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Longboat Key Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 3 years ago

An abundance of fitness classes for 2017

Fit, fitter, fittest: A record number of fitness classes are available

New venues, new classes, new teachers and so many different varieties — and yes, yoga now gets its own category.

Longboat Key residents and visitors have a remarkably expanded array of fitness classes to choose from this season.  

Feel Good Yoga 

6350 Gulf of Mexico

Debby McClung opened her new studio — the Key’s first and only dedicated to yoga — in 2016. She did a beautiful job converting otherwise unexceptional space in the building just south of Christ Church into a tranquil yoga sanctuary. The spotless classroom accommodates up to 15 students and offers 12 classes weekly. In addition to multiple flavors of yoga, including the Key’s only Sunday session, the schedule features Nia, a nonimpact cardio-dance workout, and McClung’s newest: “FUNctional Fitness,” which focuses Pilates, balance, strength and stretching exercises on the activities of daily living. Private sessions are available. The studio is home to the office of Loren Batsell, a doctor of oriental medicine and licensed acupuncture physician.

Nuts and Bolts. Single classes are $15, five classes $70 and 10 classes $130. Walk in, no reservations required. Call 904-610-7565 or logon to  

Aging in Paradise Resource Center 

6200 Gulf of Mexico 

This senior center is an expanded community service of the Longboat Key Island Chapel with a mission to provide “quality solutions and exciting opportunities for local seniors enabling all to live with dignity and the highest possible level of health, independence and quality of life.” It is appearing for the first time in this column because it offers two flavors of tai chi plus yoga and the Key’s only Zumba class, Suzy Brenner’s 45-minute “Zumba for Seniors.”

Nuts and Bolts: Reservations are strongly suggested for yoga and Zumba, $10 per class.  Call 941-383-6493 or email [email protected].

Registration is required for tai chi, and classes are 10 lessons for $100. Contact Christine Killeen at 941-383-1924 or [email protected]. For information, logon t o 

Longboat Key Education Center

5370 Gulf of Mexico 

The Longboat Key Education Center is a phenomenon unique to the Key that annually amazes with its catalogue. There has been yoga here since the doors opened 31 year ago. This season, there are classes five days a week. In a change from the established order, the Monday 9 a.m. class will alternate weekly between Susan Goldfarb’s “Easy Yoga” and Angelena Craig’s “Slow Flow Yoga.” There are additional mind and body options, including “Mindfulness Meditation” and an intriguing series on “Improving Brain Health & Performance.”

The Education Center also offers Saturday workshops on fitness-related topics, starting with “Older, Bolder, Better” coming up Jan. 14.  It will focus on managing the aging process toward empowerment and contentment.

Another unique offering is “Sounding Young at Any Age” on Feb. 18. We may not think about it, or even notice it, but our voices change with age. Nationally certified vocologist Tess Hogan will show students how a simple vocal fitness program and a few behavioral changes can lead to a more vibrant, youthful voice.

Nuts and Bolts. Fitness classes are typically $88 for members and $104 for nonmembers for an eight week term, but they can be taken individually. Workshops are $30-$40 members and $35-$45 nonmembers. Registration is required. Call 383-8811 or logon to

Bayfront Park Recreation Center

4052 Gulf of Mexico

While the park is still a work-in-progress and will not be completed until later this year, the Recreation Center building is reopening and fitness classes are resuming. 

Ann Alvis is returning with “Muscles and More” at 7:30 and 8:45, Monday-Wednesday-Friday. Mirabai Holland will be teaching her aerobic and strength combo “Pumping the Prime” and adding a new class, “Fabulous Forever.” It is first on the Key to incorporate sports-specific training for activities like golf and tennis. Nia teacher Gail Condrick is also introducing a new class, “Movement for Living,” gentle movements to stretch your body and your brain. Barbara Anderson is offering reformatted and refreshed “Cardio + Strength” workouts on Tuesday and Thursday (no more Saturday). The classes include aerobics and both upper- and lower-body strength training in each session. My own Pilates Mat session remains classic, and “Joy of Stretch/Yoga,” now in its 20th season, is hopefully improving with age.

Nuts and Bolts. Recreation Center classes are all “walk in” — no reservations required — and all are $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Membership is $25 for resident, $35 for off-island resident and $45 for resident couple. he schedule and full descriptions of classes are online at Search “Schedule of Activities.”

Molly Schechter is an ACE-certified personal trainer with a specialty in older adult fitness plus YogaFit Instructor Training, SCF Yoga Fundamentals I and II, SCF “Active Aging,” and Power Pilates Mat Certifications. She teaches classes at Feel Good Yoga and at the Bayfront Park Recreation Center. E-mail her at [email protected]

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