Break down into 30/20/10

Step right up and take a 30/20/10 class through the Leisure Guide.

Step right up and take a 30/20/10 class through the Leisure Guide.

Hello readers! I took a week-long break there as it was filled with after-work appointments and the like related to wedding and my regularly scheduled non-wedding activities. It feels nice to take a Sunday afternoon off to just sit back, write and reflect.

I thought I’d theme this post around a wonderful fitness class I am taking through the City of Winnipeg’s Leisure Guide. It’s called 30/20/10. Before I used to take all my Leisure Guide classes at Pan Am Pool, but now that I’m quite close to St. James Civic Centre, it has opened up some new class possibilities. After perusing the guide last fall, I decided to pick one weekly class (wanted to leave the rest of the week free for other activities) on Monday evenings right after work. The 30/20/10 class really appealed to me because it breaks down an hour into a full-body, complete physical workout.

For the first 30 minutes, you do a short cardio warm up & cool down, along with some step and/or ground aerobics. Then, for the next 20 minutes you do weights using either the body bar or free weights. Twenty minutes isn’t a lot of time, so you don’t get to hit every muscle or target one area in-depth, but the instructor does a good job trying to get you through the major ones. Finally, there is a 10-minute stretching session at the end, an area in fitness that is often ignored, yet so crucial to overall health. The instructor plays lots of upbeat music and she has an energetic, friendly disposition. And of course, she always demonstrates low-impact/power moves and mods of exercises for all levels. Love that!

I took this class for 10 weeks last fall and only missed one where I was on holiday. So far I’m 2/2 for this year and still love it. It’s not a particularly advanced class, but if you’re looking for an affordable, all-over body and fitness workout then I highly suggest keeping an eye out for this class in the Leisure Guide at a centre near you!  P.S. This class isn’t on the drop-in list, but the instructor does allow drop-ins if you have one of those city passes you’d like to use.

Front kick, jab, uppercut!

Image

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!

WagJag yoga classes & free YMCA pass

All set to try out YMCA Downtown through CBC's Live Right Now program

Unlike other group buying sites, WagJag appears to let their deals run for a number of days. There’s one for 10 yoga classes for $49 (Reg $130) at Winnipeg Yoga Shala that ends in a few days. It’s a studio I am unfamiliar with but am curious about trying. Has anyone ever been there? They’ve got a unique “MySore” program that encourages individual practice with teacher assistance and supervision.

If you’re hesitant to part with $49 off the hop, check the studio out for a mere $5 first class. There are new student specials (not sure if they literally mean student of a university or if they are calling members students…) that are pretty decent: $50 for one month unlimited (including MySore) and $150 for three months for the MySore program (Reg $375). Unfortunately, the $5 first time class does not apply to the MySore program–one month is $135.

My goal for March was to work out a dozen times this month. I failed last week by only going once (blaming a particularly annoying visit from Aunt Flo for that).

However, I filled in the paper work for a two-week free trial of the YMCA downtown through CBC’s Live Right Now program after work today. The pool looks great and I can’t wait to try some classes as well! It looks like there are lots of different cardio and weight machine options should I feel like mixing up my routine. Generally, I’m not a machine person but throwing them in the mix here and there works fine. I plan on heading for my first session tomorrow after work and then again sometime on the weekend to make up for last week’s laziness.

Hey, we’re all human so I won’t beat myself too much about skimping on the exercise this month. I’m determined to beat the never-ending winter blahs and this blog is just the motivation I need to make sure I keep to it!

 

 

Louis Riel on Ice

Sorry for the mini hiatus there. My significant other recently injured himself pretty seriously during a game of hockey, so I’ve informally donned a nursing cap and channelled my inner Florence Nightingale for the past week. He’s doing much better after some day surgery and a bit of TLC, but full recovery is still a couple of months away.

Moving along, most Winnipeggers are looking forward to taking a day off on Louis Riel Day, Mon, Feb 21. What better way to spend this holiday than to hit the great outdoors with friends and family? Skating is a wintertime staple in Winnipeg. Fortunately, there are plenty of spots to show off your sharpest edge. I have yet to try out the new skating surface in Assiniboine Park, but initial reviews are strong. It’s on my hit list of places to try. St. Vital Park is renowned for its massive skating rink on the pond, and of course, there is The Forks Winter Glacier Park and the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail.

The ACU River Trail offers free programming for family on weekends. This Friday, Feb 18 there’s a torch light walk and on Monday, Feb 21 there is a Skate-A-Thon from 8 am until noon. More details are found here.

I went to The Forks to skate before the river trail opened, so I really got to know the 1.2 km of ice trails that wind their way throughout the majestic Forks area, connecting the canopy rink, the Olympic-sized rink by the Scotia Bank stage and the river rinks. Benches and warming shacks are scattered along the trail to take breaks or adjust laces. One of my favourite trail spots is atop the bridge, which gives skaters an incredible panoramic view of the city. One funny loop of the trail leads skaters past the Old Spaghetti Factory, where diners and skaters often exchange friendly waves. The river trail is incredible, and I can’t wait to go back to see the beautiful warming huts, but don’t miss the well-groomed ice trails! Skate rentals are available at the mini donuts shack inside The Forks Market for an affordable $2 for children/seniors and $4 for adults. Call 257.0288 or 955.8814 for group bookings. Be sure to check out The Forks website for updates on rink and trail conditions before lacing up.

Skating is a pretty cheap workout that gives your legs and cardio system a great workout. Balance is also key here, so don’t be surprised if your abs are a little sore afterward from engaging your core. Unlike other cities where it can cost and arm and a leg to go skating (NYC’s Rockefeller Centre anyone?) there are no entry fees to hit the ice. If you don’t have a pair, chances are you can borrow a pair from a similar-sized friend. My co-workers have purchased used skates at their Salvation Army and used sports stores for the kids. I received my shiny white pair as a gift, so maybe add it to your wish list for the future if you don’t want to part with cold, hard cash. If you need a spanking new pair ASAP, then take advantage of this awesome deal on skates spotted on redflagdeals.ca here.

Hockey skates are currently on sale at sportcheck.ca

Sportcheck.ca is featuring hockey skates up to 60% until Feb 28. If you use the promo code Sunkist to receive $10 off purchases of $50 or more. The $10 coupon code can be used up until April 30, 2011.

So, there you have it. There are lots of ice rinks to see and skates to beg, borrow or buy. Please share your ice skating experiences and favourite spots in the comments below. Time to hit the ice!