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New year and new programs for a whole new you

At the beginning of a new year, many people resolve to undo the damage caused by indulging in holiday treats, or strive for a healthy new start.

Regardless of one’s own personal goals, Mount Royal University Recreation (Recreation) has created some new fitness programming that is sure to whip you into shape while having a good time.

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Recreation employees demonstrate how to use the new Functional Training Structure.

With a deserved reputation for being at the top of the heap for recreation and athletics in small Canadian universities, Recreation is continuously looking for ways to improve.

Group Fitness Coordinator, Brenda Stroud, explains that Recreation is always looking for something new and different that makes for a good fit for their clientele.

Hit the gym running

Starting this month, Recreation has three new group fitness programs to offer to members of the campus community and the general public.

Turbo Kick, a new, high-intensity cardio kickboxing class, starts tomorrow (Jan. 18) and runs every Friday at 12:05 p.m.

“There is a trend towards High Intensity Interval Training and there is some of that in Turbo Kick,” says Stroud.

Recreation is also holding two new yoga workshops to target specific fitness challenges.

The first is called Yoga for the IT Bands and will be held on Feb. 9 at 11:10 a.m. Tight iliotibial bands, which are a hindrance to most runners, create imbalances in biomechanics and this yoga workshop is designed to provide tips on how to create balance and knowing when to stretch versus strengthen the bands.

The second workshop being held at 11:10 a.m. on March 16, is called Yoga for Better Sleep, and it will give participants ideas of what postures are best for sleeping through meditation, exercise and proper technique.

The adult jungle gym

In addition to the three new group fitness courses being introduced this year, Recreation has also erected a new piece of equipment that is sure to turn a lot of heads in more ways than one on the running track.

The new Functional Training Structure can now be used in a variety of different ways on the running track. Described as a giant jungle gym for adults, this versatile structure has a vast number of bars to climb and play on.

Anyone can use it at anytime, but people are encouraged to ask staff for advice on exercises to perform on the Structure or how to “play” on it — Recreation staff are on-hand to provide advice on how to properly use equipment, and for those who need a bit more structure and discipline, they can seek out the opportunity to work with a personal trainer one-on-one to reach specific fitness goals.

Fitness Centre Coordinator and Personal Trainer, Shelly Stranaghan, says she can help set goals and keep you on a program.

“I encourage people to make short, attainable goals and to meet a friend for motivation so that it’s harder to cancel,” Stranaghan says.

She also mentions that finding the right partner is very important, as well as mixing up the routine.

“You want to start slow, but also set a long-term goals … something challenging,” says Stranaghan.

As of way of addressing unique spacing needs of some groups and individuals who use the Facility, Recreation has decided to open the Multi-purpose Room to those in need of space for things like Tai Chi, dance practice, etc.

It will be open for use on a first-come, first-served basis. People will be able to just walk in.

Whether you want to shed a few pounds gained over the holiday season or you just want to spend some energy trying something different and fun, Recreation definitely has something for everyone.

For more information on what’s new at Recreation this year, or to learn more about existing programs, including how to how to participate in intramurals, please visit Recreation online or contact the Customer Service Centre at 403.440.6517 or drop by U130.

— Fred Cheney, Jan. 17, 2013