Conquering fitness, health resolutions for 2014

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Every year, millions of men and women make New Year's resolutions to become more fit or healthy — to lose weight, exercise more, eat better. It can be more challenging to meet these goals in small towns and rural communities, where there appear to be fewer resources at the fingertips of those making such resolutions.

Socorro offers a variety of health and fitness opportunities, including three fitness centers, swimming, golf, martial arts and a variety of outdoor venues for do-it-yourself exercises. Here are some resources:

Hiking, biking, rock climbing, mountain climbing and jogging/running are free at most city or county parks or recreation areas. Visit the City of Socorro's web site at www.socorronm.gov and click on the "public parks" button for a listing of parks and locations.

Swimmers can visit the city's olympic size swimming pool from Labor Day through the end of July.

Finley Complex/Gym offers a fitness center with cardio machines, free weights and weight machines, as well as an open gym and other space for classes, groups and individual exercise routines. The fitness center is open to everyone, free of charge. The complex offers league sports including adult volleyball, basketball, and softball. Yoga classes are also offered three days per week at the complex, as well as Zumba classes four days per week. Both Yoga and Zumba are free to attend.

The city also has tennis courts available. The city's website has a link to the Socorro Tennis Association, which offers tennis for fun, including offering monthly tournaments the second Saturday of each month, except for May and October. More information is available at http://www.socorro.com/sta/.

For more information about city recreation opportunities, visit www.socorronm.gov, and click on the "Socorro Recreation" and "Public Parks" buttons. Information about some county parks and services as well as New Mexico Tech's recreation facilities are also listed on this site.

The New Mexico Tech Recreation Center offers an array of facilities and activities for those seeking fitness.

Outdoor activities offered include tennis courts, intramural fields and a climbing wall.

Indoor, NMT offers two intramural gyms with equipment rental, a weight room and fitness center that includes a variety of cardio equipment as well as weight machines and free weights, raquetball and squash courts, a martial arts/combative room, a climbing room and lockers/shower room.

There are a variety of fitness and athletic classes available through NMT's community college program, including such classes as golf, martial arts, Celtic dance. yoga, aerobics, scuba diving, ballroom dance, and much more.

NMT also offers a myriad of outdoor equipment for check-out, including everything from backpacks and ponchos, to volleyball equipment, horseshoes and croquet, to canoes.

For further information about NMT facilities, please visit http://www.nmt.edu/rec-facilities.

New Mexico Tech Golf Course offers individual tee times, leagues, lessons and other activities. Visit http://www.nmt.edu/nmt-golf-course or http://externalweb.nmt.edu/nmtgolf/contact.htm for further information.

New Mexico Tech swimming pool offers individual and family memberships, and year-around activities. Learn more at http://www.nmt.edu/swimming-pool.

Socorro Striders and Riders is a nonprofit organization that promotes regular exercise as a means of achieving overall health and wellness. The club is open to anybody interested in running, biking, swimming, triathlons/duathlons or walking, at any level, beginner through advanced.

They offer weekly group runs and rides, a monthly bike time trial series, a handicap running series, and an annual local race. They publish a newsletter and have club meetings and social events. For more information, visit http://stridersandriders.blogspot.com/.

Yoga del Sol in Lemitar offers a variety of yoga classes and other related services for students of all interests. For more information, visit http://yogadelsolstudio.blogspot.com/p/workshops-and-trainings.html.

The newest facility in town is the Socorro Physical Therapy facility on California Street, which offers memberships to the public. The facility houses a full-scale fitness center including a wide range of cardio equipment, weight machines and free weights, as well as an indoor therapy pool. The facility offers a personal trainer for personal consultations to work on specific goals, and 24-hour access.

The Socorro Academy of Martial Arts offers adult walk-in classes from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and self defense classes on Saturdays. Lessons include a variety of martial arts, including karate, t'ai chi, taekwondo, and other disciplines. For further informaition, contact the academy at 575-418-1001.