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From biggest loser to aerobics instructor

Terri Ells teaching summer-long class starting June 21

After becoming one of Estacada's biggest losers earlier this year in a local weight loss competition, resident Terri Ells wants to influence others to become losers as well with an adult morning aerobics class she will lead this summer starting Tuesday, June 21.

The morning aerobics class is being offered through Clackamas Community College's community education program and will be held from 7-8 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at Clackamas River Elementary School throughout the college's summer term.

While Ells has been going to aerobics classes for the past 13 years, this will be the first time she will teach an aerobics class. For Ells, the moderate-intensity class is a fun, social and fast-paced workout that leaves her feeling better every day, and she hopes others will learn to crave the workout as well.

'At this point, it really makes me feel better,' Ells says. 'Sometimes when I go in, I am dragging, but when I am done, I feel so much better. I have heard from people that once you get into it, your body will crave it. It's a great way to work out.'

During Estacada's Biggest Loser contest, Ells said, aerobics were a big part of her success and, at the same time, got her in shape enough to lead the summer morning aerobics class. Ells finished third in the 13-week contest, which was hosted by Susan Wagner of Curves, by losing a total of 33 pounds from her starting weight of 171 pounds, equaling a body mass index loss of 19.3 percent.

The hour-long morning aerobics class will start off with 15 to 20 minutes of warm-up to get muscles, tendons and joints ready for the faster workout. From the warm-up, Ells will lead the class into the heart of the aerobics workout for 25 minutes to get the heart rate up and bodies sweating. From there it will move to about 25 minutes of cool-down exercises that will include the use of weights and various stretches.

'It's going to burn calories and will be good for those who are looking to drop some weight,' she says. 'It won't necessarily make you lose weight but will be an aid to it. Other than that, it will help people get stronger. And for those who are getting older, it will certainly help them gain the flexibility, strength and stability they may be losing.'

The entire season of classes cost $20, and Ells says anyone interested in attending the summer-long aerobics session can show up on the first day and pay then as well as sign up online at clackamas.edu.