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Kimiecik Named Consultant to YMCA Fitness Program
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
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
"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.