Many students participate in group fitness classes at the Peters Recreation Complex to stay active, and cardio kickboxing, taught by Kristin Yankey, junior in electrical engineering, is one of the more exhilarating classes out there.
After coming to Kansas State University, Yankey received a concussion in an accident. While the concussion stopped her from playing sports, she still had the opportunity to remain active by teaching group fitness classes.
“I still wanted to be active and I love music,” Yankey said. “Since I’m studying engineering, I was looking for something else to do. I found that group fitness incorporated music and physical activity — and I wasn’t going to hurt my head, obviously.”
Jenna Duncan, sophomore in business administration, is one of several regular participants in Yankey’s cardio kickboxing class.
“I started taking this class because it sounded like a fun, interactive way to be active at K-State,” Duncan said. “I just kept coming because of the people and the environment and felt like I got a workout out of it.”
Yankey said leading the cardio kickboxing class has been rewarding for her.
“My favorite thing about teaching cardio kickboxing is that I love seeing people’s smiles,” Yankey said. “Especially when I say, ‘Try this new move,’ and they say, ‘Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?’ I’m like, ‘Seriously, you can do it.’
“It’s really fun helping people push what they thought were their limits and realizing that they can go so much further,” Yankey continued. “Also, the students don’t come back because they need to. They come back because they enjoy it and love it. It’s about taking care of yourself and having fun while doing it.”
Cristina Alamos, senior in food science and industry, said she enjoys cardio kickboxing because of the instructors.
“They are always in a good mood, and it’s almost like working out with your friends,” Alamos said. “It’s a very relaxed environment.”
Yankey said she would recommend her cardio kickboxing classes to students from any walk of life.
“We welcome everyone,” Yankey said. “One of the best things about being a group fitness instructor is that you can find so many modifications for so many different fitness levels.”
Alamos shared similar feelings, saying cardio kickboxing is not an exhausting workout.
“Anyone can really join because it’s not really intense by any means,” Alamos said. “It just gets you moving and it gets the blood flowing. You will not walk out absolutely exhausted, you’ll just walk out being happy that you moved for 45 minutes.”
Yankey holds her cardio kickboxing classes on Monday evenings from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. at the Rec Complex.