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Schools can help with New Year's resolutions

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education Farmington, 55024

Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

These are the days when people start thinking about New Year's resolutions. One of the most common one is to lose a few pounds and live a healthier lifestyle. Now Farmington Community Education is offering a new program to help folks do just that.

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Called Tiger Health Hub, the program promotes health and wellness by allowing the public to use school facilities and equipment to reach their fitness goals.

There are two sites in the school district that are open to the public. At Farmington High School, participants can use the indoor walking track or the fitness center. Those who enjoy getting exercise while splashing around can do a few laps at the Dodge Middle School swimming pool.

"When the high school opened, a lot of people wanted to use some of those facilities," said community education adult and community program coordinator Barb Pierce said.

And so, community education came up with the Tiger Health Hub program.

The program kicks off this month. People can go online to see what the facilities offer - Farmington High School has more than 35 treadmills, elliptical trainers, recumbent bikes and other machines - or to get registration information. Registration started Monday, but the facilities will not be available until the end of the month.

For the time being, Pierce said, the FHS fitness center will not have a fitness staff member on duty to help people learn how to use the machines. That's something they hope to add once they find out how popular the program will be and if one is warranted. However, there will always be a lifeguard on duty at the DMS pool.

The hours of operation are somewhat limited, simply because students get first dibs on the equipment and pool during the school day and for sports practices after school. For the most part, the high school facilities are open from 6 to 8 a.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. weekdays. All of the times are listed on the Tiger Health Hub's web site, www.tigerhealthhub.com. Occasionally, an event like a swim meet will change the location's availability. That information will be listed on the web site, as well.

"We're trying to make it easy for people to pick which times work best for them," Pierce said.

The hours are flexible, but so are the prices. There are daily, monthly and yearly rates available for students, senior citizens, adults or families. People can opt to sign up to use only the track or the pool. The fee structure is also available on the Tiger Health Hub site.

The official grand opening of the Tiger Health Hub comes at the end of the month, during the annual Community Expo, scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 29. The fitness center will be open for people to visit, and someone will be available to talk about the machines and the program. Pierce hopes to see lots of interest in the program.

"We think everybody in Farmington should be fit as a Tiger," she said.

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