By R. Scott Belzer
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Those looking to maintain their New Year’s resolutions, open up a new social avenue and improve aspects of their health and fitness should look no further than First Baptist London’s kickboxing classes every other Monday at 6 p.m.
Recreation Minister and Personal Trainer Ursula Brady leads the 60-minute classes at 804 W. Fifth Street each week. According to Brady, the classes offer a great blend of cardiovascular and full body toning exercises through martial art-based aerobics.
The classes feature the expected high-tempo dance music, exuberant instruction, and non-stop movement. Students go through the motions of dodging, ducking, kicking and punching in all directions – all accompanied by Brady’s encouragement.
“We have a good variety of aerobics. Kickboxing is one of the most intense and most challenging we offer,” Brady said. “People think we’re in the gym punching and kicking bags, but we punch and kick the air.”
When kicking and punching the air is no longer enough, Brady has her students pick up two or three pound weights to add resistance. Needless to say, movements and the overall workout get more and more intense.
Classes at First Baptist Recreation Center usually average about 30 to 40 participants, according to Brady.
“I love teaching it. When people leave the class, it’s my personal goal to have each and every person in the gym feeling successful,” Brady said. “If someone can’t do 10 pushups, I teach them how to drop their knees. If they don’t want to do pushups, I have them plank. I try to make everyone feel like they can do it in different ways.”
Rachel Gilbert has taken Brady’s philosophy and instruction and applied it to her own life. She thoroughly enjoys the general benefits offered by the class.
“I love being healthy. I love being fit,” said Gilbert. “I really enjoy exercising.”
For Brady, the enjoyment is found in turning people onto healthy lifestyles.
“I genuinely enjoy what I do,” she said. “You know, life isn’t over at 40. If I can inspire or encourage anyone to live a healthier lifestyle, I’ve done my job.”
In addition to kickboxing, the First Baptist Recreation Center offers other classes like boot camp, focusing on running and calisthenics, or R.I.P.P.E.D., a fast-paced cross fit styled class covering the entire spectrum of fitness. A new tabata program – featuring short, intense workouts – has also been introduced at the Center. First Baptist also offers step and advanced step classes in addition to its Sit & Get Fit program.
For more information on kickboxing, or any of the other exercise classes held at First Baptist Recreation Center in London, visit www.londonfirstbaptist.com/rec_ctr.html or call (606) 864-8914.