Diet and fitness class starts today at Tennis Center |

Diet and fitness class starts today at Tennis Center

Longtime tennis pro Karen Connell won’t take up coaching tennis full time again

Longtime tennis pro Karen Connell won't take up coaching tennis full time again, but she will be leading a 12-week nutrition and weight-loss class at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. The class will bring in several guest speakers and focus on helping students maintain their weight-loss achievements.
Joel Reichenberger

— Surely, come Friday morning — maybe even Thursday afternoon — plenty of people across Steamboat Springs will come to regret how much they just ate.

Those who are likely to swear an oath of future health can get a head start today, however.

Karen Connell started a health and nutrition class in Steamboat Springs one year ago, and since, she said, she's helped her students lose 1,700 pounds.

Now associated with the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, Connell's increasingly popular class returns at noon today at the Tennis Center, and for the first time, there will be a physical fitness component.

"It's all of my passions coming together," Connell said. "I've been a ski coach, a tennis coach, I do fitness programs, some training and strength, so that's all a passion of mine. I love to cook, love eating. Those are passions of mine. It's just everything coming together."

The class will be split into two sessions every week, though people don't have to sign up for both sessions to be involved.

The Monday classes — there are 12, with a total cost of $89 — include a parade of guest speakers. The idea is to offer a variety of voices about the best way to not just lose weight, but also to keep it off.

A part of the weekly session is a weigh-in, and the voices include everyone from motivational speakers to physical therapists to a hypnotherapist. There also will be elements that incorporate yoga and Pilates.

The Friday class, meanwhile, runs in two six-week blocks with a one-hour class. Each hour of work at the Tennis Center costs $12, a discount from the center's usual rate. Each block costs $72.

Connell worked as a tennis pro in Steamboat in the 1990s and said although she's not eager to take up tennis full time again, she is excited to incorporate her expertise in her class.

"It's been a great program," she said.

Connell had a little advice for everyone sitting down to a big Thanksgiving dinner, whether they were her students or not.

"So many people go the party and say 'I'm not going to overdo it,' but before they know it, they've been back and forth to the buffet line and then to the dessert bar," she said. "Fill your plate once. It takes 20 minutes to feel full, so take your time, enjoy it and relish it and make a commitment to yourself that you're done. "

Also, she suggested rather than let hunger build up all day in anticipation of the big meal, eat a snack a few hours beforehand.