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By ANGIE CARNATHAN
January is a popular month for working out. Some local residents choose to join gyms, while some enjoy the great outdoors. However, with January often comes rain and cold temperatures, making it difficult for some to continue to get their daily walk in. The Sportsplex in Starkville offers a great opportunity for everyone to have the chance to keep on walking, completely free of charge.
The Sportsplex houses an indoor walking track that is open from 5- 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday 7-3 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
âWe have a lot of regular walkers,â said Starkville Parks and Recreation Sport Coordinator Sheila Runnels. âProbably around 150-200 a day.â
Runnels said even though they have yet to see a significant increase in walkers thus far in January, they expect to see more when the weather gets worse.
âWeâve had unusually spring-like weather so far, and sometimes when the weather is nice we do see less people using the track,â Runnels said.
One person who takes advantage of the track is Starkville resident Marilyn Jordan, who said in addition to bad weather, the smooth, flat surface it offers dictates her usage of the indoor track.
âI use it because sometimes I just canât do hills, and this is just such a nice, level walking track,â Jordan said.
Runnels said she also likes the ease and affordability the track offers.
âThere are no fees to pay; you just come in an sign in,â Runnels said. âThen you sign out when youâre done. Itâs that simple.â
Runnels, who said sheâs been in the habit of working out for a while, said the multiple benefits she receives from her regular exercise routine are what keep her going.
âI just always feel better,â Runnels said. âWhen it comes to stress or anxiety, I just like to think of it as Iâm âwalking it off,ââ Jordan said.
Runnels said the Sportsplex offers other affordable options for people who want to get moving more in the new year.
âWe have our indoor basketball courts, which are open to the public during regular business hours, unless they are being used by our youth basketball leagues,â Runnels said. âWe have a lot of people who just come up here at night and pick up games with whoever else is here.â
The Sportsplex also offers two racquetball courts for public use.
âFor people who would like to use the basketball or racquetball courts, itâs just $2 a person and we provide the equipment,â Runnels said.
Starkville Parks and Recreation Program Coordinator Lisa Cox said the Sportsplex is also offering some new aerobic classes in the near feature.
âWe have lots of great new options for anyone who wants to try out some different classes,â Cox said. âWeâre offering some new Zumba classes starting Jan. 9. Weâll have Zumba classes Monday and Wednesday 11:45 a.m. -12:30 p.m. and 5:15 - 6 p.m. in either the aerobics room or the activities room, depending on the day.â
Lauren Love, an instructor at the Sportsplex, said she also has some exciting options beginning Jan. 9.
âI teach morning fitness classes such as yoga/stretching, aerobics, boot camp and cardio kickboxing at the Sportsplex,â Love said. âClasses are small but we have a really great group of people, and I always try to have music to get us all pumped up so we always have fun.â
For more information on the any of the many fitness opportunities at the Sportsplex, visit http://www.starkvilleparks.com or call Lisa Cox at 662-323-2294.