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Nye lacking in exercise options

A recent health study that ranked Nye the unhealthiest county in the state pointed out Nevada’s average population had over four times the access to exercise opportunities than the over 44,000 people that call the mostly rural area home.

The 2015 County Health Rankings, released last week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, ranked Nye County last in the state based on 30 factors.

The study found that just 21 percent of Nye County residents have access to exercise opportunities, far less than Clark County’s 90 percent and the state average of 87 percent.

When asked if there were any fitness gyms or health clubs in the Tonopah area, Nye Regional Medical Center CEO, Wayne Allen stated, “The answer is no.”

A lot of this can be attributed to the rural nature of the area, something that doesn’t exactly entice the average businessman to open up a gym and even if one was willing people aren’t exactly requesting one be built in the Tonopah area.

“I think it’s been maybe a lack of demand,” Allen said. “Therefore, you can’t pull it off financially and there just hasn’t been an entrepreneur wanting to try and put it together.”

Living up to the study’s findings, Tonopah is seriously lacking in organized fitness opportunities.

“The answer is no,” Allen said of if there are any gyms in the area. “Not right here in the immediate Tonopah area.”

Aside from workout facilities, Allen also said he didn’t know of any organized fitness classes that were available in the area either.

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercising on a regular basis has several benefits to a person’s health. Those benefits include, weight control, combating health conditions, mood improvement, boosting of energy, promoting better sleep habits, helping keep one’s sexual life healthy and the fun exercising can bring.

With Pahrump having a larger demographic, it makes sense that there are more organized facilities that those in town can utilize.

Pahrump has six gyms/health clubs in town according to the Pahrump rural phone book, and if Valley Electric Association has their way another center that would promote exercising, among other benefits, could be on its way.

“I think it’s not just fitness, from a physical aspect, I think it’s also the mental aspect,” VEA CEO, Tom Husted said. “I think it gives a place for people of all ages in our community to go and have a place where they could go for the physical aspect, but there’s other types of activities that go on in a YMCA.”

A key piece of the possible community center would be a way for those in town who enjoy being in the water, which is a common way for the elderly to exercise, to do so year-round.

“If you’re going to do a YMCA type of building … it has to include an indoor pool,” Husted said. “Whether it be the elderly… to kids, they all use the pool.”

Husted said he will construct a hand-selected team to ensure it is a feasible opportunity before things can get closer to a planning stage.

There are no other plans to build anything like a YMCA facility in other areas in Nye County at this time, Husted said.

Amargosa Valley already has a community center with an indoor and outdoor basketball court, which town manager, Mike Cottingim said besides school basketball games, sees 10-12 people using it daily.

Beatty’s business directory didn’t have any fitness facilities listed, and the description of their community center didn’t mention anything about fitness opportunities.

Although individuals can exercise on their own time without a gym, it is always helpful to have a set place to go to and be in the presence of those who can offer advice about workout regimens.

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