Virgil fitness circuit getting rave reviews


Young or old, fit or trying to get into shape, people using the new equipment at the Virgil Sports Park are giving it rave reviews.

The six different stations come with detailed instructions for workouts at different different levels, including workouts aimed at seniors who are just beginning to think about fitness exercises to improve strength and flexibility.

Personal trainer and boot camp instructor Rae Ann Reimer has been using the equipment with clients, and says it offers several benefits, including the fact that it’s outside.

“Being outside is a motivator in itself,” she says. “It doesn’t feel so much like work when you’re outdoors in a beautiful environment like this. It’s a real mood booster and it gives you energy to work harder.”

It also adds variety to a workout, she says, and offers different levels instead of a flat terrain.

The equipment is designed to be used for different levels of intensity, she adds.

“It’s in a great location, with the walking path right there for interval training.”

Reimer is at the sports park several times a week, sometimes a couple of times a day, and has had an opportunity to hear from residents who are taking advantage of the new equipment.

“Everyone I’ve talked to says it’s great.”

Some people like to meet as part of a group to ensure they know how to use the equipment safely, she says, and she has worked out with all ages, from young teens to seniors. But each station has instructions, and offers the information that is necessary to use it safely. It’s also colour-co-ordinated to show levels of intensity.

“You have to understand your mind and body limitations, and it’s important to start out easy and not do too many repetitions at the beginning,” says Reimer.

“You can be working muscles that haven’t been worked in a long time. It’s also important to balance your workout, so you get strength and flexibility training. And you should always make sure your doctor is aware of what you’re doing. Then take your time to read all the instructions and ease your way into it.”

By using all six stations, you can work on all body groups at all levels, she says.

And an important reminder, she adds, is to take a water bottle.

“You’re outside and it’s hot, so take water breaks, stay hydrated and look for something to do in the shade.”

Marcia Penner has been working out on the fitness equipment with Reimer three to four times a week since it was installed.

“I love it. It’s a challenging workout but it’s fun. I get to be outside and enjoy the summer.”

“There’s nothing more rewarding that coming outside after a long winter—it doesn’t even feel like you’re working out,” says Reimer.

After a day’s work, when it’s really nice outside, Penner says she wouldn’t look forward to going to the gym, “but if you know you can be outdoors, you feel energized.

“I really look forward to my workouts now.”

The equipment is designed by Trekfit, a Montreal company that has won awards for design, including their program that focuses on seniors, helping them to stay at home longer by working on strengthening their legs and core to improve stability and balance.

Their outdoor training circuits are designed to provide total body workouts with minimal use of equipment, based on the latest research and technology, outdoors in environments that are accessible, safe and user friendly.

Their goal is to provide the circuit, equipment and instructions that can be used by people of all fitness levels, says Trekfit founder and president Eric Tomeo, who got the idea after visiting a national park in the U.S. that had some outdated outdoor fitness equipment.

“It reminded me of how much fun it was when we were young to be outdoors, and I started t think about bringing something like that back using modern technology.”

By next spring, says Tomeo, people will be able to use their smart phones to access videos showing how to use the equipment, and instead of offering the two programs that are posted on the information boards today, “we want to be able to provide 40 to 50 programs to suit the many different fitness needs and to ensure nobody gets bored working out.”

And as long as the area is shovelled in the winter, the equipment can be used year round, he says.

“I used to be a gym person,” says Tomeo.

“But I haven’t walked back into a gym for years. Being outdoors is so much more motivating.”

Read also