Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Ransom Library offers ‘Spring Into Fitness’ series

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

With the doldrums of winter officially behind us, you may be interested in ways to ramp up your level of activity.
If so, then Ransom District Library’s Spring Into Fitness Series might be just the thing for you.
The series includes a wide range of activities such as a walkers/runners group, yoga, Zumba, a self-defense class and an injury-prevention class.
Julie Stout helped to organize the series, which continues a decade-and-a-half long tradition of Ransom offering fitness-related activities to its patrons.
“Libraries have grown beyond crafts and book clubs to a community center and with that we’ve expanded our programming to offer more non-traditional options,” Stout said. “These classes allow patrons to try a new activity in a low-stress and supportive environment for free.
“Community members have enjoyed the chance to try a new activity for free at the library and classes like yoga have been a hit.”
This year’s series includes “Hit Your Stride with Gazelle Sports & Ransom Library” on Monday, April 11, from 7 to 8 p.m.
During that class, Gazelle Sports assistant manager Forrest Buffenbarger will cover topics that include finding the right shoe, good form, nutrition and safety basics.
Abbie Hanson of River Bend Yoga will also be leading a pair of yoga groups, while Angela Mollitor from Otsego Health and Fitness will lead a Zumba class.
“We reached out to individuals and businesses based on their knowledge of the topics,” Stout said. “Everyone knows Gazelle Sports is the go-to for running shoes and gear, so it they just made sense. And we’ve had an ongoing partnership with River Bend Yoga for our yoga classes.
“All of our presenters were very eager to assist us, and we are excited about the information they are going to bring to Ransom Library.”
The week after the “Hit Your Stride” class, a running/walking group will begin to meet on each Monday from April 18 through June 27 from 7 to 8 p.m. Light stretching begins at 6:45 p.m.
All speeds and experience levels are welcome and snacks will be provided afterward.
“We recently came up with the idea of starting a running/walking group because we have two staff members who are avid runners and it allows us to interact more in the community,” Stout said. “We’re really excited about offering this group and we have some great ideas and themes to keep the miles fun and entertaining for patrons.
“Whether patrons are ready to get off the couch or running races, this is the group for them.”
In addition to the “Hit Your Stride” and the running/walking group, the following are being offered at Ransom:
Chair Yoga (Tuesday, May 3, and Tuesday, June 14 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.): People with limited mobility can learn, easy, gentle movements to keep the blood circulating, and deep breathing and meditation techniques to keep the mind calm and focused. This is a simple one-hour practice to find your peace in body and mind. Requires registration.
Yoga (Wednesday, May 11, and Wednesday, June 15): Now is a great time to get back on track with your mental and physical health. Learn the basics of yoga, from breathing techniques to proper pose alignment. This class is great for all levels. Registration required.
Break Out with Zumba (Wednesday, April 20, at 7 p.m.): Zumba is an energizing, fun dance fitness class.  It can be geared to any fitness level and a great way to shake up an exercise routine. Registration required.
Courageous Conduct: Self Defense 101 (Wednesday, May 4, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.): Learn the basics of defending yourself with Josh Bereton from Chung’s Marial Arts Academy. This class will teach awareness, skills and tactics that can be utilized in the real world. Registration required.
Preventing Running/Walking Injuries: (Wednesday, May 18, at 7 p.m.): Shin splints, sore muscles and runner’s heal can take the pep out of your step and slow you down as a walker and runner. Find out how to avoid these common injuries and more with Eric Manrose PT, DPT, OCS, OMPT. Eric has experience treating patients of all ages with a wide variety of orthopedic and neurologic conditions including athletic injuries with specific interests in running/gait evaluation and sport performance. Eric is an avid runner and has worked in the area for over twelve years.

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