Members of the community are invited to come and workout on the Riverwalk on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until mid-August. Strong by Zumba, Tai Chi, and Yoga are offered depending on the day of the week and begin at 7pm. The hour-long classes are run by licensed instructors who are experts in their respective fields.
Monday Strong by Zumba
Nikki Snyder from Energized Inspired Fitness will lead participants in Strong 30 Zumba class each Monday beginning at 7pm. This is a fairly new Zumba program, which has only been out for a couple of years. Snyder has experience teaching classes along the Riverwalk. About 10 years ago she stated instructing saying, “I was trying to replicate Rosa Parks Circle. At the time I was a board member for Lowell Community Wellness and saw a great opportunity to bring that same thought to Lowell.” At the time, Grand Rapids was offering free classes in the summer. She received a grant and was able to offer free classes. Snyder also saw the opportunity for anyone in the community to be able to participate regardless of current financial situation.
This high intensity interval training will mesh workout moves to high-energy music. However, there is no dancing involved as you would find in traditional Zumba classes. No prior experience is needed for this class. A yoga mat is required in order to do ab work. Water is suggested to keep hydrated during the workout and afterward. Strong by Zumba classes run through August 12. Through a Lowell Community Wellness grant, this class is being offered free of charge.
Tuesday Tai Chi
Tuesday evening’s classes also begin at 7. Dr. Mogor, who has been teaching for about eight years, instructs the Yang style 24 form Tai Chi Chuan class.
“Originally developed for self-defense, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that’s now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. Kind of a meditation in motion, tai chi restores peace in body, mind, and spirit through gentle, flowing movements.” says Mogor. Self defense aspects will also be touched upon throughout the summer.
Tai Chi is a low impact exercise, making it a great option for all ages and ability levels. Older adults particularly find this type of workout beneficial due to the minimal stress on muscles and joints. During workouts the energy level can be stepped up to be more aerobic in nature. No equipment is necessary for classes, but water is suggested. A $5 donation per person per class is also suggested. Tai Chi classes run through August 6.
Lowell resident and member of the Lowell Community Wellness Board, Melissa Andreychuk will lead Wednesday yoga classes. Beginners, intermediate and advanced participants are invited to bring a yoga mat and water each week. Yoga has been offered along the Riverwalk in the summer for the past 10 years.
Andreychuk is the owner of Zzzen Yoga who has been teaching for two years. “Yoga is more than just fitness. It’s about connecting our mind & body, learning how to relax and rest while working to strengthen and stretch the body. In yoga we breathe and we move. We use our breath to build physical and mental strength.” she says of the discipline. She also talks about participants challenging themselves without pushing too far. Yoga is also something anyone can take part in regardless of age and ability. There is a $5 per person per session suggested donation for these classes. Yoga classes run through August 7 (no class the week of July 4).
Evenings on the Riverwalk
Plan on taking part in one or more of these evening classes. Whether you’re interested in seeing what one of these types of movement and exercise is about or want to join in on an outdoor class, all are welcome. In the past classes have had 5-15 participants but there’s always room for more. Bring a friend and see what Strong by Zumba, Tai Chi, and Yoga are all about.
Classes take place near the grassy area on the south side of Englehardt library. Exercising outdoors is a great way to enjoy the sun and warm temperatures. The scenic views along the Flat River only enhance the experience.
The Lowell Community Wellness Facebook page has individual events for each type of class as well as each week the class meets. If the weather looks questionable, individual events will be updated as to whether cancellation will occur.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Community Wellness and used with permission.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that the Monday sessions are Strong by Zumba and not traditional Zumba workouts. Details about the class and equipment requirements have also been updated.