Tossing it around provides health benefits

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Would you like to have more energy, increase flexibility, improve your balance and feel better? If you answered yes, join the "Toss It Around: Strength Training with Medicine Balls" fitness class offered by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in partnership with Arkansas Northeastern College Department of Community Education.

"I love that I can squat down and get back up using only the strength of my legs," one lady said after participating in a previous session of the class.

Recent participants in the 12-week, twice weekly fitness program, said the improvements in personal health are beneficial. One woman who injured her knee playing sports said she can now wear her knee brace less frequently.

Another lady said, "I feel better, am not as tired and don't ache as much. My doctor has advised me to increase my participation."

One man said he has a greater range of motion in his reach from following the medicine ball regime.

Medicine ball exercises can build functional strength and help to improve overall well-being. The program consists of a warm-up, exercises, and a cool-down for 45 minutes. It includes progressive resistance training, balance training, and flexibility exercises utilizing medicine balls that are simply weighted sports balls. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status.

Classes will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. - noon at the Aerobics Room in the Briggs/Seabaugh Wellness Center at the Arkansas Northeastern College's Blytheville campus. Class starts Sept. 30 and continues through Dec. 18. The class costs $12 per person and is payable during orientation on Sept. 30 at 10:30 a.m. Participants need to furnish their own medicine balls and must be 19 or older.

Contact Mary Ann Garren, ANC Dept. of Community Education at 762-3168 or Pam Pruett, Miss. Co. Cooperative Extension Service, Instructor for the course, at 762-2075to pre-register by Sept. 18.

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