BY MARLA BALLARD
DEKALB COUNTY, ALA. -- Sharon Riggs can be found all over DeKalb County instructing fitness classes of numerous types. She has been a fitness instructor for over a decade and resolutely believes that continued movement is the key to feeling good for as long as possible.
Riggs is currently training for her third 50-mile run and has entered hundreds of races of various lengths. “I can do the 50-mile race in about 17 hours,” said Riggs. However, she says at present her favorite form of exercise is yoga, because it is the joining of breath with movement. “To me, yoga is whatever you want it to be,” said Riggs. “It can be strenuous or restorative and peaceful. Everyone can do it.”
The Wills Valley Rec Center in Fort Payne, Body Vision Fitness & Aquatic in Rainsville, and DeKalb MD in Fort Payne are the locations where Riggs teaches. At these locations, she teaches various classes which include; yoga, paddle board yoga, and dance. She has taught Zumba and spin classes as well.
Riggs said her yoga classes are not fashioned after the spiritual aspect of eastern religion with chanting. She focuses on laughing, sweating, and having fun. “I like to look at my students and focus in on what will help them wake up to what their body needs.” She said she loves seeing people accomplish what they thought they never could do. “I’ve seen people in their seventies run and someone in their eighties stand on their head,” said Riggs. “It is so exciting to see people reach their goals.”
At the Spring Grove Apartments in Fort Payne, along with several others, Riggs volunteers her time to assist the senior citizen residents. Dancing to music from the past and simple movements such as passing a balloon overhead to others are just some of the ways she gets older individuals to increase their activity level.
Being an “exercise junkie” is something Riggs openly admits to. “I love the feeling exercise gives me,” said Riggs. “I exercise every day and I encourage everyone to move as much as they are able to.”
In 2009 Riggs obtained the necessary certifications to teach fitness classes and hopes to continue for as long as possible on this course.