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Piloxing gives youngsters chance to mix up fitness choices

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DECATUR – Carly Farrar does ballet and Nicholas Farrar likes punching, so the 13-year-old twins both found something that appealed to them while trying out piloxing at the Decatur Family YMCA on Monday.

The 4-H and the Y teamed up to offer a two-week fitness class series for kids age 9 to 18 to try out karate, cardio dance, piloxing and other classes.

“This is fun because they can dabble in different areas,” said Becky Hugo, the 4-H program coordinator.

Part of her job is to build community partnerships as well as create interesting programs, usually taking ideas from her two daughters.

“I was trying to think of something fun and entertaining for kids,” she said.

The classes are open to the public and give kids a chance to try activities they'd never be exposed to during a physical education class.

The kids hesitated at first, standing back from where piloxing instructor Jenny Ahlswede stood at the front of the room. She motioned them forward and explained that piloxing is a full-body exercise that combines pilates, boxing and dance.

She then had them practice not pulling their punches by hitting her palms

“We recommend you do this class without shoes and socks for better balance,” Ahlswede said.

Needing no encouragement, the kids shed their footwear and for the next 45 minutes punched, stomped and stretched under her direction. They couldn't follow the choreography exactly, but kept up with Ahlswede and the fast-paced music enough to be sweaty and a little sore by the end.

“I thought it was pretty fun,” Carly said. “I'm looking forward to yoga,” Nicholas added.

Angela Foulke, health and wellness director at the Y, said it's important for kids to get 60 minutes of activity every day, especially during summer break.

“People think the classes are all for adults, but we have a lot of youth classes,” Foulke said. “They're here to learn something new and have fun.”

The classes continue through June 25.


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