Fitness Goal: 1,000 Participants at County's "Largest Workout" has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2013 The Topeka Capital-Journal
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Topeka Capital-Journal (Kansas)
September 15, 2013 Sunday
520 words
Zumba session in "Shawnee County's Largest Workout" expands
Megan Hart.

[email protected]

A workout for hundreds of people aims to have something all of them like and can do, including an expanded Zumba routine.

"Shawnee County's Largest Workout" will be held Tuesday at Washburn University's Moore Bowl in Yager Stadium. A health fair will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., with a traditional workout at 6:30 p.m. and Zumba at 7 p.m. Zumba is a dance workout with elements of Latin, hip-hop and contemporary dancing.

The largest workout drew more than 850 people in 2011 and nearly 700 last year. Misty Kruger, spokeswoman for the Shawnee County Health Agency, said the long-term goal is for 1,000 people to attend.

Tamara McGinnis, fitness director for the Maximus Fitness & Wellness locations in Topeka, coordinated the exercise portion of the evening. Designing a workout for hundreds of people is different from planning a class for 10 or 20, she said.

"With a smaller class, you know who's there, you know their level," she said.

More than 20 instructors will lead workouts for beginners, intermediate exercisers and fitness buffs, McGinnis said, with a variety of exercises like running in place and push-ups. The goal isn't to put off or discourage someone who hasn't exercised much, she said.

"This could be the first day that they start a new beginning," she said.

This year's Zumba segment will be longer than last year's, with seven songs planned, McGinnis said. Zumba is often the first thing people try at a gym and can help them build the confidence to try other aerobic activities or weight-lifting, she said.

"Everybody can dance," she said. "This is a good way to get them started (on exercise)."

Kruger said people should wear comfortable clothes, but otherwise don't need to bring anything for the workout. Water will be provided, and the first 500 people who attend will receive a free T-shirt, she said.

About 46.2 percent of Shawnee County adults participated in the recommended level of physical activity, meaning more than half aren't exercising enough, according to 2009 data. The Healthy People 2020 national health goals call for more people to participate in moderate physical activity for 150 minutes per week or vigorous activity for 75 minutes. Physical activity is an area of focus because it helps people to maintain a healthy weight, reducing their risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

About 30.2 percent of Shawnee County residents are obese, according to Kansas Health Matters, and 32.7 percent are overweight, meaning that less than 40 percent of county residents are at a healthy weight. A survey of the general public and a discussion with public health experts identified residents' excess weight as one of the county's top three health concerns, according to the 2012 Shawnee County Community Health Needs Assessment.

The health fair will include about 20 businesses and agencies that offer health resources to people in Shawnee County, Kruger said. Combining information about resources with the workout is intended to help people see ways they could improve their health, she said.

"This is a way to get people thinking about what they can do for their health," she said.

September 15, 2013

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