By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
It’s not uncommon to pack on the pounds during the holidays, but the Starkville Sportsplex is offering a number of fun, easy and inexpensive exercise classes to help you stay in shape this season.
“We have some really great instructors teaching some great classes. The classes are for all age groups and you can really go at your own pace,” Linda Cox of Starkville Parks and Recreation said. “There’s no membership. You can just go in, pay your fee, go to the class and be in and out in less than an hour.”
New to the Sportsplex is Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese martial art known for its slow movements and health benefits. The class is ideal for any age and will help with flexibility, balance and breathing.
Yi Xui Pennix, or Jan, as her American friends and family call her, has been practicing Tai Chi every day for over 20 years. Since moving to the United States from China three years ago, she has dreamed of teaching the art form to as many people as possible.
“It’s not only for young people — older people can learn, too. In China, everybody can exercise Tai Chi, from little child to old person,” Pennix said. “It’s good for health, for the body and mind. Americans are too busy. It relaxes the mind (and) the whole body.”
For those looking for something with a faster pace, there is Zumba — a Latin dance-inspired class that takes simple moves and turns them into a calorie-buring workout. The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-5:45 p.m.
Lauren Love of LOVE Fitness, LLC, teaches several morning aerobics classes throughout the week, including a boot camp-style class designed to tone and a class called “Move and Flow” designed to stretch.
The Sportsplex even offers a yoga class just for teenagers. The class, which is held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-5 p.m., gives teens a chance to relax and step away from the stresses of daily life.
“Most are small intimate classes, which is good because a lot of people don’t like working out in front of a large group of people,” Cox said. “We’re like a little known secret around Starkville.”
The classes range from $5-10 per class, but most offer package deals.
Some of the classes will go on a break in December, but will start back up in January. For a full list of classes, schedules and fees, visit http://www.starkvilleparks.com .