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Nia: Newest Workout In Sioux Falls

June 8, 2012, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Nia: Newest Workout In Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

You've most likely heard of Zumba, but what about the workout class called Nia? While it's new to KELOLAND, the form of exercise is popular in many parts of the country and the world.

Sixty-five-year-old Mary Cunningham says she has a tendency to not act her age.  But having fun can help you stay young, including taking part in Nia classes.

"You can move freely and let yourself go. I really like that," Cunningham said.

The class combines martial arts, dance and yoga. Melissa Kirby is the only certified Nia instructor in South Dakota. Nia stands for neuromuscular integrative action.

"It sounds really complicated and scientific.  But it's focusing on paying attention to how your muscles connect to your bones and how to improve your health and longevity," Kirby said.

Nia focuses not only on improving your health physically but also emotionally through relaxation and breathing techniques.

"Stress is huge for people.  So I think any kind of practice we can do to help lessen stress, breathe more and slow down is huge. It's something that's coming up a lot more in our society," Kirby said.

One other aspect to the class, participants take off their shoes. Class instructor Melissa Kirby says that can actually prevent injuries.

"There's a lot of different sensory points in our feet.  So we can get more of a notice when we're pushing ourselves too far," Kirby said.

Cunningham says because she's having fun, she doesn't even know how much of a workout she's getting until after the class.

"I'm doing things here that I didn't do as a child I'm finding out.  But it feels good," Cunningham said.

All because she wasn't afraid to step forward and try something new.

The Nia Class takes place every other Monday at the Sanford Wellness Center.

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