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New Momentum



If you're like most Americans, New Year's resolutions to live healthier already may be falling by the wayside. While the reasons for slipping back into sedentary habits vary, a key factor is boredom with your exercise routine. So change things up! Check out these innovative fitness classes offered around Richmond to keep you running back for more.

Shimmy and groove in an eclectic mix of world, swing, hip-hop and modern dance. Soul Moves is a blend of music and rhythmic movement that engages both the body and the mind. Instructor Daina Cockrell, who dances with the Latin Ballet of Virginia, developed this class to serve as both a spiritual practice and a physical workout. Classes are available at Atlantic Coast Athletic Club; visit www.acac.com to learn more.

Join Power Play's instructor Brian Anderson to jump-rope and play your way through a variety of athletic conditioning drills that build strength and endurance. Feel like a kid again by learning fun roping footwork you haven't tried since grade school. Interspersed throughout the jumping are frequent intervals of squats, lunges and other strength-training exercises intended to build lean muscles. This 45-minute class is intense, so beginners should focus on enjoying the movement rather than perfectly executing every jump. Visit www.goldsgym.com and view the group exercise schedule at the Willow Lawn location.

Take 75 minutes out of your day to focus on breathing and concentration while moving through poses intended to challenge your strength, endurance and flexibility. Yoga Flex, offered at American Family Fitness, accommodates all fitness levels by offering modifications of the postures. Melody Wissekerke, an instructor at the Brook Road location, stresses that yoga is accessible to everyone, and her class allows both beginners and advanced participants to develop a challenging practice. Visit www.amfamfit.com for more details.

Grab a girlfriend and your dancing shoes for Ladies Night Out. Instructor Shirley T. Burke leads this women-only exotic dancing class where participants learn the art of sensual movement (sans pole) while getting a great workout. The class also includes exercises to strengthen and stretch your body as well as positive messages promoting self-esteem and empowerment. Burke is enthusiastic about the way the class allows women to drop their inhibitions at the door and "feel good about themselves no matter what their size." Participants wear typical exercise gear, but many women don a pair of high heels for a portion of the class. Ladies Night Out is offered at several local YMCAs. Check with the wellness director at your local branch or view the schedule online at www.ymcarichmond.org.


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