There's no excuse to put off getting fit in the New Year

7:20 AM, Dec 19, 2009   |    comments
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You know, for many people, the cost is a real barrier to physical fitness. But that was in the past

The Cleveland Clinic is teaming up with two popular gyms to offer free memberships and diet counseling.

All that just in time for your New Year's resolution.

At 72 years old, retired fire fighter Rollie Kosteinshek says the secret to his longevity is polka dancing and regular excercise at the YMCA.

"Anything, especially for elderly people, if they have it available to them, and they do it, you can't beat it really," Kosteinshek said.

In the last three years, Rollie has had heart surgery and treatment for two different types of cancer.

"I figure if I wasn't in fairly decent shape, I wouldn't be where I am right now. Let's put it that way," Kosteinshek said.

Getting Cuyahoga County residents in better shape is the goal of the "goFIT" program announced Friday.

"Hopefully, it will break down the barriers that people really feel that are there either real or imagined around the ability to have access to real well care," Cleveland Clinic Dr. Anthony Stallion said.

It's a cooperative effort between the Cleveland Clinic, the American Heart Association, Dave's Supermarkets, Curves Gym, and the YMCA.

"Cleveland does fall into the category of being one of the top ten in the nation that has childhood and adult obesity," YMCA C.E.O. Glenn Haley said.

Haley says "go!FIT" is for those who otherwise pass on good health because they didn't think they could afford it.

"We hope it blows the doors off," Haley said.

Cuyahoga County adults who don't already have fitness memberships can get free gym privileges at Curves or the YMCA for three months.

They can also get a basic health assessment, diet advice, and coupons for healthy foods.

40 percent of premature deaths are caused by overeating, inactivity, and smoking.

The "go!FIT" program is designed to address these issues.


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