Just because autumn has arrived doesn't mean exercise habits have to fall by the wayside.

At least not at the Palmerton Fitness Center, which has decided to open up for business seven days a week.

Located at 346 Delaware Ave., the center is now open on Sundays from 7 a.m. to noon, said owner Julie Reichl.

"With the weather getting colder, it's easy to get sedentary," Reichl said. "The gym is a nice place to come and stay active."

It's also the destination for a bevy of new specials and programs, according to Reichl.

One of those specials is a no enrollment fee that is in effect now through the end of October.

In addition, there is a Weightwatchers Group which Reichl said begins Sept. 29. Pre-registration is required. The cost of the eight-week program is $80.

"We're working on becoming more than a fitness center," she said. "We want to combine healthy eating with exercise."

Also, Reichl said a diabetes class will be taught by nurse Nancy Collins Oct. 1, 2, 22, and 23. The cost is $30 for four classes. Call (610) 826-2300 to register.

Also, starting Oct. 3, a free community Running Club will meet at 8 a.m. every Saturday at the center. The event is open to all ages, and running levels are welcome.

Reichl noted that no gym membership is required to participate in any of those programs.

Physical therapy, cardiac and pulmonary rehab graduates of Blue Mountain Health System receive a free first month membership upon graduation, Reichl said.

"Just because their rehab ends, that doesn't mean they should stop exercising," she said. "It's important to learn how to exercise safely."

One-hour Individual Personal Training sessions are available at a cost of $15 per session. All programs are designed to meet individual goals based on the individual, Reichl said. The staff works with all ages and fitness levels to help them live a healthier, more active lifestyle, she said.

The center is staffed with Certified Personal Trainers and Fitness Center Attendants, Reichl said. All staff members are trained in taking blood pressures and heart rates, and each staff member is also CPR/First Aid & AED certified, she said.

Personal trainers can write exercise programs for a wide variety of special populations including diabetes, obesity, back pain, arthritis, as well as those who just wish to get back in shape, Reichl said.

The center features the latest equipment, such as treadmills, ellipticals, bicycles, rowers, cable machine, power rack, and dumbbells up to 100 pounds, and also has Nu-Steps, Nautilus, Smith machine, and various other core exercise equipment, she said.

Reichl said the center, which has a membership of about 300, is open to suggestions for the potential creation of new programs.

"We're trying to offer a wellness approach, and that includes more than just fitness," she said. "Exercise can be the key to a happier and healthier lifestyle."

The center is open 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7-2 on Saturday and now 7-noon on Sunday.

Anyone who would like to take a tour of the fitness center, or with questions, may call (610) 826-2300 for more details.