Community Feature

More Than Exercise: Local Fitness Center Helps Build Relationships That Go Beyond Its Four Walls

January 29, 2020

The holidays have come and gone. It’s the beginning of a new year. Maybe you overindulged here and there, and now your pants are fitting a little tighter than you’d like. Ok, a lot tighter.  

It happens 

What better time to recommit to healthy lifestyle than now? Your local community fitness center can be a great resource to help improve your overall health and fitness while connecting with other members of your community. In the SKT service area, there are three fitness centers, located in the Belle Plaine, Clearwater, and Howard communities. See the full list at the end of this article. If those aren’t convenient, consider exercising from the comfort of your home by streaming workouts using your SKT Internet connection. Many streaming services also feature online support communities. The accountability and support that comes with these micro-communities can be key to your success.  

Clearwater Wellness Center 

A nonprofit, the Clearwater Wellness Center (CWC) has been serving the community for 18 years in a charming two-story brick building conveniently located in downtown Clearwater, Kan. It continues to grow and evolve with the needs of the community, including 24/7/365 exercise equipment access, childcarea variety of classes, and massage therapyThey even have plans to expand! 

One of the perks of CWC membership is access to free Wi-Fi with SKT High-Speed Internet. In fact, as part of SKT’s commitment to the communities we serve, the CWC received more than $2,000 worth of SKT services at no cost in 2019, including a 100 Mbps Internet connection, which benefits trickle down to the entire community.  

Tricia Nichols, CWC Manager since mid-2016muses“Well, I’ll tell you, with as many members who are on their phones using the Wi-Fi, we really do seem to have good service!” She adds, SKT is always quick to come over if we need help.”  

On a day-to-day basis, members access the Internet for workout videos, exercise tips, and entertainment or music while working out. Staff use the Internet for their membership database, shopping for supplies, finding new ideas for motivation and new equipment, and updating and communicating with members on social media and their website 

In addition to cardio, weightlifting, and functional training equipment, you can run or walk the cushioned track and exercise or relax in the warmwater exercise pool – especially helpful for those with joint pain or other mobility issuesTake the guesswork out of your fitness routine by attending some of the 10 group exercise classes featuring energetic and experienced instructors, included with membership or open to the public with a fee.  

There are classes for all fitness levelsincluding some geared toward seniors. In one class, stretch and roll out sore muscles, which is key to preventing injury. Practice Yoga with an instructor who has logged over 1,000 hours teaching. Dance up a sweat in Zumba Fitnessstick to a more traditional cardio class, or up the intensity in some of the more advanced classesGet instruction on proper lifting techniques in a weight training class. There’s even Karate classes for all ages. And if there’s interest in another type of class, the instructors are willing to learn and try out something newClick here for the current group exercise schedule. 

Whether classes are your jam or you prefer to create your own workout, you’ll find a funsupportive, and welcoming atmosphereA self-proclaimed people watcher, Tricia loves to see members encouraging each other.  

“When we’re giving tours around here, we tell people, ‘we’re pretty much like a family – you know – they’ll pick on you, but, by golly, they’re pretty much there to support you,” Tricia said.  

Group exercise classes are a great place to start for both men and women, she says. In addition to learning proper exercise techniques, it helps you meet new people 

“That accountability develops, they build relationships, and the next thing you know – they are up walking the track together, trying new workouts together, and then they’re meeting outside of the gym. It’s really neat to watch things develop.”  

Because those relationships provide support and encouragement and can lead to learning about new exercises or attending new classes, you’re more likely to achieve your long-term goals, she says.   

As an ever-evolving workout facility, the CWC itself keeps moving forward – with plans to build a 36’x36’ building in the back, connected by an enclosed walkway, and housing the free weights, and adding a squat rack for the freeweight equipment. In addition, it will feature a dead lift/power cleaarea, a hanging bag, battle ropes, and a peg board – for developing strength using body weight. The funds have already been raised and they’re ready to start! 

Twenty-four-hour access is available as well as staffed hours throughout the week. Memberships range from $25 to $45 per month, with discounts available for semi-annual and annual membership. Childcare is available during limited hours on weekdays for an additional fee. Mention this article, and they’ll waive the $25 joiner fee. A free one-day trial pass is available for those who have never been a member nor a visitor before. Visit the CWC website for more information.  

With a solid record of service that has been flexible in changing and growing with the members’ needs, the CWC, Tricia Nichols, staff, and instructors want every member to feel comfortable, yet challenged. Stop in during staffed hours, give them a call at 620.584.9355, email them, and peruse their Facebook page or their website.

Read this article to find out more about streaming workouts online and, if you’re in the Howard or Belle Plaine areas, check out these fitness centers and contact them directly for more information: 

Get Fit! Fitness Center 

129 S. Wabash, Howard, Kansas 


SKT provides a complimentary 25 Mbps Internet connection and free Channel 2 advertising for a yearly savings of over $815.00.  


Belle Plaine Community Center Fitness Room 

528 N. Merchant, Belle Plaine, Kansas 


Visit Website

SKT provides a complimentary 12 Mbps Internet connection and free Channel 2 advertising for a yearly savings of over $750.00.