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Kimiecik Named Consultant to YMCA Fitness Program

12/02/1997

Miami University professor Jay Kimiecik has been

named the official consultant for a nationwide YMCA program designed to help

physically inactive people become regular exercisers.

The initiative uses a step-by-step behavior change approach and includes

personal attention and one-on-one consultations with trained YMCA staff, says

Kimiecik, associate professor of physical education, health and sport studies

at Miami.

Instead of focusing on fitness tests or tracking improvements, staffers

will address individuals' needs, lifestyles, capabilities, schedules and goals.

It's not a new approach, says Kimiecik, but by making it systematic, more

people can be reached.

Official title for the project is the Personal Fitness Program of the YMCA

of the USA. Kimiecik will provide guidance in program development and conduct

staff training at YMCAs across the country.

He is also helping the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati develop its own personal

fitness program.

"It's exciting for me to be involved nationally as well as locally," says

Kimiecik. "This kind of practical work will make my teaching more real. In

addition, there will be many internship and field-based learning opportunities

for Miami students."

The YMCA program is based partly on Kimiecik's intervention research,

which has examined ways to help people start and maintain exercise behavior.

The Mission Valley YMCA in San Diego, California, was the first YMCA to

implement the personal fitness program under Kimiecik's guidance.

Two and a half years after implementing the program, Mission Valley showed

a 70 percent member retention rate, 1,700 new members, and an 84 percent

exercise adherence rate of program members.

Typically, more than half of adults drop out of supervised fitness

programs within the first six months.

With structure and support in creating an active lifestyle, it's hoped

that program participants will stay with their new regimen long after their

12-week programs end.

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