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They're active for health and love

Area women find different reasons to exercise

Outside Sims Fitness in Charlton, Jennifer Reopell-Szall, left, meets the crew of the ‘Dr. Oz Show’ — producer Laura Swalm, cameraman Peter Zivkovic and soundman Dustin Izsa. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
February 18, 2010
To Sarah Simonelli of Southbridge and Jennifer Reopell-Szall of Stafford Springs, Conn., athletics is a great way to promote their own health and that of others. The only difference is their choice of sport — Simonelli runs (a lot), while Reopell teaches kickboxing.

Both of them are getting a national stage for their practices, but in very different forms. This April 19, Simonelli is running her first Boston Marathon, while Reopell is being featured on the syndicated "Dr. Oz Show" in a few weeks for the fact she lost 56 pounds in about six months.

"I was miserable, unhappy. I'm a people person, but I wasn't doing that. I wasn't living life," Reopell said. "… Today, I'll do an hour of weightlifting, an hour of cardio, then I can go home, clean the whole house and go out dancing 'til midnight."

She was talking about how things have changed since three years ago. Then, she was a waitress and weighed about 200 pounds, today, she's at 145 and "gave that up for kick[boxing]."

She noted, however, it was the combination of aerobics and diet that worked. Before that, "I was doing the gym, and I wasn't losing the weight, then I added Dr. [Mehmet] Oz's diet and lost the weight."

Regardless of what diet one chooses, science is increasingly showing that balanced nutrition and exercise are key factors in health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two types of exercise — aerobic activity daily and muscle-strengthening a few times a week.

"Not only is it best to spread your activity out during the week, but you can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day," CDC's Web site states, "as long as you're doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time."

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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