Mount Royal Recreation staff are excited for you to come work out with them

Fitness classes can be intimidating, especially if you are trying something new and out of your element. However, staff at Mount Royal Recreation are there to help you fall in love with their passion for physical fitness.

Cheryl Thurston, fitness co-ordinator for Mount Royal Recreation, said, “One of the primary responsibilities of the fitness instructors is to welcome you, make you feel comfortable in the class and allow the class to be modifiable for everybody.”

Thurston notes that if you feel a bit uncomfortable during your first visit, chances are half the people in that class are feeling the same way.

Thurston often hears the word “intimidating” associated with workout classes because an individual often feels everyone else knows what they are doing.

Join Cheryl Thurston for Turbo Kick, Mondays at noon at Mount Royal Recreation Centre.

Photo By Melanie WalshShe shares that if you get to know someone in your class, it can really help.

This fall, Thurston will be teaching Turbo Kick at noon on Mondays. A spinoff of Tae Bo, a martial arts inspired workout, this class is similar to choreographed kickboxing. Even though it is a cardiovascular workout, the class is for everyone.

“Everyone moves in their own way, it’s comfortable and really empowering,” said Thurston.

She always adds in some high fives at the end of the class and everyone leaves feeling energized.

Having fun and being active is really what fitness classes are about. Thurston and other instructors are passionate about their classes and are excited to share with others.

Reach for it 

Derek Wilding, MRU Rec’s climbing co-ordinator, was a boy when he first tried rock climbing. From that moment on, he was hooked on the unique sport and ready to face the challenges that came with scrambling up mountains.

Rock climbing is a physically and mentally challenging sport, relying on body strength and the mind to overcome fears and dangers associated with scaling a mountainside.

Wilding is passionate about rock climbing and wants more people to try it.

Derek Wilding likes to encourage people to try rock climbing as fear of heights can be totally manageable.

Photo By Melanie Walsh “I encourage folks just to walk into the wall any time it is open and chat with the staff working in there,” Wilding said.

The Climbing Centre can be intimidating because it is enclosed, but according to Wilding, once you walk in the vibe is relaxed.

“I think one of the benefits to the facility we have here is the auto blade units we have. Someone can come in with absolutely no experience and take a quick 10- to 15-minute orientation and then climb independently,” Wilding said.

Wildling added that a fear of heights is manageable. The wall at Rec is more than 40 feet high but climbers do not have to reach for the top — climb to where you are comfortable and then head back down. You can also try “bouldering” which doesn’t require as much height, only about 12 feet, where you can jump off or climb down from there.

MRU Rec offers a variety of different courses, covering the basics so no one needs to feel intimidated to try getting exercise.

Start Somewhere

By focusing on you and your own personal goals, you can feel a lot less intimidated at the gym. Samantha Fryer teaches several fitness classes and advises people who want to get in shape to not be afraid to ask questions.

Photo by Melanie WalshSamantha Fryer, a fitness assistant with Mount Royal Recreation, is a group instructor for Spin Strong, Bike and Body Bootcamp, as well as TRX and yoga classes.

Fryer thinks people are intimidated to go to the gym because they think it’s just filled with athletes, Olympic-calibre lifters and extremely fit people. Not true.

“There are a lot of beginners out there and people that are out of shape, everyone starts somewhere.”

Fryer explained that when in the gym it is important to focus on yourself. Other people can spend two to three hours training for a competition, but that’s not you.

“If you just want an overall healthy lifestyle to maintain your weight or lose weight you don’t need to spend hours in the gym,” said Fryer.

“There are some people like, ‘I need a trainer the whole time because if I’m not with a trainer I’m not going to do it,’” said Fryer. Personal training sessions at MRU Rec are inexpensive with student and group rates available. Find someone sporting the blue MRU vest and they will be more than happy to help.

Fryer also said there are some people saying, “‘I don’t know what to do, I’m stuck, I’ve never worked out before, I need some guidance.’” For those people MRU Rec offers a 12-week plan where you meet with a trainer to establish a program and then do it on your own for a month. After that, you and your instructor work out a plan for the next month.

“It sets them up and then when they are finished they have the education and the knowledge to continue on their own,” said Fryer.

Fryer encourages any person who is uncertain which workout is best for them to head down to the fitness centre to chat with the staff and ask questions.

mwalsh@cjournal.ca