Carlson Drops 10 Sizes, Strengthens Heart at Gothenburg Y

A simple switch from the Nu-Step to the stationary bicycle helped Gothenburg YMCA member Madeline Carlson lose 60 pounds and improve a heart condition.

Madeline, who will be 74 in March, joined the YMCA shortly after it opened in Gothenburg. She had been walking outside when the weather was nice, but she tore her calf muscle.

“With the elements we get, snow and rain, I thought the Y would be a better choice,” Madeline said.
She started exercising on the Nu-Step at the Y three days a week and then increased her routine to five days a week for about 40 minutes.

About a year-and-a-half ago, local PA Aaron Salomon encouraged Madeline to use the stationary bike instead.

“That’s when I really started to lose weight,” she said.

She started cycling just a few miles and worked her way up to 10 miles a day five days a week. Once she finishes her 10 miles (in about 45 minutes), she moves back to the Nu-Step to complete a full hour of exercise.

Her exercise, combined with cutting back on carbs and drinking less Diet Coke, helped her lose 60 pounds over the past two years. She went from a size 22 to a size 12-14, but most importantly, her health has improved.

Madeline walks with a cane and has had A-Fib for about 20 years. Often, she would end up in the ER for heart troubles related to A-Fib. But, now it has been two years since her heart has sent her to the ER. And, she was lengthened the time between cardiologist visits from every few months to once a year.

“I attribute that to weight loss,” she said.

She’s also noticed that the simple things, like sweeping her garage and getting up from a chair, are a lot easier now that’s she’s exercising and has lost weight.

She still walks with a cane due to balance issues, but she went from being hesitant to walk eight blocks in the park to biking 10 miles a day thanks to the YMCA.

“I am so glad that the Y is available,” she said. “It’s been a blessing to have it here. I don’t have to worry about if it snows or the other elements like when I was walking outside. And at the Y, people walk by and say ‘hi,’ and it’s a good thing.”