Healthy kicking for fitness sake

Linda Lawrence

The energy in the Campus Recreation kickboxing class is palpable. The rhythm of the music beats loudly, as participants thrust at the air with powerful punches and grunts.

“One-two-three, punch. Right-left-right,” fitness trainer Laura Flerlage commands. But she follows up quickly with an encouraging “you’re strong.”

Students respond enthusiastically, trying to keep pace with her. And despite the demanding drill, many have smiles on their sweat-covered faces.

“No, pain, no gain,” said Melissa Chinn, a senior public relations major. “I like the little soreness and will continue to roll with the punches.”

Chinn says she feels the benefits more than the burn of her kickboxing class which she takes twice a week, both physically and mentally.

“Not having all the time in the world to exercise, it’s a great activity to enjoy and relieve some of that stress I have from my week,” she said.

The Campus Recreation Center has offered a variety of group-fitness classes for a long time.

Northern Kentucky University faculty, staff, students and alumni are all eligible to be members of the recreation center. But according to Jill Kleiser, assistant director for recreation, in the past students have been the minority as far as total participation in the fitness classes. An issue they’ve tried to remedy.

“One of the good things we are really happy about,” said Kleiser, “is that the majority of people (in the fitness classes) are students.”

This increase in student involvement has meant a need for change.

“So, we added a whole bunch of new classes,” Kleiser said. “We’ve added spinning, that’s a big one for us. Some people call it indoor cycling. Basically it’s a stationary bike using resistance training.”

The center invested a lot of resources to support the spinning program. Kleiser said the bikes cost around $1,000 each. The center has five more bikes on order and is considering ordering more. “We have, on average, 10-15 people that we turn away because the classes are completely full,” she said. There are currently 23 bikes for use by students.

Besides kickboxing and spinning, the spring sessions include water fitness, abs ‘ glutes, Pilates, boot camp, cardio dance and yoga. All classes are held at the Campus Recreation Center in the Albright Health Center.