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Boost Your Immune System Through Fitness

Gain access to a full aquatics complex, group classes, fitness equipment, and nutrition and weight management programs, all in one location.

Living a healthier lifestyle has never been as important as it is right now. Finding the ideal location and people to support your fitness goals is a critical step in improving your well-being.

The fall season is the ideal time to consider a health plan for yourself and your family. The Hockessin Athletic Club (HAC) provides its members with full access to clean, well-maintained and state-of-the-art equipment, as well as classes and programs that help boost your immunity as temperatures begin to drop.

Doing so can have a wide variety of positive benefits, says Rachael Ling, assistant fitness director at Hockessin Athletic Club (HAC). Ling, who holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Delaware and is a NASM-certified personal trainer, notes that according to data compiled by groups like the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Heart Association, everyone should be engaging in at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.

“The beautiful part about that is it doesn’t have to be 30 consecutive minutes,” she says. “The research shows that it’s just 30 minutes of movement throughout the day. You find ways to work in that 30 minutes, and it’s still, the studies are showing, just as efficient.”

Rachael Ling

That could involve breaking exercise up into 10-minute blocks in the morning, midday, and evening, she says. As this becomes easier or if someone is looking to meet a certain goal, they can add more time or begin to fold in strength conditioning twice a week. The key is to build a routine that will turn into a habit, she says.

“The hardest part is just starting,” she says. So, during the two personal training sessions that are included in the memberships for everyone at HAC, often the focus is on the small triumphs. “Even if they have long term goals, sometimes we’ll just back it up to figuring out how to get them in the car to go to the gym.”

The trainers help members work through their obstacles to staying active, either real or potential, to help them make a gym habit part of their lifestyle. That can involve something as simple as packing a bag for a workout the night before, eliminating the need to stop at home to change for an after-work gym visit.

“And from there, it’s just about getting moving,” she says. After the first workout, “you just add on to that. You say, ‘I’ve done it for one day this week; I’m going to try for another three.’ And you keep moving until you find a way to make it a habit that turns into a lifestyle.”

Because of HAC’s extensive facilities—including an expansive indoor and outdoor aquatics center, cardio machines, weight room and cafe—and focus on community, membership is an excellent way to get the whole family involved in a healthy lifestyle. Members receive two hours of childcare as part of their membership, and for children ages 3 to 13, there are a variety of programs related to team sports, fitness, dance and martial arts included in the membership to keep them moving.

“Kids really do watch their parents, and if they’ve got parents who are active, that to them becomes the norm,” Ling says.

When a HAC visit focuses on relaxation, such as a leisurely afternoon at the 5-pool aquatics complex, there’s an added level of convenience that makes it worthwhile for everyone, including the Poolside Café for kid-friendly meals and salads, sandwiches, wine, and beer, for the adults.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” Ling says. “There’s something for every family member.”

And for everyone—particularly in times as challenging as these—the opportunity to exercise in a community setting is something that helps build not just physical fitness, but mental and emotional fitness, as well, Ling says. During another difficult time—the 2008 financial crisis—many members told her directly that their workouts helped them relieve the stress of economic uncertainty.

“And that was incredible, because you had people just self-proclaiming right there the benefits of exercise when it comes to stress reduction,” she says.

*What’s this? This content is made possible by our sponsor and does not necessarily reflect the attitude, views, or opinions of the Delaware Today editorial staff.

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