Annual "Happy New U" event planned for New Year's Day

Monday, December 19, 2011 | 7:16 p.m. CST; updated 12:35 a.m. CST, Friday, December 14, 2012

COLUMBIA — Columbia residents whose New Year’s resolutions include exercising and staying healthy could start working toward their goals with “Happy New U.”

The fourth annual "Happy New U," hosted by the Mayor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health, is a free event on New Year’s Day.

The event will feature workouts and demonstrations of activities such as Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga, jazzercise, Zumba, belly dancing, spinning and more, according to a news release from the council. Children can participate in many of the activities.

In previous years, Zumba and spinning were the most popular activities, though overall, the activities were "well-attended," said Brian Higginbotham, supervisor of operations at the Activity and Recreation Center. CrossFit, a strength and conditioning program, will be introduced this year.

Fitness experts from the ARC and other local organizations will hold demonstrations and classes, and professional dietitians from Hy-Vee will discuss tips for healthy eating. In addition, Creative Days Art Studio will present "active art" for children and adults.

More than 150 people participated in "Happy New U" earlier this year, according to a news release. Higginbotham said he hopes more than 250 people will attend the upcoming event, though it will be on a Sunday.

"Happy New U" will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 1 at the Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St.

Although the event is free, participants are encouraged to bring healthy canned food for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

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