Workout turns into fun for participants

Sara Kallioinen, of the Village of Sanibel, leads residents in exercises during Interval Training on the Square on Tuesday, at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square.

Susan Rusboldt enjoyed her morning workout in the Florida sunshine on Tuesday. And she was one of many — Rusboldt was among one of the more than 150 residents who gathered at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square as instructor Sara Kallioinen led Interval Training on The Square. The event was sponsored by The Villages Recreation and Parks Department. The Wisconsin snowbird had never done interval training, but she started stretching to make sure she was prepared and brought along her weights, yoga mat and plenty of water. “My husband and I are only here for the month,” said Rusboldt, of the Village of Osceola Hills. “I go to a lot of exercise classes that are outside back home, and I am looking so forward to see what this one is all about.”

Kallioinen, who leads weekly interval training classes in The Villages, took the stage and introduced her assistant, Deb Zaranti, before explaining what interval training is to the crowd that gathered.

“Interval training is a class that involves a mixture of cardio and weights,” said Kallioinen, of the Village of Sanibel. “Your heart rate will go up, but you want to make sure you can still talk. If it gets to where you can’t talk or you get tired, just walk in place.”

Kallioinen danced in place on the stage as she cued the music.

“First, we are going to warm up with a little help from J Lo,” she said as “On the Floor” by Jennifer Lopez started playing.

After a quick warm up, Zaranti, of the Village of Amelia, took over leading the group in weights.

“We are going to do some bicep curls to get us started,” Zaranti said. “And one, two... keep going till the music stops.”

After a quick run with the weights, Kallioinen took over again and led the group into knee lifts and heel kicks.

“These are low impact as you kick them up to whatever speed you want,” she said.

Kallioinen sang the songs from her playlist during the workout. Every time there was a pause, she danced in place to keep her heart rate up.

“We have a really good group of people who have came out,” said Jeanette Hofmann, who helped with the event. “There is a lot of commodity and we have people of all skill levels. Some of them have been with us for 12 years.”

Hofmann, of the Village of Hadley, said she teaches the high-intensity interval training class and when Kallioinen returns up north after the winter, she will be taking over her class until she returns.

“We love coming out and getting others involved in exercise, because it’s good for them,” Hofmann said. “This class is just a lot of fun.”

By the middle of the class, people on the sidelines who stopped to see what was happening started to join in.

After the exercises and a brief cool-off period, the group moved to working on their abdominal muscles.

“We hope you had a fun time and will consider joining us in the future,” Kallioinen told the group. “We meet at 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays at Colony Cottage Recreation Center. It seems early, but we have a lot of fun and your day is free afterward.”

As people started to disperse, Kallioinen thanked those who participated, with special appreciation to those who assisted throughout the class.

“It was a lot of fun,” Rusboldt said. “After awhile you have so much fun, you forget about the rest.”

Staff Writer Andrea Davis can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5374, or