Front kick, jab, uppercut!

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Get your kicks during a Group Kick fitness class at Shapes Fitness Centre.

Hello blog and readers, long time no write. The good news is that I haven’t been neglecting exercise since this last post and today’s. The bad news is that I’ve been failing to share those experiences on here. Well, today I felt inspired after stepping out of my exercise comfort zone and joining a cardio class for mixed martial arts and boxing at Shapes on Pembina (I had a 20 class pass from Dealfind). It was my first group fitness class there (minus a hot yoga class a few weeks earlier, but I’ll go again and report back some other time), and I picked it because I thought it would be good to challenge myself.

Turns out challenge is a good thing.

This Group Kick class rocked out to a super high energy soundtrack and cardio routine laced with punches, jabs, roundhouses, uppercuts, rhythm punches, scissor kicks, jumping jacks, leg lifts and more. Did I know what I was doing? Not really, but I walked in knowing that I wasn’t going to get it right as a beginner (and many props to the instructor for asking who was new, showing some basics and reassuring us noobs that it’s tricky to pick up at first.) I think my attitude of wanting try my best and pass if my body was ever saying “no” to something took any fear away!

I, along with all the other ladies in class, were sweating like bandits. And we all left with that post-endorphin glow after a good workout.

So, would I make this a regular part of my work out? Probably not, as I’m not much of a fighter chick and I like my cardio on the dance-y side, like Zumba. Am I glad I tried it? Yes! And I would attend that type of class here and there to mix up the workout grind. If you want an invigorating workout that also lets you blow off some mental steam (the instructor kept telling us to picture our attacker and aim, haha), then try it out! I could see myself attending again. Maybe I’ll actually be able to tell the difference between a roundhouse and side kick after a few more classes. Today, I was just focused on trying to keep up!

Have you ever taken a boxing or martial arts class before? What did you think?

P.S. Dealfind has a deal write now for martial arts by chance!

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2012 Fitness Goals

What are your fitness goals for 2012?

It might seem like I’m a month late, but hey, it’s never a bad time to talk about goal setting. I set one for myself for 2012 to work out minimum 2x per week for 30 mins. Some weeks I’ve succeeded and others I’ve failed (getting sick for two weekends really killed all ambition to hop on the elliptical). But at least I’ve got a baby step in mind to move forward. I’m tracking my workouts in my gmail calendar (very handy online tool by the way, I love that I can share it with friends and my common law so that they know what I’m up to and when I’m free!)

There’s a gym conveniently located in my apartment building, which doesn’t really make for exciting “Winnipeg’s best fitness” places to discover post, but once our mild winter passes (yes, it’s still cold for me) I’ve got some places in mind to check out *coughyogapublicough*, along with a couple of other fitness vouchers I need to cash in.

That being said, I’m off to do an hour of cardio/weights. My question to you, dear followers, is what are your fitness goals for 2012? It could be anything from “I want to try a hot yoga class” to “I’m training for the Manitoba Marathon.” Share away!

 

 

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!

Goodlife Fitness wrap-up

Sun salutations were a big part of yoga-influenced classes at GoodLife Fitness.

Hi everyone! Sorry for my absence. My membership wrapped up at GoodLife Fitness on Nov 30 and I manged to sneak in a few more classes there, so I will quickly touch on those. I’ll also give you a brief update on my fitness status. Tomorrow? A post on some great fitness deals to be had in Winnipeg.

Last post I mentioned a high-intesity 30 mins cardio class. Most classes are actually an hour, so my mistake on that. I took yogafit, bodyflow, yogacore and a zumba class.

I honestly don’t remember the difference between yogafit and yogacore, but I think yogacore felt like a more traditional yoga class with lots of sun salutations and warrior 1 poses etc. Both yoga classes left me feeling stretched out and a bit sore the next day, which I always take as a good sign. Both classes had new age-y music playing in the background, which I liked. It seemed to fit the Goodlife “upbeat and happy” attitude that seems to prevail here. One evening they had a “member appreciation night,” and handed out a bunch of goodies from face masks to hand soap to conditioning treatments to class participants to say thanks for being a member. There was a food tray at the entrance as well. I thought it was a really nice touch.

The Zumba class was fun and it definitely got my heart pumping, especially since it went for a whole hour. I thought it would be short like the other aerobics class I took. Again, a great class to disguise the hidden working out benefits.

The bodyflow was a combo of tai chi (warm up and cool down), yoga and pilates. Traditional yoga/pilates teacher would probably cry sacrilege but I actually really like the variety of exercises in this class. I think there are benefits to doing all three, and this class totally takes advantage of that. I didn’t make it to Goodlife as often as I wanted due to it being kind of out of the way (I’m a bus to work gal now) and the class schedules not meshing with my work schedule, but overall I really liked this gym. I often shop at Superstore, so if I lived closer I would consider getting a membership here and knock two birds off with one stone.

I’ve purchased another wagjag voucher for Goodlife. I think for $22, this one comes with a personal training consultation, gym bag and again, a 30-day membership. I’m going to use it for the location near my work in the Canwest building so that I have a new place to write about and evaluate.

I feel like I’ve hit another fitness slump this month since the GL voucher expired. I’ve done lots of mall walking, which is awesome, but doesn’t quite make up for a proper exercise sesh. I do have a really austere, depressing fitness room in my apartment building that I used once, and will likely use again today for a quick 30-min jog on the elliptical. I renewed my Passport to Prana card and my goal is take a yoga class sometime between the 24th-Jan 2.

Also, if my mom has a guest pass to the Rady Centre (her gym of choice), then hopefully I’ll get to tag along to one of Todd or Max’s classes there–these guys are fun, lively instructors.

Here’s to plenty of health and happiness over the holidays. Stay tuned for my fitness deals tomorrow–you may even want to grab one as a last-minute gift!

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.

Back on the saddle

Boost your strength with an easy-to-follow weight training circuit at Goodlife Fitness.

I did it! I went back to the gym and worked out for a full hour! It felt pretty good I must say and overall, I was quite pleased with the experience at Goodlife Fitness on Sargent (on the upper level of Superstore). Some cardio on the elliptical, a good chunk of weight training and a bit of stretching got my body up and moving again. I’m sure I’m going to be quite sore tomorrow, so I’m going to hop in the bath now.

On a side note, I just wanted to post that Fantasy Pole Dancing (747 Talbot) is offering a 20-class pass for $20 throughdealfind. That’s just $1 a class–pretty awesome if you ask me. Here’s the link if you want to find out more.

Have a great night!

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!

Back with a freebie yoga update!

Various forms of hot yoga are offered Yoga Public, which opens Dec 5 downtown.

I haven’t forgotten this blog, but I’ve definitely neglected it. My excuses are: I was on holiday and then tied up with a freelance project. But I’m not doing either of those things now, so the excuses have to end. I did manage to go out rollerblading on an absolutely gorgeous night this week, but that’s about it fitness-wise for me over the past few weeks! Urgh, I don’t feel good about it at all!

Well, I’ve got to madly rush to finish up using classes in my Lifestyle Pass before it expires at the end of Oct. I’ve got a couple for Moksha, so I’ve approached a yoga buddy friend to see if she’ll hit up a class or two with me.

While I was thinking about yoga, I remembered some buzz over Yoga Public, which I’ve heard is a designer yoga studio from the brains behind the luxurious and lovely Ten Spa. So, I checked out the website and they’ve got an opening date set! Dec 5. And if you sign up for a newsletter now by clicking here (scroll down in new window), you can try out a free class. They’ve also got an intro special of two weeks worth of classes for $35. I’ll be checking that out, thanks! They seem to offer various types of hot yoga only and there are some TRX classes, which I tried a bit with some free passes awhile back.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to getting back into shape. It’s going to be painful at first since I’ve neglected it for a month now, but it’s something I need to do in order to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I say this as I’m drinking a mini can of coke by the computer and having just consumed two grilled cheese sandwiches for brunch. Hmmm.

A shopping trip to the grocery store is in order once my boyfriend returns. I’ve lined up a couple of new recipes (Jamaican Shediac Cape Curry & Pillsbury pizza dough chicken and vegetable pies) and I’m definitely going to stock up on some veggies and dip in the fridge to encourage healthy snacking. Speaking of which, I’m going to go grab some trail mix now!

I’ll update soon with more fitness deals as I find them.

 

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!