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Your resource for choosing a healthier, more active lifestyle in the Midland area.

Stay Active This Summer!

Cancer Services

Cancer Services provides compassionate cancer patient support programs, and promotes healthier living through cancer prevention education at schools, worksites and other locations, specializing in tobacco use treatment for a smoke-free community. Cancer Services also provides weekly gentle yoga classes and low-impact Zumba classes for cancer survivors and caregivers free of charge.

Chippewa Nature Center

CNC features over 15 miles of trails, 1400 acres, nature walks, field trips, workshops, school and scout programs and Nature Day Camp and a Nature Preschool, all to inspire people and institutions to protect the natural world.

Friends of Pere Marquette

The Pere Marquette rail trail stretches over 30 miles from Midland to Clare and is enjoyed by bikers, runners, walkers and skaters both for recreation and transportation. Visit us on Facebook at

Midland Community Center

Provides affordable and quality recreational, social, and personal development opportunities for all ages including classes, leagues, fun runs, and individual recreation opportunities.

Even More Active Opportunities

Midland Community Tennis Center

Michigan's largest tennis facility with 16 indoor/ 16 outdoor tennis courts. Great programming for all ages and levels. Learn to play tennis in just one hour.

MidMichigan Health

MidMichigan Health offers a variety of exercise and recreation programs to help you manage a medical condition or just live a healthier lifestyle.  Visit and click on Support Services. Here you will learn more about MidMichigan’s fitness programs, nutrition counseling, wellness coaching, and support groups. There are also health calculators to help manage and monitor your health. We also offer a variety of classes and health screenings. Visit to browse our offerings and sign up.


ReallyBeThere is dedicated to helping enable anyone, young or old, to actively engage in life with enthusiasm, energy, and confidence to achieve and sustain a healthy and balanced sense of well-being. ReallyBeThere offers ChiRunning and ChiWalking classes and coaching, so you can learn how to run and walk more energy efficiently and injury-free.


Be Inspired By a Friend's Success

Reaching the age when you are considered a “senior citizen” can be daunting and prompt some introspection.  How did I get here so fast?  Have I accomplished what I thought I would by this age? For many people and myself included, it also raises the question, “Am I doing all I can to stay as healthy as possible?”  When I answered that question honestly in May, my answer was, “No!”  Thankfully, I have a friend who nudged me to do more.

Like many people contemplating behavior change, rationalizing comes easily.  Because I take no prescription medications and I’m in the habit of eating healthy food most of the time, participate in yoga weekly, and have a nearly 15 year habit of walking in the morning before work with a buddy, I’ve felt justified that I was doing enough.  My reality check was admitting that aerobic and flexibility exercises are only part of what makes us fit.  Muscle strengthening is essential to fitness as well…especially as we age.


When Smitty’s Ironworks offered former members an exceptional deal on a two year membership this past spring, I knew I was supposed to accept the offer.  I’d been thinking about getting registered because my friend Patti Sipe had joined.  During the past year she had made remarkable progress in toning and slimming down.  One of her motivators was dealing with almost constant arthritic foot pain.  After a number of months, the pain lessened through her regular commitment to sweat-producing workouts several times a week, and to being more careful in her food choices, especially limiting portion sizes and sweets.

Although I was fired up to start going to the gym, an unknown force was holding me back.  Starting a new routine meant getting up earlier and dreading sweating around others were just two of my excuses.  Having a conversation with Patti about my hesitation was a turning point and the first step in resolving the problem.  In her positive way she listened and said, “Well, we can fix that.  Let’s set a time to go to the gym together and I’ll show you what I’ve been doing.  You can decide what you want to do from there.”  Within the week, we did just that, and I’ve been going ever since.

So now I’m a regular at Smitty’s.  Instead of dozing and listening to the news on television at 6 AM, I’m slipping on gym clothes, grabbing a water bottle and working-out three days a week, before my morning walk.  I start with a seven minute warm up on the exer-cycle and then complete a circuit on the 12 machines designed to strengthen each major muscle group.  These machines even count your repetitions for you and are a cinch to adjust.  A warm-up along with two or three sets of repetitions in less than an hour is what works best for me.

It’s been three months now and I can tell I’m getting stronger.  Carrying groceries into the house is easier and I can handle heavier weights.  It feels good to have set a goal to incorporate muscle strengthening into my routine, and I’m being consistent.  Now, my next goal is to lose those 15 pounds that mysteriously appeared about 10 years ago.  I think I’ll have another conversation with Patti.  Since it worked before on a previous fitness goal, I believe it just may work again on this one too! 

Written by Susan Dusseau

Susan Dusseau is the Director of Cancer Services and Coordinator of the Midland County Tobacco Reduction Coalition and is a long-time advocate for healthy living.  She is married to Terry, Mom to a son and daughter, and became a first time Grandmother in January.

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