New rec programs offered

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By Alyssa Pitcher

Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 has new fitness classes and activity programs in the works to help Blaine and Birch Bay residents get active
this spring.

POUND is a new 45-minute cardio and fat-burning workout program on offer at the Birch Bay Activity Center. Like Zumba, it uses music and rhythm to get people moving.

Program manager Heidi Holmes said POUND combines yoga-based poses with strength training similar to Pilates. It is designed to work muscles in the core, legs, arms and back. Participants strike the ground with sticks to the beat of music – a motion similar to drumming.

According to Holmes, the benefits of drumming include boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure and decreasing chronic pain, among others. Drumming is also known to help with relaxation and
stress relief.

Fitness instructor Angela Biondolillo will lead a free POUND demo class on Monday, April 27 from 4 to 5 p.m. and on Saturday, May 16 at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Biondolillo, who had been teaching the class in Bellingham, introduced POUND to Holmes because she thought the activity center would be a good venue for it. Holmes said it is fairly new to Whatcom County, but residents have shown some interest in it.

“We want to make a fun, friendly environment that will meet everyone’s recreational and fitness needs,” Holmes said of the activity center.

A beginner line dancing class will start up at the Blaine Senior Center on Tuesday, April 21, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. It will be held on the third Tuesday of each month. Holmes said the class will be a good introduction for people to learn the basic dance moves.

Evening yoga has been introduced at the activity center from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. on Thursdays. It is aimed at individuals who work throughout the day and would enjoy a light and relaxing workout, Holmes said.

The badminton program is one that Holmes hopes to see grow this year. The program takes place at the activity center on Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m.

Currently each class offered at the activity center has a good turnout, according to Holmes. Zumba, one of the more popular classes, has 30 to 40 people in attendance at each class. Even so, as the spring season arrives, Holmes expects to see a growth in participation at the activity center. She said people are motivated to get in shape and want to take advantage of longer days.

Holmes said people should get involved with programs at the activity center because of the health and social benefits. She said exercise is important and the center is a way to meet new friends.

For a full list of Birch Bay Activity Center programs, visit blainebirchbayparkandrec.org.

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