Quarter 1 | Winter Edition
Fitness Center: Referral Program, American Heart Month, Super Bowl Fitness Challenge, Tips for Better Sleep, Member Spotlight and More!
Ice Arena: Sweetheart Skate, 'Try Hockey for FREE Day', Learn to Skate, Hawk Hockey Updates
Recreation: Spring Coed Youth Soccer Registration (February 1-29), Senior Bowling and Save the Date for the Annual Easter Egg Hunt 
UPCOMING EVENTS
Upcoming seminars on Alzheimer’s

As part of our ongoing seminar series, the Walker Ice and Fitness Center is hosting representatives from Michigan State University’s Alzheimer’s Alliance to talk about the disease. We have two sessions scheduled –one on January 30 at Noon or another on February 5 at 6.30 pm. Meetings will take place in Room A and we do ask that you sign up prior to the seminars.

During the seminar, we will learn about signs and symptoms and tips for keeping our brains healthy using MSU’s P.A.C.T. method (Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training).

Caregivers and family members are all welcome!
PARKS & RECREATION NEWS
Annual Senior Citizen Bowling Tournament
Mark your calendar, our annual Senior Citizen Bowling tournament is coming up again January 23 & 24! You don’t want to miss this! Raffle prizes, snacks, bowling and lots of fun with the Walker Recreation Department! 

Where:
Lincoln Lanes
3485 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Walker, Michigan 49534

Dates: Thursday, January 23 and Friday, January 24, 2020
Entry fee: $17.00 - bowl 3 games
Handicap: 90% of difference between most recent averages and 200
6 divisions for both men and woman

55 to 64 yrs.   65 to 69 yrs.   70 to 74 yrs.   75 to 79 yrs.   80 to 84 yrs.   85 yrs. & over

Squads: Thursday at 1:00 pm or Friday at 1:00 pm

Make your reservations now! Get a group together and have a fun day of bowling!
Men's and women's trophies will be awarded for actual and handicap scores in each age division.
Bowlers may win in only one category.

Attention non - league bowlers!
If you are not presently bowling or have never been affiliated with a league –
you may enter and be eligible to compete for prizes in the actual score category.
Spring Coed Youth Soccer
“We get a kick out of this game”
  • Registrations February 1 - 29, 2020
  • 4-6 yr. old age group is $30 for Walker residents and $40 for non-residents
  • 7-8 yr. old, 9-10 yr. old and 11-12-13 yr. old age groups is $40 for Walker residents and $50 for non-residents
  • There is a $5.00 discount for each additional family member registered
  • There will be a $10.00 LATE FEE charged for any registrations received after the February 29th deadline
  • Volunteer to coach your child’s team and choose your practice day/time and get a $20 refund!
Register online or in-person at the Walker Ice & Fitness Center.
2020 Fall Coed Youth Soccer Registrations will be held July 1 – 31, 2020.
FITNESS NEWS
Refer a Member Program

Its better together! Here is how it works:
  • Only the referring member is eligible for a free month and he/she must be a current member
  • Person being referred must be a NEW member and not a renewal of membership (unless it's been over a year since they have been a member)
  • Adding additional family members in the same household does not qualify for free month
  • New member must sign up for a membership and prepay or give debit information for monthly billing
  • Free month will be added onto the end of active contract or we will skip the following month's billing
Heart Disease*
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women – according to the CDC, 1 in every 7 American deaths in 2018 were attributed to heart disease. Along with the South, Michigan has some of the most severe rates of heart disease in the nation.

The risk factors for heart disease include :
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Poor Diet
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption

The Good News!
Doctors believe that about 80% of the risk of heart disease is preventable and the American Heart Association recommends a series of simple lifestyle adjustments to help us keep our hearts healthy:
  • Limit Alcohol intake – men should drink no more than 2 drinks per day and women should limit alcohol to one drink per day (1 drink = 12oz beer, 4oz wine or 1.5oz spirits).
  • Make some dietary changes – limit trans fats, salt and sugar and be sure to incorporate lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and water into your diet.
  • Get more exercise – be sure to exercise at moderate intensity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • Quit Smoking
  • Limit Stress – take a yoga class, meditate, spend time with friends and family, get enough sleep.
  • Get regular check-ups – don’t skip your annual physical – many of the early warning signs of heart disease are subtle, so having your Doctor run screenings can catch problems early!

*This is intended as informational and is not a substitute for medical advice - always consult your doctor.
February is American Heart Month!
Again this year. we will be hosting a Healthy Heart Challenge. Each time that you come in during the month of February to work out, you will be able to fill out a heart to enter our prize drawing.

1 workout = 1 entry/once per day!

The more times you work out, the more chances you will have to win and the healthier you will become!! Look for more information at the front desk later this month!
Super Bowl Fitness Challenge!
Starting Monday, January 20, when you come in to workout stop at the front desk and get your name on one of our football pools!
1 workout = 1 square once per day!
Its that easy to participate! Winner will receive a cool Super Bowl t-shirt! Contest runs until Saturday, January 31 or until we fill all four pools!
Get More Sleep!
A recent article for Health Magazine mentions that there are three major factors that impact overall health:
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sleep

But, 35% of Americans say that the quality of their sleep is not great and 11% are getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night. According to the CDC, this means 83.6 million Americans are sleep deprived.

The good news is that there are fixes for sleep deprivation:
  • Routine – Having a set bed and get up time is one of the keys to better sleep
  • Kick the Caffeine – especially later in the day
  • Turn off your devices – screens emit blue light that hinders melatonin production and melatonin is what triggers sleepiness
  • Quit eating late at night – it’s harder to sleep when your body is trying to digest
  • Have a regular exercise routine – this will help burn energy, making it more likely that you’ll sleep well
  • Create a nice sleep environment – make your sleep space cozy and inviting
Chicken and Green Olive Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash
 
Serves 4
For the Sauce
·         1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
·         ⅓ cup chopped onion
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         1 can (28 oz) fire- roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
·         1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
·         2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
·         1 teaspoon smoked paprika
·         Salt and black pepper

For the Meatballs
·         1 pound ground chicken or turkey (see Tip)
·         ¼ cup finely chopped onion
·         2 tablespoons chopped pitted green olives
·         1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
·         1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
·         ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
·         1 spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded into noodles
·         Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Make the sauce
1.       Heat the olive oil in a large sauce- pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, oregano, and paprika and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and black pepper.

Make the meatballs
1.       Heat the olive oil in a large sauce- pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, oregano, and paprika and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and black pepper.
2.       Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, olives, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Shape the mixture into twenty 1½-inch meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 15 to 20 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160°F and no pink remains in the middle of the meatballs.
3.       Serve the meatballs and sauce over spaghetti squash noodles. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

TIPS:
Do not use extra-lean ground chicken or turkey made from breast meat only. The meatballs need a little fat to help them hold together and to keep them from drying out.
To cook spaghetti squash: Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, rub a little olive oil and salt on the inside, and roast in the oven cut-side down at 400 F for 45-50 minutes.
How to Get Started at the Gym

One of the things we hear a lot when new members join the Walker Ice and Fitness Center is that people worry about not knowing what to do once they are here! People quickly realize that the WIFC is a great place to meet fitness goals, make friends and have fun, but with the New Year and people working on resolutions, here are a few easy steps to help new members start working out and get on the way to meeting those goals.

Learn the Equipment

WIFC offers free gym orientations to all gym members (these are by appointment – sign up at the Front Desk). During orientations, one of our knowledgeable fitness staff members will take you through the facility to give you a tutorial on our equipment. Many of the machines have picture descriptions, but don’t assume that they will be enough. Use the time to ask lots of questions and you’ll be able to try machines to ensure you’re using them correctly.

Don’t have time for an orientation or just need a refresher? No worries! Always feel free to ask if you have questions about a specific piece of equipment – our staff is always willing to help.

Have a Plan before you Arrive

Don’t walk into the gym planning to “wing-it”. If you do, chances are you’ll spend most of your time walking around aimlessly, rather than working out.

Plan a workout schedule for the week. Ask yourself:
  • How many days do you want to come to the gym?
  • How long each day do you plan on working out?
  • Do you want to mix cardio work with strength training?
  • For strength training, do you want to cycle through muscle groups, or alternate upper and lower body work?

For complete newcomers, this probably seems overwhelming. But remember, everyone starts somewhere! There is a learning curve, but it’s a fun one and you’ll see so many health benefits.

Consider a Personal Trainer

If you have the funds, a personal trainer can be invaluable. One of our certified personal trainers will work with you to help you learn proper techniques and form. They will introduce you to exercises and equipment you might not have used on your own. Personal training can help you succeed in your overall health and fitness goals.

If this is not an option for you, there are lots of web-based resources too. Our Facebook page regularly posts trainer tips from our certified trainers – just be sure to pay attention to tips about form to ensure you’re doing the exercise correctly for maximum gains.

Gym Etiquette

Most of the WIFC rules are common sense, designed to make your experience in our facility a positive one. Remember, if you ever have problems or concerns, let a staff member know.

Clean up – wipe down equipment after you use it. Even if you don’t have obvious sweat marks, it’s still expected that you clean off machines, benches, seats, handles etc. after use. We supply spray bottles and cloths for everyone to use (and please remember, these are for the whole community – don’t take a spray bottle with you, leave them in the communal shelves!)

  • Don’t talk on the phone – trying to work out when the person next to you is carrying on a phone conversation is really annoying and distracting.
  • Listen to music using headphones – you might love your taste in music, but it’s not for everyone. Be considerate of others and keep your music to yourself.
  • Be courteous of others – many people like to take gym photos. However, your fellow gym goers might not want to end up on your Instagram feed. And never take photos or video in the locker room – for obvious reasons.
  • Put equipment away when you are done – not everyone can lift as much as you. If you leave weights lying around or on equipment, the next person might not be able to use it. 
  • Share the equipment – the gym can get busy, let people work in if they need to. Don’t use equipment as a holder for your bag, towel etc. 
  • Give people space – be aware of what other people are doing and don’t interrupt them if they’re in the middle of a set. And, it goes without saying, don’t touch other gym members.

Walking into a gym can be intimidating for a first-timer, but the more you go, the more comfortable you’ll get. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is at different stages in their fitness journey and you’ve no idea where they started. Your only competition in you. Focus on your progress, your strength and your success. Be patient with yourself and be consistent. 

We’re glad you’re here at the Walker Ice and Fitness Center – where active families play!
Member Spotlight

One of our morning regulars is Ilza C. Gym-goers who come in at the same time will know her as the smiling, cheerful, member who always takes the time to ask people how they are. Ilza is also a great inspiration for us as her visits to the WIFC have really paid off! She told us recently that she felt that she’d been gaining weight for a few years and wasn’t being too consistent with her workouts.
   
This past summer “I looked at a picture and didn’t like what I was seeing. I started to jog more consistently and made the gym a priority.” She now works out 5 times per week and since September has lost 23 lbs!
The WIFC is the perfect place for busy parents like Ilza. She can drop of her daughters to our Childcare room while she works out!

WIFC childcare is open:
Mon-Fri: 8am-1pm
Mon-Thurs: 4:30pm-8:30pm
Saturdays: 8am-12pm
ICE ARENA NEWS
HAWK Hockey
The Hockey Association of West Kent (HAWK) is continuing its successful 2019-20 season, with great performances from teams from the Squirt through to the U18 level. The Mites (players 7-8 years) will get the opportunity to show off their skills at the upcoming Van Andel Arena Jamboree on January 11. Teams will play versus other associations in the afternoon and attend the Griffins game at night! Our HAWK house teams will participate in the ADRAY tournament in February.

2020 Spring tryouts for HAWK will take place in April and tryouts for the 2020-21 Fall/Winter season are coming up in May. For information, please contact the Hockey Director, Mike Fountain, at mfountain@walkericeandfitness.com

HAWK is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving and enhancing the quality of hockey in Western Michigan. HAWK players range from 7-18. You can learn more about HAWK at their website: hawkhockey.net
Learn to Skate / Learn to Play Hockey

Session 3 of Learn to Skate/Learn to Play Hockey started on Jan 11. The next session, 4, begins on March 7 and the summer session (which is held on Wednesday evenings) begins on June 10.

These programs are the perfect way for skaters of all ages to hone their skills. Our program recently partnered with Learn to Skate USA. This means that we provide a fluid, standardized curriculum that's founded in solid and fun skill progression. This partnership also means that all lessons are provided from background-screened and certified instructors. All participants are registered with Learn to Skate USA – this provides you with access to online education material for skaters and parents, as well as secondary sports insurance, plus many more benefits. For more information on these member benefits, check out  Learn to Skate USA's  website.
Small Area Stations
At the WIFC, Hockey Director Mike Fountain and his team of coaches emphasize small area games and station-based practices. They do this as they are the most effective training method for players of all ages.
 
There are lots of reasons for this. For younger players, it means more puck touches, which helps to keep them engaged as there is less standing around time. Using the smaller area for practices also forces players to make quicker decisions. This is so effective that NHL teams, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, use this same style of practice:

Using small area stations also allows coaches to cover multiple different skill sets during one practice. It’s also good for association budgets as you can have more players on the ice which helps keep costs down.
 
Coach Mike’s emphasis on small area stations is just one of the many reasons that the Walker Ice Arena’s programs are the best choice for your hockey player. For more information, or to find out about our upcoming season, tryouts and beginner opportunities, please contact him at mfountain@walkericeandfitness.com .
Walker Ice and Fitness Center is hosting USA Hockey’s Try Hockey For FREE day on February 22 from 12-1 pm.   All kids ages 5-13 are welcome to participate – no experience needed!  Bring a bike or hockey helmet if you have one and we will have a limited supply of equipment and sticks for participants.  Skates will be available for everyone.  All kids will get a jersey to keep and other goodies provided by USA Hockey! 

If you have questions, please contact Mike Fountain at mfountain@walkericeandfitness.com.
You can also preregister (this is not required) through the  USA Hockey website . You are also welcome to just drop-in on February 22!
 
Our last Try Hockey for FREE day was a huge success, with 30 participants practicing their shooting, puck handling and scoring with help from our HAWK coaches and players from the Kenowa Hills Knights Varsity Hockey Team.  
Michigan winters are FUN!
This was our parking lot on Saturday, December 1 at 7:05am, minutes after the facility opened. Just an hour before this photo was taken, there was no snow! The City of Walker’s DPW crew works round the clock to make sure our roads and City parking lots are cleared and salted, but sometimes weather systems change quickly. Always walk with care as it can get slippery. And, thanks to the Department of Public Works for all their hard work – we appreciate it!

In the unlikely event of a WIFC opening delay or in case of cancellations or closures, follow us on Facebook or check our website at www.walkericeandfitness.com for up to date information. 
Walker Ice and Fitness Center
4151 Remembrance Rd. NW
Walker, MI 49534
Phone: (616) 735-6286