Resolved to get fit? The Penn Hills library has you covered
By Patrick Varine
Published: Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 2:38 p.m.
When adult librarian Jean Kanouff saw the plans for the new William E. Anderson Library of Penn Hills, she took particular note of the spacious community rooms. More specifically, she took note of the variety of the potential opportunities they afforded.
Since the new library opened five years ago, Kanouff has offered the room for rent to community groups seeking a location for their programs.
This month, Kanouff is expecting an influx of residents for fitness programs.
With many New Year's resolutions involving exercise, getting into better shape or simply losing the holiday pounds, instructors for the library's five fitness classes hope to see some new faces.
“Whoever shows up, shows up,” said George Bender, who leads a yoga class Wednesday nights.
“But I have a core group of about eight people who are always there, and then folks sort of come and go.”
Bender emphasized the “whole body” approach on which yoga focuses.
“It deals with the whole person,” he said.
“It can be approached in many different ways and styles. There's the emotional, spiritual and physical aspect of each person, so you're stretching, but you're also working your muscles, developing balance and coordination.”
In his job in the UPMC oncology department, Bender said he often utilizes meditation, another aspect of yoga.
Along similar lines, instructor Connie Ainsworth recently began offering the library's newest class, a weekly tai chi session, that is geared toward people suffering from arthritis or fibromyalgia.
For people seeking a more rigorous workout, instructor Darryle Allen offers the “Hercules Fitness Boot Camp,” which also runs on Wednesday evenings.
Gwen Tucker leads a Zumba class Saturday mornings.
High-energy Zumba combines elements of Latin dances with a regular aerobic workout.
“It's sort of like a fitness party,” she said.
Tucker said between 10 and 20 residents are regulars at the morning classes.
Kanouff said the community rooms have gone far beyond her expectations.
“We knew that we needed more meeting rooms, just for our own library programs, but we never realized that the community needed them as well,” she said.
Since opening up the rooms to community groups, Kanouff said the library has hosted birthday parties, receptions and even a wedding.
The fitness classes, however, are among the most common uses for the rooms, and Kanouff said this time of year usually brings a boost in the class numbers.
“Everybody decides after the first of the year that they're going to do something, whether it's get in better shape or keep their body toned up or lose a few holiday pounds, so it always peaks this time of year,” she said.
“We see a lot of people signing up for classes after the new year.”
That's music to the ears of fitness class instructors.
“I think it's a wonderful place to be able to draw people in,” said Raylene Cooley, who teaches a body toning class Tuesday evenings.
“Everyone just thinks that the library's there for providing reading (material) and a place to study, but it was a wonderful opportunity for me to be able to go in there and do a fitness class.”
“For the community, (the fitness classes) are something to do, and for the people who live close by, including me, it's very convenient,” she said.
For more information on the library's fitness classes, call Kanouff at 412-795-3507, ext. 120.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Hills Library director introduces kids to ‘talking’ drums
- Verona’s Steel City Rowing Club fundraiser to showcase ‘garage brewers’
- PHSD will make up cancelled school day on Easter Monday
- Penn Hills police will hold first of new crime-prevention meetings, focus on ID theft
- Penn Hills council meeting cancelled