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Healthier Carroll's 2nd 'TryVent — Get in Motion ' a rhythmic, sweaty success

“Your arms are connected to your body,” Lynette Stupi, a certified personal trainer, told the legging-clad group of fitness pupils gathered Saturday at TownMall, “can you make them look athletic?”

Stupi took the stage for a brief “walking” session after Stephanie Walter, with Carroll County Recreation and Parks, got the eager crowd warmed up with 10 minutes of chair yoga.

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Stupi and Walter were just two of seven fitness instructors who assembled Saturday for the Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County’s second TryVent — Get in Motion: a two-hour fitness demonstration encouraging physical activity throughout the frigid winter months.

It’s cold out, but you don’t have to abandon a healthy exercise routine, the instructors set out to prove. The events organizers teamed with sponsors to provide fruit and distribute informative pamphlets about healthy eating and appropriate exercise. They put on a raffle for gym gear, the winners of which were announced after each 10-minute round.

The nonprofit partnership, which aims to promote healthy lifestyles through exercise and health care initiatives, first attempted a TryVent in 2016.

“It was outdoors and for those aged 45 and up,” said Skyla Ertter, the partnership’s Community Health Improvement Areas and Events Specialist.

Saturday’s event was geared toward all ages and attracted the whole spectrum: From 11-year-old Zac Craft, who attended with his mom because he “saw some of the prizes,” to 75-year-old Mary Watson, who “always loves to dance.”

The fitness extravaganza featured seven, unique 10-minute exercise class demos. What started relaxed quickly heated up, as participants partnered up and took swings at each other during kick boxing, simulated the local Honky Tonk with line dancing, and wiggled to their cores in Zumba.

“Give me some hips right here. … Now give me some shoulders!” barked Homero Bayarena, who teaches Zumba at the Merit Club in Eldersburg.

“Zumba does not discriminate,” said Homero, flanked by two dancers and backed by the Enrique Iglesias’ Bailando blaring from local DJ Chris Bartosik’s disco-tech spread. “Everybody can do it, as long as you can move.”

The group stepped left and right, forward and back, side to side, mimicking Homero’s every move, as the exuberant instructor thrust his hips and shook his shoulders with . “What happens in Zumba Stays in Zumba!”

Homero’s spirited routine proved infectious for many.

Hampstead resident Jim Resh, 64, was out for a walk with his wife Zondra, 55, Saturday morning when their son called from Town Mall telling them “this is really fun,” Resh said. He and Zondra high-tailed it to Westminster, not knowing exactly what to expect.

“I like doing physical things and I like doing new physical things,” said Resh, unfazed by his lack of gym apparel.

By the end of the session he had agreed to sign up for more Zumba classes with Homero.

And he wasn’t alone. Mark Ahrens, who is 41 years Resh’s junior at 23, attended the session with his fiancee and a group of friends.

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“I liked the Zumba with (Homero),” said Ahrens, of Mount Airy. “He was so confident. I need more of that.”

Watson said she loved the vibrant music, adding, “It just makes you want to move.”

She encouraged others to try group fitness classes, no matter their age or ability. “Just come and sway with the music,” she said.

Ahrens said he appreciated that the classes could be done with friends.

“What else are you going to do on a Saturday morning?”

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