Instructors leading the class

Fitness with a Flair

Healthy Living


Shoulder rolls, hip swivels, and wrist twirls are some of the fun moves in the Foundation Fitness class happening in Valleydale Church’s gym on Mondays and Thursdays. The class, taught by Gina Howell and Kathy Raymond, combines exercise, fellowship, and lots of fun. Ladies (most of whom are not members of Valleydale) meet to keep their bodies fit in a God-centered atmosphere. Long-time member Anne May says the exercise is challenging and fun, but she enjoys the love and friendships she has for all the ladies in the class.

Gina Howell and Kathy Raymond
Foundation Fitness is taught by Gina Howell and Kathy Raymond each Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. at Valleydale Church.

The class starts with news updates, a devotional thought, maybe a joke or recipe, and special prayer requests. Fellowship is as important as exercise. Support for participants’ community projects is also optional. “If you walked into a random class, you may experience welcoming, joy, care, prayer,” says Marsha Cremer. Following the brief jam session, the playlist begins with stretching in a chair utilizing flex bands and hand weights. Then it’s on your feet to thematic tunes from artists such as The Beach Boys, the Beatles, Amy Grant, and Toby Mac. Whether secular or Christian, the “feel good” lyrics provide inspiration while doing grapevines, side-steps, and plies. A variety of dance moves, seasonal themes, and playlists offer plenty of diversity to keep participants coming back. “There is no format like ours,” says Raymond. 

Fitness with a Flair InstructorsAlthough Howell and Raymond are certified Zumba instructors, Howell says their moves are a “spaghetti” combination of salsa, ballet, modern dance, cumbia, and country. Howell started the class ten years ago under two conditions: 1) that it was open to any woman from any denomination, and 2) there would be no charge. “God is the reason we are doing this,” says Howell as Raymond shakes her head in affirmation. Raymond joined Howell to co-teach five years into the class. 

The name of the class, Foundation Fitness, is taken from I Corinthians 3:11 and is based on being grounded not only in the body but at the foot of the cross. “The group has grown and changed in demographics over the years, but what hasn’t changed is the care the women have for each other,” says Denise Willey. “We pray for one another.” No guys are allowed in this ladies-only class. The age range of current participants is 50-86, but any age is welcome. Even if you aren’t a dancer or in shape, that is no deterrent. There are no divas! See what it’s all about Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Contact for more information.

-Karen O. Allen

Author of Confronting Cancer with Faith


Posted in

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the like button below.

Get More Good News! E-subscribe to Birmingham Christian Family