People use the Salt Lake County-owned fitness centers for different reasons.
Some take belly dancing, kung fu and roller derby. Others try Zumba, yoga or water aerobics. There are climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, water slides, indoor tracks, day-care centers, adult basketball leagues, weight rooms and lap pools scattered conveniently through the valley. Salt Lake County operates 16 facilities. There also are six other centers operated by individual cities or special-use districts.
"People don't understand what they have in Salt Lake County," said Brad Pitcher, program manager for the Gene Fullmer Fitness and Recreation Center in West Jordan.
If a class or program isn't available at one center, it likely can be found at another nearby facility. To encourage cross-use of facilities, Salt Lake County offers multicenter annual passes that can be used at most of the facilities. There are dozens of classes, and most facilities provide inexpensive day care so parents don't have an excuse not to exercise.
With the cooler months ahead, many people will take their fitness routines indoors. And there is plenty for them to do.
At the Fullmer Center in West Jordan, "land fitness" classes have names such as cardio blast, cardio kickboxing, firm and tone, mania, power flex, work the core, yogalates, Zumba, and step, kick and spin. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, a family fitness class is offered.
Jeff Pace, program director at the Taylorsville center, said his facility provides space for everything from roller derby, an Asian basketball league, indoor soccer and indoor batting cages to one of the toughest climbing walls in the valley.
Recreation centers aren't cheap, but they can be less restrictive than a gym membership. Entry fees are usually $5 for adults, $4 for seniors 60 and older, $3.50 for youth 3-15 and $2 for children 2 and younger. The county facilities offer annual passes and punch cards for particular classes.
Convenience is a big reason many enjoy the tax-sponsored centers.
Victor Gordon of West Jordan can take a four-minute bicycle ride from his home to the Gene Fullmer Fitness and Recreation Center, where he swims a mile on most days.
Joanna Johnson, whose kids play in soccer leagues, is at the Taylorsville Recreation Center three or four times a week. "This is just my workout. It is nice to have something local. I don't have time to drive all over the valley."
Jennifer Johnson of Taylorsville says she comes to the Taylorsville Center for workouts six days a week. She likes the staff and the feeling of community.
While they may seem less important than other government services such as garbage pickup or water, Pitcher calls the centers important to residents' physical and mental health.
"It is super important for people to get away from their work and jobs and get focussed on something that is good for the minds, good for their health and good for their bodies," he said.
You don't have to convince Jerri Memmott, a regular at the Gene Fullmer Center pool. She credits her aquacise class with helping her keep active.
"My blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight have all come down. It's tremendous. I even went hiking this weekend."
Tax dollars help you get fit
With the cold months ahead, many people will be taking their fitness routines indoors. Here are 10 unique activities offered in Salt Lake County that you might not know about.
More details about dates, times and prices are available at recreation.slco.org or 801-468-2299.
1. Aqua attack • Combines the power of kickboxing with a water workout. Learn kicks, jabs, undercuts and self-defense moves in the shallow end of the pool. Gene Fullmer Fitness and Recreation Center, 8015 S. 2200 West, West Jordan, 801-563-8440.
2. Belly dancing • While learning Egyptian and Turkish steps, you'll get a light aerobic workout that focuses on core conditioning, balance and posture. Every Thursday at Central City Recreation Center, 440 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-538-2062.
3. Climbing • Rock wall classes for beginners and intermediates. Taught every Wednesday at Taylorsville Recreation Center, 4915 S. 2700 West, 801-965-1732.
4. Dance Ã la Mode • Children in kindergarten through 12th grade learn to choreograph their own dances and perform in concert. Fairmont Aquatics Center, 1044 E. Sugarmont, Salt Lake City, 801-486-5857.
5. Dodgeball • Be part of an adult club and a spring tournament. Central City Recreation Center, 440 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-538-2062.
6. Hockey for adults • A six-week course teaches skating, stick handling, passing, shooting and basic game knowledge to men and women 14 and up. Acord Ice Arena, 5353 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, 801-966-0223.
8. Indoor slide • A leisure pool, with the state's tallest indoor waterslide. West Valley Family Fitness Center, 5414 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, 801-955-4000.
8. Skateboard • Professionals teach beginners and intermediates to do ollies, grinds and other tricks. Holladay Lions Fitness and Recreation Center, 1661 E. Murray-Holladay Road, Holladay, 801-424-0621.
9. Thirty-minute workout • Body Conditioning class uses a variety of equipment such as the BOSU, hand weights, tubing, resist-a-balls and glide discs to tone and sculpt the body. Marv Jenson Fitness and Recreation Center, 10300 S. Redwood Roard, South Jordan, 801-253-4404:
10. Yogalates • A combination of yoga and Pilates that focuses on breathing and awareness while strengthening your core muscles. Sorenson Unity Center, 1383 S. 900 West, Salt Lake City, 801-886-2619
Commit to be fit
O Salt Lake County is offering a Commit to Be Fit program to help residents make a pledge to do something small or large to lead a healthy, fit life. Commit to Be Fit is also a competition among cities and townships, and the area with the highest percentage of participants will be named Salt Lake County's Fittest Community.