I’ve taken kickboxing classes off and on for more than a decade. I’ve been to all kinds of kickboxing studios, from no air-conditioning community centers to fancy big box gyms, where the pop music is blasting and you are punching air while trying not to kick the person that’s two feet next to you. I really love them all. But my favorite has always been the kind at a martial arts center. The kind where you wear boxing gloves, do knuckle push-ups (not so bad in the gloves, I swear), and get to punch a real punching bag. That’s why I went to Ultimate Kickboxing inside Parks Taekwondo (7098 Beracasa Way; 561/300-5666; ultimate-kickboxing.com; $59-$69 a month unlimited classes or class punch cards are also available, call for prices). The first class is free and gloves are included with your package.

The amazing total-body workout strengthens your core, tones the arms, legs, shoulders, thighs and butt and increases endurance. I have to admit that even though I’m not a fan of violence of any kind, I love the amazing stress release that punching the bag produces. Pretending the bag is a certain problem (or person!) giving you trouble is great motivation. The choreography was easy— a few jab, cross, hook, knee combos were the extent of it. So there wasn’t any of that “I’ll just stand here and punch because I have no clue what I’m supposed to be doing” feeling.

The class incorporates cardio, circuit training, technique (the instructor gives personal attention to each student to make sure they are doing the moves correctly) and lots and lots of punching and kicking. There was no person-to-person contact (which I liked) and about 12 people ranging in age from 17 to perhaps 55 or older. It was an even split of men and women. One thing to note if you go: this is a barefoot class, something I’m never thrilled about but it ended up being fine. They have special anti-bacterial martial arts mats that were very comfortable. My feet are the only thing on my body right now that are not sore.

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SAVE THE DATE

Boca Raton Regional Hospital is holding the first annual Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute (LCI) ‘Run 4 The Ribbons’ 5K on Sunday, June 3rdat 7 a.m. at the Sandler Pavilion (701 NW 13thStreet). There will also be a 1 mile walk/run course. The proceeds raised will help support LCI’s Patient Resource Fund, which provides disadvantaged cancer patients help with non-clinical expenses such as gas, transportation, groceries, and other incidentals incurred during the course of their treatment.

To participate or for more information call Darci McNally at 561-955-4501.