Locals who might still be looking for help fulfilling their new year's resolution to get in shape or lose weight without spending money on a costly gym membership can get all the assistance and motivation they need through 100 Citizens, a free exercise program taught three times a week by Stanislaus State kinesiology students.
Kicking off its second year on Monday, 100 Citizens is the result of a partnership between the local university and the City of Turlock’s Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department. The program relies on highly qualified and trained Stanislaus State kinesiology student volunteers, allowing them to apply their education towards improving the health of the community.
“What makes 100 Citizens so beneficial is that it allows our community to be involved with being physically active without emptying out their pockets,” said program coordinator Jordan Garcia. “The exercises are designed for those who want to make a healthy change and are accessible to everyone.
“It not only benefits community members, but also the kinesiology students who volunteer. It gives us hands-on experience in fields we plan to pursue in the future. 100 Citizens is a great stepping stone for everyone,” added Garcia.
Created at California State University, Northridge in 2012, the purpose of 100 Citizens is to provide the community with a structured, free exercise program intended to meet or exceed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s minimum recommendations for physical activity, and ultimately improve the health and well-being of community members. Designed to be affordable, replicable and sustainable, the program focuses on the five components of physical fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and body composition.
Stanislaus State kinesiology students brought 100 Citizens to Turlock last year in order to provide a free exercise program that would help community members increase their physical activity and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
The program was very successful in its first year at Stanislaus State, according to program founder and exercise director Alexa Sanchez-Estrada, who said that the 25 to 30 community members who participated each week increased their fitness levels and worked towards meeting their healthy lifestyle goals. She added that a highlight of the program for her was last summer when some participants got together to exercise at the park on their own.
“That is exactly what 100 Citizens is aiming to accomplish,” said Sanchez-Estrada. “We want to serve our community by teaching them how to live a healthy lifestyle while also enjoying our community parks.
“For this upcoming session, we are looking forward to see our returning participants as well as new ones. We are definitely looking forward to yet another great session,” added Sanchez-Estrada.
Each class will include a dynamic warm up, a workout incorporating upper body, lower body, core and cardio exercises, and then conclude with a cool down. Every session will also incorporate aerobic and strength training exercises and participants will use various exercise equipment including resistance bands, jump ropes and battle ropes. Sanchez said that this year students will be implementing new workouts for participants, including a dancing component and light yoga stretches on Mondays to warm up.
“100 Citizens is a beneficial program because it provides individuals with the tools to live a healthier lifestyle,” said program coordinator Katrina Tooman. “With our participants, we get to work on cardio respiratory fitness and resistance training. We teach them exercises that target their major and minor muscle groups and stress the importance of remaining active through one’s lifetime.
“Along this journey, we see participants making great health improvements, developing meaningful friendships, and becoming more passionate about getting and staying active. As they pursue a more active and healthy lifestyle, 100 citizens participants will build confidence and be challenges to be the best that they can be,” continued Tooman.
Open to those 18 years old and older, the 100 Citizens Program is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Feb. 6 to March 17 at Donnelly Park, 600 Pedras Rd. To register, visit turlock.ca.us/recreation.