Curves in Latham reopens, looks to future

No men. No make-up. Absolutely no mirrors.

Women were given the opportunity to see what a gym without testosterone is really like when Curves of Latham celebrated its grand reopening under new ownership Friday, March 28.

However, while newcomers were welcomed at the entrance with a display of banana-nut bread and muffins, all baked with Curves-brand ingredients, the 30-minute clock did not stop for women who were already working out, pushing their strength on leg presses and anxiously anticipating their 30-second recovery breaks.

Town Supervisor Paula Mahan attended the re-opening.

It's a pleasure, in the final days of Women's History Month, to participate in this ribbon-cutting of this new business dedicated to women's wellness, she said.

Sandra Wheatley, 61, of Latham, began her membership at Curves under the new owner, Bill Kent.

"When I joined, it wasn't to lose weight," she said, "It was for bone density."

Wheatley had suffered severe bone loss, but for her, Curves provides a challenging workout that does not put a strain on her limbs.

Curves' workout program, which originated in 1992 by Gary and Diane Heavin of Texas, functions on a basic principle: A circle is arranged in a single room encompassing several weight-training machines and mats for "recovery."

As upbeat music blares on the stereo, a womanly voice calls out for members to "change stations now," or, rotate off equipment every 30 seconds. Members are encourages to go around the circle of machines, which takes 15 minutes each round, twice. The machines use hydraulic resistance to tone and strengthen the body.

For Dianne Miller, 66, this program is "easy." After retiring in January 2004, Miller joined Curves as a result of being dissatisfied with other gyms. "I hated counting rep[ition]s," she said. "If I have to exercise, this is OK."

According to Kent, the program that Curves provides is designed specifically for women. "Whether you're interested in getting more exercise for health and general condition or want to lose weight or tone your muscles, Curves can help you establish a regimen to help you meet your goal," he said in a press release.

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