Originally published in the Taos News
You don’t need to wait until New Year to put “weight loss” on your list of resolutions. In fact, you are better off starting right now to make sure that you are in perfect shape by New Year. And a great place to begin is Curves, a delightful, well-kept fitness center located at 1350 Paseo del PuebloSur.
The Curves franchise, with its concept of 30-minute fitness, strength training, weight loss guidance and a comfortable environment specially designed for women, has been around since 1992. It is listed in Guinness World Records as The World’s Largest Fitness Center Franchise.
Agnes Garcia has owned the Paseo del Pueblo Curves center for the last four and a half years. She used to be a member and her daughter, Alicia Garcia, managed the business for several years. When the former Curves’ owner put it up for sale, they were happy to buy it.
“My daughter is a certified fitness trainer and she helps me train the new clients,” Garcia said. “She lives inAlbuquerquebut travels back and forth.”
Garcia is perfectly able to train people herself, though. An avid athlete with a passion for exercise, she not only explains how to use the machines, but demonstrates it. Her enthusiasm is contagious. “Andale, you can do it,” she said while I puffed and huffed. Fluent is Spanish, she can coach and cheer people up in two languages.
Martha Dick, who is 90 years old, credits her Curves workouts for her remarkable physical shape and sustained energy. She has been a member since December 2005. “Coming to Curves three times a week has kept me active,” she said. “I’ve lost some weight over time, slowly but noticeably. Besides, working out is fun!”
SilverSneakers pays her monthly fee because Curves is one of the program’s participating locations inTaos.
When one of the members doesn’t show up, Garcia calls her to make sure everything is OK or if she can be of help. “One of the best parts of exercising here is the family feeling that Agnes has created,” said Dick.
“Yes, we are like a big extended family here,” Garcia said. “We care about each other. We share recipes and stories. We have fun. ”
As part of her family-friendly policies, members are allowed to bring a relative under 18 years old for only ten dollars a month.
Maria Luisa Duran has also been a member since 2005. “I like the machines and the cardio work,” she said. “I feel much stronger since I started to work out and Agnes makes sure that we all feel at home here.”
The main room contains the equipment used in the Curves signature circuit— hydraulic resistance strength training machines. There are no weight stacks which makes the gym user-friendly for women of any age.
“The idea is to push and pull, rather than just lift weights,” said Garcia. “This reduces the risk of injury.” After the aerobic and strength training, members also do a session of stretching and cooling down.
The best part of the Curves workout, at least for busy people, is that it can be completed in only 30 minutes. Members spend 30 seconds at each station, then, at a CD’s prompt, they move to the next one. The circuit is repeated twice.
“Our members burn calories, increase their cardio endurance and develop lean muscle mass,” said Garcia. “These are the goals of the Curves total-body workouts.”
A separate room is reserved for high-quality treadmills and bicycles. “Our machines are safe and I am always around to help,” said Garcia. “I take my clients’ pulse when necessary and make sure that everybody is doing fine.”
She also sells Curves sports attire, skin care products and pretty accessories. “There is something for everybody here,” she said.
In addition to the regular workouts Curves offers Zumba classes, Tuesdays at noon and Thursdays at 5:15 p.m.
Gary Heavin, the creator with his wife Diane of the Curves franchise, has authored several books about weight loss. Curves: Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting (Perigee Trade, 2004) contains a detailed explanation of the program, a complete Curves At-Home workout, sample menus and healthy nutrition plans.
Curves is located at 1350 Paseo del Pueblo Sur suite A
Hours are Mondays through Fridays, 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Closed on Sundays.