competitive environment. Weight lifting, stretching and relaxation regimens are conducted intermittently during the 4 1/2 hours, so people can feel free to join in when they want. Exercise sessions are priced competitively with other local programs, which lack the health-related benefits of a hospital-based program like Ladies Choice.

How do I Enroll?

To enroll, each woman needs clearance from their physician. The Ladies Choice Program is private pay and fees are payable on a monthly basis. To learn more about this program, please call (510) 494-7022 or visit

"During our sessions, we work on overall strengthening and developing greater lung capacity. Some of our participants are interested in losing weight, and we hold a weight loss challenge, based on the needs of those who participate," states Joslyn. "People in the Ladies Choice exercise program are committed to making exercise a regular part of their life, and we help them reach their objective."

"The overall goal of the program is to help women find balance in their busy lives," adds Hesser. "Our effectiveness is reflected by the many people who attend faithfully. In fact, some women have told me that Ladies Choice is one of the 'best kept secrets" in Fremont."

Ladies Choice Invites You to Start Your New Year Right!

Please join us in the Washington Women's Center Conference Room on Tuesday, January 12 at 7 p.m. for an introductory class called "Kicking off the New Year Right with Exercise." To register for this free class, please visit and find the above titled class under "Upcoming Seminars" on the Hospital's homepage. To learn more about the Ladies Choice Program, please call (510) 494-7022 or visit

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