Linda S Jassmond

Avon Grove Sun, August 14 – 20, 2008

Fitness classes at the Y make you sweat

Over the past two weeks, I've taken a few kickboxing classes at the Jennersville YMCA with my best friend. She ever-so-kindly let me use her free guest passes to bust my butt in one of the Y's fitness programs with her on Monday and Wednesday nights.

And bust our butts we did. Both nights, we came in a few minutes late and were the center of attention as we threw our water bottles in the corner and joined in the rest of the class in our warm-up exercises. I'd never taken a kickboxing class before, so I was more than excited to be there, mixing up my usual workout routine of running. Within the first ten minutes of class, I was sweating and enjoying every minute of not being at home on my treadmill.

Our class instructor [Linda Jassmond] was nothing short of enthusiastic and encouraging. She frequently changed her position in the "classroom" to make sure everyone could see the techniques and get moves down correctly, and she gave us tips if our form was incorrect. (A jab is to the front, not to the side, like I thought.)

The class was tailored to all ages and all fitness levels, which is perfect for me since I’m still in the process of getting in shape myself. The instructor encouraged us to do as many punches, kicks, jumps and reps as we possibly could, but didn't get all “drill sergeant” on us if we were struggling. She suggested similar, easier moves for anyone who did struggle.

A move that targets the abdominals was one I found to be particularly difficult, but just being in a room with so many other people who were attempting the same exercise was motivation enough to try as hard as I possibly could. My ab muscles sang for the next two days, but it was a good, satisfying sore; one that I hadn't felt in quite some time.

We did classic kickboxing moves including punches, kicks and combinations of both, as well as jumping jacks, punching bag work, some step-boxing exercises, work on mats and with sliding discs, and stretches to cool down. The hour-long class actually energized me to do more and made me feel like I’d done something productive with my body. There's something to be said about a fitness routine that makes you crave veggies and protein afterward rather than chocolate and fried food.

What I loved most about the fitness class was just the chance to interact with other people in the community with the same goals: get in shape, feel better and stay active. I used to hate exercising around other people, but now I love it. There’s something satisfying about knowing we're all sweating and busting our butts together to stay healthy.

Based on my great experience in just a few classes of the eight-week program, I would encourage anyone looking to get active to sign up for fitness classes at the Y. The new session, complete with 12 new programs or adults and children, begins on Sept. 2. Member registration begins Aug. 16 and program member registration begins Aug. 23.

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Linda S. Jassmond