Fresh air and fitness: Kettering adds outdoor exercise options

Fresh air and fitness are a perfect pairing.

There is an abundance of exercise classes held within the walls of the Kettering Recreation Complex, but the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department is also utilizing a wealth of outdoor venues throughout the city to encourage health and fitness.

“We want people to feel safe when they are here,” said Lindsey Curry, fitness & wellness supervisor. “We had a few outdoor classes last year and people really loved being able to be together, outside, enjoying the fresh air.”

The popular Yoga in the Park classes return with three four-week sessions in June, July and August at Wenzler Park Pavilion. Zumba on the Island will be held on May 29 and Aug. 14 at Lincoln Park Commons and Pilates by the Pond will take place on June 12 at Indian Riffle Pond. A Fitness Scavenger Hunt has also been added to the upcoming outdoor offerings on June 28.

“I love being outdoors. I’ll take outdoor exercise over indoor exercise any day,” instructor J.J. Kunkle said. “Outdoor exercise has been my sanity through the pandemic and I love a chance to share my passion for the outdoors.”

Kunkle teaches the Pilates classes and is running the scavenger hunt.

“Pilates with a view of the pond is much better than Pilates with a view of the studio,” she said.

Instructor Sherri Raderstorf feels the same way about the Yoga in the Park classes.

“It is definitely a class that is appropriate for all levels and great for people who want to get back into an exercise program and want to feel particularly safe in an outdoor setting,” Raderstorf said. “It is a beautiful way to experience the peacefulness of yoga and the peacefulness of Mother Nature all in one.”

Curry has noticed more and more people slowly returning to group fitness classes, but having outdoor classes provides an additional safe option. Outdoor spaces allow for easy social distancing, not to mention a few other perks.

“We have tons of space to spread out when we’re outside,” Kunkle said. “Nature provides us with fresh air and natural fans as well as vitamin D.”

A little sunshine, paired with fun music and friends might be all the motivation that’s needed to add fitness to your routine.

“I don’t often do Zumba outdoors but, when I do I really enjoy it,” instructor Amy Robinson said. “Watching the joy on patrons’ faces as they dance their worries away is always great. Being outdoors allows people passing to watch and potentially join our energetic classes.”

Fresh Air and Fitness in Kettering

Participants should bring their own yoga mats, towels and water.

Pilates by the Pond

What: Pilates focuses on the core muscles, but participants will get a full-body, very low-impact workout. It is suitable for all fitness levels, keeping in mind that we will be on the ground the entire class.

When: June 12, 9-10 a.m.

Where: Indian Riffle Pond

Who: 13 and older

Cost: $3 residents, $5 non-residents

Yoga in the Park

What: Class designed for all levels and great for people who want to get back into an exercise program and feel safe in an outdoor setting.

When: Wednesday classes 9-10 a.m., three sessions available – June 9-30, July 7-28 and August 4-25

Where: Wenzler Park Pavilion

Who: 13 and older

Cost: $30 residents, $40 non-residents per four-week session

Zumba on the Island

What: Dance fitness program that incorporates Latin and world rhythms with movement, mixing low-intensity and high-intensity movements to create an interval style workout. All levels welcome.

When: May 29 and August 14, 9-10 a.m.

Where: Lincoln Park Commons

Who: 13 and older

Cost: $3 residents, $5 non-residents

Fitness Scavenger Hunt

What: Participants will solve clues that will take them all over the Kettering Recreation Complex and Indian Riffle Park. A fitness task will be assigned before participants can venture to their next destination.

When: June 28, 6-7 p.m. Where: Kettering Recreation Complex and Indian Riffle Park

Who: 8 and older

Cost: $3 residents, $5 non-residents

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