Manatee Memorial holds weight loss class

June 18, 2013 

BRADENTON -- A new class for weight loss called "Am I Hungry?" will be focusing on emotional eating, a common diet buster that leads people to eat as a way of soothing upset feelings.

Led by wellness coach and consultant Kristi Bracewell, the nine-week program begins July 8. The class is from 6 to 7 p.m. in the tower auditorium of Manatee Memorial Hospital, 206 2nd St. E., Bradenton.

Bracewell is a certified instructor of "Am I Hungry?" The diet management program is taught nationwide and was developed by a Phoenix physician whose own weight was going up and down from emotional eating.

"The program teaches mindful eating skills and identifying the emotional triggers that have to do with eating," said Bracewell.

"It's a behavior approach vs. dieting," she said.

The class builds from week to week as participants learn strategies for discovering why they are overeating and how to substitute other coping methods. The program also emphasizes physical activity for weight management and learning how to be positive instead of thinking of exercise as punishment.

The class will be limited to 25 people and is interactive instead of lecture-based, said Bracewell. Cost is $45 and includes a workbook and access to a web portal for the weight-management program.

For more information about "Am I Hungry?" visit or call Bracewell at 941-586-4327. To register, call 941-708-8100.

Iron Yoga classes held in Anna Maria

ANNA MARIA -- Yoga teacher Laura Bennett taught a combination of yoga and Pilates before adding another twist to a traditional yoga class. She created a routine that combines weight training with standard yoga poses.

The result is "Iron Yoga," an exercise class that Bennett teaches from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturdays at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.

"It's a very popular class," said Bennett. "A lot of people are interested in weight training. For women it's very important."

A typical class routine is a series of flowing yoga postures interspersed with weight training. The class might do a sequence of warrior poses, for instance, and stop to do three sets of bicep curls before resuming more warrior poses.

The class is geared for intermediate students. Students should bring their own hand weights and yoga mats. Cost per class is $6 for members of the community center and $12 for nonmembers.

For more information, call 941-778-1908.

Fleet Feet Sportssponsors fun runs

SARASOTA -- Need motivation to get out and run this summer? Fleet Feet Sports, 1830 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, is heading up a free 10-week "fun run" group from 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays.

"It's for all levels and more like a social group where you can meet people and go for a run," said Courtland Bernard, who works at Fleet Feet Sports and helps lead the group.

Walkers also are welcome to join. There is no set distance and routes will vary in the neighborhood near Fleet Feet Sports.

Water and refreshments will be available at the store but bring extra water to take on the run because of the hot weather, said Bernard.

As an incentive, there will be weekly drawings for running accessories and a point system for rewards.

For more information, call 941-894-3338.

Free workshop focuses on abdominal exercise

BRADENTON -- Fitness coach Paul Boisvert is teaching a

free workshop on effective abdominal exercise from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. June 24 at Snap Fitness, 3541 53rd Ave. W., Bradenton.

"The main thing is that a lot of people have a misunderstanding about the function of the abdominal muscles," said Boisvert. "Their focus in on where the body fat is and they home in on the abdominals."

The workshop will focus on the anatomy of core abdominal muscles and their purpose. Once people understand how the muscles work, they can be more effective in exercise and exercise more safely, he said.

"What I see in the clubs is that people go really fast such as on the crunch machines," said Boisvert.

"They aren't pulling with their abdominal muscles, they're pulling with their arms and over time they're probably going to hurt their backs."

Boisvert will demonstrate simple exercises in the workshop and teach how the muscles should be feeling when the exercises are done properly.

The workshop is open to the public. For more information, call 941-896-8817.

Susan Hemmingway, Herald health correspondent, can be reached at

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