Fabulous at 50!

Worked on opening my hip flexors in runner's lunge during hot yoga.

Worked on opening my hip flexors in runner’s lunge during hot yoga.

It’s a bit of a misleading title (I’ve got a couple of decades to go), but I wanted to celebrate my 50th blog post.

I haven’t written in here as much as I originally planned. When I first started, I was all gung ho about blogging, but now I’ve come to see this as a mix of a personal reflection of my fitness journey and a chance to share about my varied exercise experiences to help others looking for some local reviews/promotions.

The FANTASTIC news is I have worked my way back up to a regular 3-4x week workout by attending a handful of classes regularly through the Leisure Guide and Yoga Public, so my exploring (a key part of this original blog) has gone down a notch.

Not to fear, as I felt inspired to post after venturing out into my new ‘hood to check out Images Fitness for Women located in sunny St. James. They are (still) offering a sweet deal on Groupon that I snapped up for hot yoga–$49 for 10 classes!

I participated in my first class one week ago exactly, and have been back once already! Monday night’s class was called “26 in 60.” When I asked the front desk gal, she said it was like a Bikram style class. “Oh no,” I remember thinking in my head. My least favourite form next to Ashtanga.

Luckily, it was not the drill-Sargent military-style Bikram class I had experienced before at other studios. In fact, I quite liked it! It wasn’t intimidating, the studio was hot but not so roasting that I was dripping sweat on my mat every two seconds, and the teacher was in there flowing/working on poses with the class. It was an 8:30 pm class, so it wasn’t too vigorous either, with lots of time for relaxation at the end. I slept like a baby that night.

I’ve returned for a hot flow class, which was your standard hot yoga class. The teacher, again, was great at getting in there to flow and then pausing to demonstrate more complicated poses.

That all being said, Images isn’t fancy pants. I’m not sure what’s up with the ice cold change rooms that require a portable heater, although it is nice to cool down in there after a hot class! You get what you pay for, which is a semi-decent studio (it’s got mirrors, which I like sometimes to check on form), some props and solid teachers. You need to bring your own mat, or I believe they charge a $3 rental fee for a mat, which seems a bit steep in my opinion. I’d recommend the class for the beginner to mid-level yogi, but the hardcore ones would probably prefer a more “serious” studio I imagine.

Like another hot yoga studio I’ve been to, this one uses a kettle to steam up the room, which I always find humourous. This one wasn’t nearly as blistering hot though, thank god. If my experience continues to be positive, I’ll probably buy a drop-in pass for some yoga classes since it is close to home (I love walking to and from yoga classes like I used to when I lived in Crescentwood!) and the prices are wallet friendly. I think a regular drop-in yoga pass lets you try non-hot classes too. Regular class passes are $60 for five, 10 for $110 and 20 for $180–a bargain considering I pay $170 for 10 at Yoga Public (but it’s such a great studio, so I consider it a little splurge for my health!)

So I’m curious friends, have you been to Image Fitness Center for Women? What’s your favourite place in the city for hot yoga?

 

Fitness deals ahoy!

Great Winnipeg fitness deals on now from gym passes to personal training sessions.

Great Winnipeg fitness deals on now from gym passes to personal training sessions.

Have no fear subscribers, I am still going to provide information regarding hotter than hot fitness deals! If you’re in the Lindenwoods area, perhaps consider signing up for a couple of deals through WagJag at Anytime Fitness, with passes starting at just $20!

Looking for an affordable introduction to working with a personal trainer? Pick up eight sessions for $99 (Reg. $256) with C-Pow Total Body Fitness.

There’s also deals on Kettlebell workout videos (if you’re more a home gym kind of person), and even discounted tickets ($10 reg. $20) to the Wellness Expo at the Winnipeg Convention Centre (Jan 11-13). Heck, there’s even a deal to get Chatelaine magazine subscription for $20, plus two cookbooks.

These deals are limited, so better get ’em on now if you want to take advantage. Happy deal shopping!

Save lots of $$$ on local fitness classes

There are lots of gyms offering great deals right now to meet your new year's resolution fitness goals.

As promised, here’s my handy dandy round up of local fitness specials taking place right now. There seems to be quite a few–perhaps they are anticipating lots of people hitting the gym in the new year post holidays and want to cash in the ol’ ny resolution.

So I spotted the yoga public folks (I wrote about them before here) in Winnipeg Square the other day selling gift cards for their brand new chi chi studio. It’s a stone’s throw from my work, so I’m going to pick one up. Why now? Well, if you purchase a $35 gift card before Dec 24, you will receive will receive three weeks of introductory classes, including towel service. Sounds like a great deal to me and who doesn’t love a little hot yoga in chilly winter months? They also offer TRX classes, which is something I tried earlier in the year and enjoyed, so I’m looking forward to doing some more of those.

Also, the old Blockbuster in Osborne Village is now a Snap Fitness Centre. Another location is also opening in St. Boniface on St. Mary’s. Right now you can get a 20-class pass for $20 on dealfind–amazing! Downside? Classes must be used within 30 days, so you either become super dedicated to visiting the gym, or you won’t get the $1 per class potential.

Yet another new gym–MORfit at 277 Tache Ave is offering a one-month gym membership for $19 on teambuy. Pretty good deal if you are in the area. Here’s a little description as to what the gym offers: a full gym; including free weights, a cardio section, machines, and a fitness studio. Equipment includes: 6x treadmills, 3x ellipticals, 2x rowers, 1x bike (more to be added soon), 5x free weight benches, 2x squat racks, 9 station cable crossover unit
Barbell Bench Press, pec dec, leg press, hamstring curl, chest press machine, hip abd/adduction, and others. They are also offering 20% off a one-year membership if you’re keen on commitment!

Last but not least, if you’re looking to spend a little more moolah on an intense eight-week program, wagjag is offering an eight-week pilates or circuit training program from Donna Sarna Physiotherapy for $49 (Reg $105). The studio is located on Corydon and here are some deets about this circuit program: Donna Sarna’s classes are limit to only 10 people, allowing instructors to provide you with all the attention and guidance necessary, but with at least eight class times per cycle to accommodate many students.

Phew! So as you can see, there’s no excuse right now to find an affordable fitness option and get active in these bone-chilling winter months. Now get out there!

First impression: GoodLife Fitness for women

Well, I’ve been to GoodLife Fitness for women (Sargent location, inside Superstore) three times now, which means it’s time for a review.

To start, the signup process with the wagjag voucher went smoothly although they did ask a tad too many questions for my liking (even the trainer who was signing me up complained a little). Still, I can understand slightly why they’d want to know what meds you’re on etc. in case you pass out. Special consideration might need to be taken into consideration when building a workout plan. We set some “goals” for my month there, namely that I wanted to get up off the couch and live a healthy lifestyle mainly. Bonus points for toning the bod.

My favourite part is the weight training section because there no men around! Strange as that sounds, I just feel infinitely more comfortable around the space and equipment without a male presence–who knew that it bothered me that much to begin with? They’ve got a quick and easy 20 minute training circuit on nine machines that pretty much work out your entire bod.

There are lots of mirrors to check on form and two mat areas for matwork/stretching–a must-have in my case where warming up/cooling down are a big part of the routine, and I also tend to pull out a stability ball around the mat area for various exercises. The club’s a good size and there are plenty of weight machine options, so I never felt crowded or like I was waiting.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the classes. I am a fitness class kind of gal but for whatever reasons my personal/bus schedule and these workout classes are not meshing AT ALL. And the one time I did set aside time for a class? It was 15 minutes late (the class beforehand ran super late)–ouch. Needless to say, everyone in the class was pretty annoyed. I took the cardio sport 30 min aerobic place, which basically kept me bouncing on my toes almost non-stop. I was sweaty and my heart was pounding by the end, so it did the job. The teacher was super fit as the entire class was kind of slugging it out by the end of it. I’d like to try another class. Most of them are 30 mins, some are 45 mins so it’s nice if you want a quick in and out experience or if you want break up an hour session with some guided instruction. There are several options on the class schedule and I’m looking forward to trying out some more.

Hop on one of many elliptical machines for a full-body, low impact workout at GoodLife Fitness.

Aside from weights and classes, there are rows of treadmills, bikes and ellipticals facing a row of TVs. This gets a thumbs down in my books as the more “modern” option is to have TVs installed on each individual machine (like at YMCA) so you can customize what you’re watching. I did a couple of 15-20 min runs on the elliptical until I got bored out of my skull.

The club has lots of amenities, including childcare, a registered dietitian, massages, tanning beds, a sauna (where is it?!) and pro shop. The change rooms are also nice and clean, which is also a good sign.

I wish I could comment on membership fees but the website doesn’t list them clearly, just intro offers like 14 days for $14 or three free visits. I’m sure I’ll get pestered with phone calls after my pass expires.

That being said it’s a pretty good little facility that doesn’t feel intimidating or scary. You can set up and keep track of your workouts on cards, hire a personal trainer and check the calendar for regular little events held at the club, like “girlfriend mingle” where you make plans to meet with friends there I presume.

As I have a few more weeks here I will be sure to update further as I try more classes.

In the meantime, here’s a link to teambuy where you can purchase a 10-class fitness pass to Lure Dance Fitness, 460 Main St. You can use the pass to take pilates, yoga or dance classes. Sadly, there are only three classes on the schedule, which makes it not so great if you required greater flexibility.

Two fab fitness deals

Group classes are included in the Good Life Fitness Wagjag deal.

The reason for my lack of posts is my lack of exercise. I think about it every day and am not quite sure how I slipped into a slump, other than a whole slew of recent big changes. Excuses are a waste of time though. It’s time to get back into fitness! So this week, I’ve made a promise to myself to use my Wagjag voucher and check out Goodlife Fitness on Sargent on Tue evening. I’m excited to get back off the couch. It’s going to be a little sore at first but our bodies have pretty good muscle memory, so I’ll be back in the swing of things before I know it.

In the meantime, for those of you who are looking for ways to stay fit as the temperatures start to plummet (shiver), there are two great deals out there on WagJag and groupon.

The first? $22 for an unlimited gym pass for one month at GoodLife Fitness for women, both the Sargent and McPhillips locations (you choose). I’ve tried out the mens/womens Goodlife Fitness once and my experience was ok, but I don’t like to make a defined opinion until I’ve visited around 3 times at least. I look forward to the women’s-only aspect of it, as sometimes I find the beefy dudes by the weights a little intimidating.

Secondly, yoga buffs will want to take advantage of a half-price yoga class pass at Images Fitness. I’m tempted to pick this one up as it’s right by my place. You get 10 hot yoga or other yoga classes for $55, a steal! The schedule looks varied and there are lots of options, so it definitely seems like a good option.

In the meantime, my 2011 Lifestyle Pass expires tomorrow. I just saw on facebook that the new ones are out, so keep your eyes peeled! There were a few more fitness activities I would have liked to take advantage of before it expired but I look forward to seeing what the new booklet has to offer. I did take advantage of a non-fitness deal and picked up a buy two get one free meal deal from Supper Central and I’m heating up the lasanga as we speak! It looks like a pretty neat concept for busy families/working folks like myself– have you ever tried it before? You can either get ingredients for meals assembled for pick-up or delivery w/instructions on how to make each dish, or you can go to there and assemble meal packs yourself (that come with take-home instructions) and save a $7.50 assembly fee. I think it’s a great idea as no food goes to waste, you don’t have to battle grocery store crowds, there’s never the dreaded “crap, I’m missing an ingredient!” moments, cooking directions are simple and specific, and the nutritional breakdown for each meal is available.

With that being said, I’m going to tidy up the kitchen and get a veggie side dish ready to go with the meal. Happy Sunday and pre-Halloween!

Groupon yoga

Work on your triangle pose at Yoga North.

Just thought I’d sneak it in there quickly that Groupon is offering an awesome deal at one of the city’s most respected yoga studios: Yoga North. I attended a class there through Passport to Prana and was quite pleased with the instruction, my only gripe being that you can’t bring water into the studio. Hydration is part of the exercising process and it’s the only studio I’ve encountered thus far where water bottles are banned (I don’t remember seeing a water fountain in there either), so it baffles me slightly. I wish there was a little nook where you could sneak over to your water bottle for a drink away from the practice area, as I understand the studio’s efforts to avoid spills and accidents. Aside from that small blip, it’s top notch. There are two affordable options on Groupon: snag one month of unlimited yoga for $59 or a ten-class pass for $59. You save $5 more off the ten-class pass deal, plus it’s a more flexible option so naturally it’s the more popular choice. The deal is on for two days so there is lots of times to snap up a pass if you need to sleep on it.

I drove by the Zumba/Good Life Fitness folks at the cube stage on the way to a carb-happy Ukrainian lunch (oh, the irony!) and noticed the workout group was pretty small. The instructor was pretty lively and the folks who participated get brave points for essentially being the lunchtime entertainment for a small crowd that watched on as they ate their yummy lunches, like poutine from Smoke’s Poutinerie.

But I digress!

I didn’t swim at the lake this weekend, but I did squeeze in some tennis with family on Sunday evening and attended yoga in the park yet again last Thursday. Tomorrow I’ve got a tennis lesson and Wednesday I’m going rollerblading, so at least I’m getting SOME regular exercise, just not enough in my humble opinion. But I won’t beat myself up about and I’ll keep trying my best!

Sweet sweet summer

A coveted set of golf clubs.

Ahhh summer, how I love thee.

It is fantastic in terms of embracing the great outdoors, but not so great in terms of encouraging indoor hobbies e.g. blogging.

So for my regular readers, I sincerely apologize for the long delay between posts.

I have been keeping a fairly steady fitness routine of yoga on Thursday (bag is packed for tomorrow) at lunch for yoga in the park, tennis lessons every second weekend, and then the odd swim/biking session in between that, so in terms of fitness discoveries, I haven’t really been keeping up my end of the bargain. I have lots of plans for fall, so I look forward to drumming up that sort of new content.

I went and hit my first three holes of golf a couple of weekends back at a small driving range/golf course at the end of Roblin (the name escapes me). Minus some shanked hits into the pond, I actually managed to make a couple of beautiful drives and my putting wasn’t too shabby either. I did get a small blister on my hand after all the driving, but ultimately the feeling of not feeling completely hopeless at this popular game triumphed. Who knows, maybe next summer I’ll actually hit the links and shoot a full 18?

With the regular yoga sessions on Thursday, I have definitely seen an improvement in flexibility. I also no longer feel sore after each and every single practice, so it goes to show you how some regular stretching goes a long way.

As far as steal and deals go, groupon has an awesome deal on for a kayaking course for level 1 and 2 (level 1 is sold out already unfortunately) through the Manitoba Paddling Association. If I were more experienced, I would definitely consider purchasing a voucher to try it out with my adventurous significant other!

Goodlife Fitness is offering FREE fitness classes for the next four Mondays at the Cube in the Exchange District! Classes change each week and the first one starts off with a bang with some Zumba. Just remember to bring some water and your own yoga mat.

Now’s a great time to pick up summer sports gear from tennis rackets to in-line skates to golf and baseball gear. Sporthchek.ca is blowing a bunch of that stuff out, so stock up with the prices are hot!

Oh yes, one last thing–I’ve really enjoyed exploring my new St. James neighbourhood via bike and discovering all the beautiful, quiet neighbourhoods where homeowners obviously pride themselves on their home with beautiful, blooming flower gardens. Getting that bike has really helped me embrace the area and check out places I would normally speed by in a car.

Enjoy the rest of this glorious summer while it lasts!

 

 

 

Future golfing guru?!

Get into the swing of golf this summer.

Long time no post! It’s a good sign, as I’ve been out and about lots swinging the tennis racket and taking outdoor yoga classes. Heck, I even swung a golf club for my first time this weekend! Apparently I’ve got a natural swing?! Looking forward to experimenting more with that sport/leisure activity. In the meantime, I’m gearing up for another yoga in the park session (didn’t make it to the moksha evening session due to the rainy, crappy weather) at lunch tomorrow.

I’ll keep this short since I’m in the middle of doing laundry (perfect gloomy weather to get that out of the way!), but what summer activities are you enjoying? Anything new I should try or know about? Drop me a line!

On a final note, there’s a 20 yoga class pass on teambuy.ca for $20 to be redeemed at Centered Yoga & Fitness. I feel like I just wrote about this company–they only offer classes Monday and Wednesday evenings, which I find quite limiting, but I guess for a $1 a class it’s not bad.

Let’s hope mother nature sends some more nice weather our way this weekend!

Savasana in the sun and some great sporting sales!

Summer is the season for a plethora of outdoor group yoga sessions.

Wow, you know it’s summer when you are inundated with all sorts of notices for free exercise classes taking place in the great outdoors. Take advantage of the opportunity and try out a new activity/sport or save those hard-earned dollars for a future holiday. My schedule is quickly filling up with all sorts of fitness related events lately and the cost to partake is minimal.

To start, I just wanted to say that I took my sweet new ride out for a spin on Sunday. I rode my bike across Assiniboine Park and halfway down Wellington before turning around when my middle toes started to cramp. An ice cream break at Sargeant Sundae followed before heading home. So the ice cream may have negated any health benefits, whatever, it was still a blast. I’ll try to get some pics up of my fave insider’s sneaky shortcut into the park that local Charleswood residents have been using for years. Or maybe it’s not that sneaky…you tell me!

Tomorrow I’m going to Assiniboine Park again from 6:30-8:30 for a two-hour group yoga practice for charity. This gigantic Moksha Yoga “karma” class costs $5 and as long as the rain holds off, it should be an energizing experience. No need to pre-register either as my co-worker found out when she called for more info.

I’ve made plans to FINALLY play some tennis with a group of friends at my favourite free courts on Thursday that I mentioned before here. Also, I’m going to check out “yoga in the park” again that I went to last week.

If I were more of an early riser and still living at my old place, I’d totally go to fresh cafe‘s free yoga practice for all levels from 7-8 am on Thursday mornings. Instead, I’m going to my second session of “yoga in the park” put on by the Downtown Biz at Memorial Park at noon on Thursday.

And if you need more free yoga and/or running clinics in your life, join lululemon Polo Park’s facebook page for updates on their regular Sunday morning “Run. Yoga. Live.” event held on by the duck pond. The run is at 9 am and yoga is at 10:30. Apparently they are family friendly too–very nice!

There’s also a quirky exercise deal on Swarmjam for 10 jazzercise classes for $25 (reg. $75). Classes are only offered three times a week, which is kind of a bummer, but they sound like tons of fun.

Finally, it’s the time of year when summer sales start kicking into high gear. Sport Chek is having a giant summer sale on a lot of their summer sporting goods from bikes to tennis raquets to apparel.

Enjoy the great weather!

 

 

Free yoga classes & $1 yoga classes

Now that summer has arrived, there are plenty of outdoor yoga classes to take join.

Just a reminder that there is a free yoga class taking place in Memorial Park today at noon. Read more here. I showed up a little too late (blaming it on construction traffic) to make it last week (the sky was dark and scary too), but my co-worker and I are ready to go today!

Also, if you’re looking for low-cost yoga classes, dealfind has them on 20 for $20 (reg $160) at Centered Yoga & Fitness in River Heights. Drawbacks? Well, classes are only Mon & Wed from 6:30-8:30. Also, you have to make an appointment before attending. Dropping in just so much more convenient, don’t ya think?

Also, a quick preview on some upcoming posts:

-Review of Sustainable Fitness TRX boot camps

-$5 outdoor yoga class next week led by Moksha Yoga

-How to score dozens of FREE yoga classes with the click of a button

-Free outdoor yoga & running clinics at Assiniboine Park on Sundays

And I’ve got tons more up my sleeve. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!