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Get Healthy and Meet New People in Old Strathcona
Tuesday June 17 , 2014
A few weeks ago I had the day off work and decided to try a new fitness routine called Orangetheory Fitness that’s been gaining popularity across North America. The studio I visited is located just south of Whyte Ave along Calgary Trail where the old Blockbuster video used to be. Remember the good old days of renting movies from the store before Netflix and Itunes existed?
Coming back to present day… Orangetheory Fitness is setup as a studio that hosts classes rather than a full service gym. The classes are scheduled from early morning to the evening. For those who are on the fence about giving the studio a try, you’re first session is free if you print out the coupon from the Orangetheory Fitness website.
Photo from Orangetheory Fitness
Upon arriving at the gym and getting ready to begin, you strap on a heart monitor under your clothes so your heart rate and other information can be calculated. One of the most interesting parts of Orangetheory Fitness' setup is that the studio has large monitors that show everyone’s heart rate on the screen as you are doing your workout. You can see how hard you're pushing yourself and how much farther you can go. And it levels the field where you aren't concerned if you're on the treadmill walking and the person next to you is at a full run - there's the potential that you could both be working your bodies at the same rate as each person is different.
Those who love cardio are going to get a kick out of Orangetheory Fitness. The classes last an hour and are broken up into several parts: treadmill, rowing machines and several circuits of different, full body exercies.
The class from the beginning was challenging. The first part of the class was spent on the treadmill where the trainer lead us through different paces and inclines that were customized for the walkers, joggers and runners in the class. By the end of the treadmill session we were running at 8 MPH on a 15% incline, which easily pushed me to my limits.
Photo from Orangetheory Fitness
After the treadmill we hit the rowing machines and had to row 300 meters before we proceeded to the next section which was done in a fairly open area doing situps, pushups, and jumping jacks. For the last section of the workout, prior to stretching, we were on the trainer guided circuit that included the rowers, plus multiple floor and bench exercises that utilized weights, TRX and more.
By the end of it all I was completely winded. It’s a real shock to the system even if you exercise regularly like myself, and it felt like a great workout. The class I went to was an early morning class and consisted of mostly women. So for you single guys, it’s a great way for you to try to meet some new women. How hard is it to strike up a conversation with a girl and talk about the workout?
Four or five days after my first class I was still sore. If you love workouts that will push your limits, that you can follow at your own pace while being encouraged by a trainer, then Orangetheory Fitness is definitely for you. I recommend checking out their website for more information on the science behind the workout.
Sattva School of Yoga
Photo: Sattva School of Yoga Instagram @sattvaschoolofyoga
Never having tried yoga before I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Sattva School of Yoga is located in the Roots on Whyte Building on Whyte Avenue and 102 Street and offers a variety of different classes. My Wife and I signed up for the beginners yoga class which consists of one weekly class for a month.
The beginners class breaks down postures, and take you step by step through proper alignment, breathing, and core control.
The classes last around 75 minutes and are very relaxing and fun. It’s a great couples date if you haven’t done it before. There were several other couples at the classes we have attended so far. The Instructor was very good and didn't put too much pressure on you if you’re feeling uncomfortable doing some of the poses.
Perhaps the biggest surprise I had was just how difficult the yoga class would be. I though from watching other people do yoga on tv that the poses seemed pretty straight forward and that I was pretty flexible, but I was pretty sore for the days following our class - but it was a good kind of sore.
There’s something eerily relaxing about paying attention to your breathing, pushing your body beyond its' limits and sweating at the end of the 75 minute class.
You know what’s even better than yoga class? The night of sleep you get that will refresh your body like never before.
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