Fun, free fitness all summer at RiverScape

Credit: Jessica Hansbauer

Credit: Jessica Hansbauer

Salsa, sun salutation, stair running, single whip and booty shaking – summer fitness options at RiverScape MetroPark run the gamut from ancient practices to the latest dance party tunes.

The RiverScape pavilion is the place for free, fun fitness all summer long with Zumba, yoga, boot camp, tai chi, and booty mix classes available for all ages and fitness levels.

Ready to break out your best moves or work up a sweat? Learn more about the many options at RiverScape MetroPark.

Zumba with Fit N Fruitful

Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (June 4 & 25, July 9, Aug. 13 & 20)

“The class is packed with upbeat music,” said Meg Millat of Fit N Fruitful. “Each song has its own strong beat, tempo and dance fitness choreography.”

Zumba dancers have fun while getting the benefits of an interval, cardio workout. Participants can also sneak in some resistance and balance training through exercises using their own body weight such as squats and kicks.

“Zumba is absolutely beginner friendly,” Millat said. “I cue along the way and encourage dancers to modify their movements to fit their fitness and flexibility abilities. If you like to dance and get lost in music, you will love this class.”

Yoga with Speakeasy Yoga

Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (June 18, July 16 & 23, Aug. 6 & 27)

“Yoga at RiverScape is taught as an all-levels vinyasa class,” said Tori Reynolds of Speakeasy Yoga. “Vinyasa is sometimes referred to as a ‘flow’ style of yoga, where we emphasize a connection of breath and movement. So, not only do you work your physical body through the postures, but you also focus on steady breathing as you move, as you hold the poses, and during short, guided meditations often offered in class. Participants can expect a well-rounded class that has them standing, sitting, balancing, doing upper body weight bearing movements, and finding rest through reclined postures, all with an emphasis on being mindful of how they are moving, creating balance of effort and ease, and exploring their inner state.”

The movement cultivates strength and healthy mobility. Practicing yoga also supports participants in finding a deeper mind-body connection, helping to alleviate daily and chronic stress. The class is designed for all levels with variations offered for the postures.

“If something is cued that isn’t for them, it’s always okay to leave it out,” Reynolds said. “Considering no two bodies are exactly alike, and many of us are working with different injuries, situations, etc., it’s important to embrace that our mental and physical yoga practice on the mat will be as unique and beautiful as each one of us is off the mat.”

Credit: Jessica Hansbauer

Credit: Jessica Hansbauer

Boot camp with The Unit

Every Monday and Wednesday through Oct. 31, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“The Unit is a fitness-based community service group,” said Jennifer Campbell. “We offer a boot camp style class where you will get a workout for the entire body. The evening starts with a warm-up and then we move into cardio and strength/body weight exercises. We utilize the stairs, bike path, hills, fountains, and other areas of the park. We end the evening with abdominal exercises and stretching.”

Encouragement, accountability, connection, friendship, networking, fun, hard work and dedication are all part of the Unit experience. And while it provides a great workout, there are also community service opportunities.

“Our slogan is ‘Improving Self - Improving Community,’” Campbell said. “We ask if you come out for a free workout you go back and do something for the community. This can be done on your own or with the group.”

All ages, sizes, and abilities are welcome to join the workouts.

“We offer alternative exercises and less repetitions for anyone that needs it,” Campbell said. “We want attendees to be comfortable, they know their body and limits and we will encourage everyone who attends.”

Tai Chi and Qigong with Immortal Tree Qigong

Most Tuesdays through Oct. 11, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Tai chi and qigong are moving meditations that use posture, movement, breathing and focus to help participants connect mind, body and spirit while relaxing tension in the body so energy can flow,” said Monica Schultz of Immortal Tree Qigong. “Each class starts with breathing exercises, a warm-up, and gentle stretching. Participants will then be guided through flowing movements mixed with short standing meditations. We usually end with a slightly longer guided standing or sitting meditation.”

Regular practice of qigong and tai chi offers a variety of benefits including weight management, improved balance, reduced stress and depression and decreased chronic fatigue.

“This class is designed for everybody and every age,” Schultz said. “The only special skill required is breathing and the only equipment you need is your body – and maybe some water to drink if you get thirsty.”

Bootymix (hip hop dance fitness) with The Ninth Beat

Tuesdays, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (May 31, June 28, July 26)

Bootymix is a high intensity, hip-hop dance fitness class that gives you the courage to move your body your way and feel comfortable in your own skin,” said Amanda Miller of The Ninth Beat. “It’s a sweat drenching, soul quenching, booty poppin’ dance party that you never knew you needed. Playlists feature artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Usher and more.”

The full-body workout focuses on building strength physically and mentally.

“Our goal is to help you gain confidence in your body, show you that you are beautiful, and give you an opportunity to feel something, whatever that may be,” Miller said. “So many individuals start their fitness journey out of hate for their bodies which, in turn, creates this cycle where no matter how much weight they lose, or how strong they become, they continue to be unhappy. I want to teach the community the importance of finding confidence within themselves and loving who they are in all their imperfections and how that is more important than any number on a scale.”

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