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?



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!




Back to boot camp!

My soon-to-be bike for comfy summer cycling!

I head back to my TRX suspension boot camp tonight. At least now I’ve been once so I know what to expect. I’m going to be extra diligent with stretching and drinking lots of water so that I don’t end up so sore.

Tennis lessons are also on the horizon for tomorrow, as long as it doesn’t rain. Fingers crossed. I have not played enough tennis this year.

I’m also going to pick up the beautiful bike pictured so that I can start cycling again! It’s been too long since I had a bike. Bikes are a big investment, but if you choose the one that’s right for your needs they are affordable when you consider the cost per ride. If you aren’t using it as a main mode of transportation then there’s no need to drop a large amount. My bike is free thanks to an awesome contest I recently won through St. Vital Centre. I’m so excited to get it!

On a final note, there are two boot camp/conditioning fitness deals out there that I’ll point out in case you missed them.

Groupon is offering 10 outdoor fitness classes through Lure Outdoor Fitness for $39 (reg $100). Classes are held at The Forks or Assiniboine Park as weather permits, so you get a nice backdrop! I’m not sure I’d gamble on paying for outdoor classes given the crappy weather recently, but I’m sure that when it’s nice out, it’s REALLY nice to exercise in the great outdoors. It looks like there’s a wide variety to choose from, including yoga, dance and cardio strength.

WagJag has a deal on with Advantage Conditioning (2020 Portage Ave) for a four-week boot camp (12 total) plus fitness assessment for $64 (reg $161). They are held outdoors, so workouts happen rain or shine. Also, it looks like you have to bring a fair amount of equipment, which I’m not really a fan of. One nice thing about the program is you get a follow up every four weeks plus an at-home regime. Now that’s going the extra mile!

What summer activities are you taking part in? Drop me a comment!

Boot Camp Nerves & More Fitness Promos

Getting prepared to tone and shape up at Brickhouse Gym fitness boot camp.

First off, I’ve been slacking in the fitness department. And it’s been bugging me. A lot.

I bit the bullet and signed up for my first fitness boot camp EVER tomorrow at Brickhouse Gym using my teambuy voucher that I purchased awhile back. No time like the present to use it!

I keep envisioning a svelte Giselle-like body that could be mine post-workout as a way to block out all the pain and soreness I’m about to experience. I know I’m going to get my arse whipped into shape. Expect some ridiculous posts on this series of classes in the future.

On top of all that, the website looks like it’s for beefy types. I think I’m going to make sure they know I’m a newbie so that I don’t get too discouraged or take on too much at the start. Everyone knows that is the #1 way to derail any sort of fitness plan. Fingers crossed it works out! On the plus side, the guy on the phone sounded really nice. He explained I could use the voucher on boxing boot camps or regular circuit style. I chose the latter.

Switching gears, there are a few deals out there for fitness buffs. This one’s for morning types at Sweatmarks Fitness Boot Camp through SwarmJam. Nice name! You get one month of boot camps for $55 (reg $197) during morning classes between 6 am-8 am Mon, Wed and Fri. I guess you’d get to go as many times as you want during the month, so that’s kind of motivating to get the most bang for your buck. There are also two locations according to the SwarmJam site, but I couldn’t seem to find the addresses on the website. One nice feature about this boot camp, should you choose to go long-term, is a money-back guarantee. That’s one thing that always makes me nervous about plopping down huge sums of money for a gym membership and the like — what if you hate it and want to back out? At least this company claims to have a money-back guarantee.

Yogis, there’s a deal for you too. Body Logic Wellness Centre in Charleswood (3684 Robin Blvd) is offering five or ten class passes at half price (10 for $50, reg $100 or 5 for $25, reg $50) through Groupon. It’s a warm yoga studio, which I personally like better than hot since it’s not too uncomfortable, yet you’re still bendy. There’s not a whole lot of classes up on the schedule (and it’s unclear if the groupon can be used for pilates classes) but I imagine they will have to run some more to accommodate all the new clients.

I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more fitness deals and keep you all posted. I know I promised a blog on Peg City Yoga, but between yoga and moving (so I haven’t been completely sedentary!) I haven’t had time to fully jot down my thoughts.

Eight ladies-only fitness specials at Images Fitness Centre

Ladies only fitness deals at Images Fitness Centre

If you missed it in your inbox yesterday, there’s an excellent deal through Groupon for 10 yoga classes or one-month unlimited access membership at Image Fitness, a women’s fitness centre on Ness Ave. I like the all-women’s aspect, particuarly when it comes to the weights area. I always feel like a strange intruder with my mini biceps and 5 lb free weights around the congregation of big, beefy men pumping iron.

With this particular deal you can either choose a one-month membership to the gym (including access to aerobics classes) for $29 ($69 value) or a 10-class yoga pass for $49 ($110 value).

But wait, there are more deals to be had at this centre!

Ladies under 18 can get one month’s worth of access + 5 yoga classes for $59 (Reg $109), +18 ladies get the same option for $65 (Reg. $114).

Three months of unlimited yoga are available for $199 to members, $249 for non-members.

One month’s unlimited personal training is also on special for $399 (30 min session) or $499 (60 min sessions). I feel like there is more to this particular promotion than meets the eye, but since it’s out of my price range at the mo’ I’ll leave the adventure up to you to discover.