Those of us who have participated in physical activity and exercise over the years have come to understand and realize just how regular exercise and fitness boosts our bodies and minds. Exercise is a stressbuster; it can be one of the most effective ways to improve your mood. This "feel-better" effect can be triggered by any type of exercise-what matters most is that you move, whether it be solo walking or attending a class with others. Physical activity is already linked to better brain health, which helps to relieve depressive thoughts and makes you better able to experience everyday pleasures. In other words, after being physically active, you feel more optimistic, more hopeful, and more connected to others-a more-happier you. Vital Moves offers many opportunities for you to participate in and "joy in movement" with classes like cardio drumming, strength and core training, TRX, Zumba, Pilates, and Yoga, to name a few.

One of the co-leaders and trainers for Vital Moves, who radiates joy in movement, is Vicki Long, who leads classes in cardio drumming, strength training and Zumba. Vicki also helps organize and lead the frequent Dance Parties offered by Vital Moves. Vicki's educational background and training in health and physical education and exercise is extensive; she earned her Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in Health, PE, and Recreation from Indiana University. Vicki taught high school PE, swimming, gymnastics, and dance during her 33 years as an educator in Illinois, and she was instrumental in developing innovative programs there, like Physical Management and Fit for Life classes. Her other accomplishments include creating a school district Staff Wellness Program, was the author of "Safety in Tumbling K-12" for the National Safety Council, and she was a presenter for the Excellence in Education programs throughout the state of Illinois.

Vicki explains that "it was always my goal when I was teaching, whether it was young people or adults, that they should develop a love for movement and physical activity, that it would become part of their daily lives. The desire to be healthy and fit would be as natural and habitual as brushing your teeth and combing your hair. To know the joy of exercising and feel the results and benefits-what a fantastic goal for any physical educator to instill in those they teach."

To experience the joy of movement, stop in at the HOA-1 Fitness Center, check out the many class options offered, six days a week, and talk with Janis Bottai, the owner, director and trainer with Vital Moves, and join us for the fun!

Enjoy the process!