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'We felt like we wanted to take health and fitness to another level'



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July 23, 2014 - Ortonville- Amy Crowell worked out for the first time in a week on Tuesday, joined by five other fitness-minded individuals, under a sunny sky, sweating to the sounds of upbeat music at the track near Harvey Swanson Elementary on Varsity Drive in the village.

Crowell had been in Chicago, but shared the happy news that she has lost more than 10 pounds as well as six inches.

"Last night, my husband was hugging on me and he was like, 'Oh my God, you're shrinking!'" she said, laughing.

Crowell co-founded the new Ortonville Fit Club three weeks ago with Rochelle Nolin, an Ortonville resident, and Layton Holder of Pontiac. The group, which has about 11 members, meets at 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at the Varsity Drive track, rain or shine, to workout together. Anyone wanting to improve their health is invited to join, free of charge.

"We felt like we wanted to take health and fitness to another level," said Nolin, who is in another fit club in Waterford. "Why not bring it to our hometown? We are looking for more members and health coaches. Join the wave to get healthy!"

Crowell, Holder and Nolin coach the group, leading participants in a warm-up that includes two laps around the track doing "windsprints." Nolin is in charge of abdominal work, while Crowell does cardio and leg work and Layton is in charge of arms. Workouts last an hour and exercises include planks, mason twists, curtsy squats, push-ups and more. The workouts used are all things the coaches have gleaned from the internet and elsewhere and which have been used successfully.

A major advantage of the group, said Nolin, is that not only is it free, but the club builds a community of support and keeps members accountable.

"I know people are waiting for me and expecting me to be here," she said. "We work on the mindset to get them up to do something healthy for themselves."

The coaches offer free health profiles to get members to the level of fitness they desire to have energy and feel their best.

Holder notes that weight loss is 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise, but 100 percent mindset.

"We can change our minds and be conscientious of our own thought processes," said the Army veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. "Determination is what I needed and my friends give me that everyday. Share the determination to better yourself and the community."

Kristine Cobb, a township resident, said she likes that it's a smaller group.

"I think you get others influenced in the right direction and they motivate me," she said. "It's nice to be here getting the confidence to keep going. I don't have to come back, I want to come back."

For more information, call Rochelle Nolin at 248-342-4345.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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